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Dear Lola,

I’m hoping you can help me with a very frustrating circumstance happening in my home. My husband routinely puts dirty dishes into the clean dishwasher. I fault myself a bit because I’ve badgered him for years to clean up after his mess and stop leaving dishes all over the house. However, despite the light on the dishwasher warning him the dishes are clean, he continues to load dirty items. I’ve even tried using a magnet that says clean when I’ve set the machine to wash. He ignores this and loads away. Please help me!

Dish Disaster

Dear Lola

Dear Dish Disaster,

This feels like a scenario cut from my own home – Mommybeast shrieking like a banshee, Daddybeast looking innocent. The terms of agreement after weeks of dispute resulted in my Daddybeast being assigned emptying duties and Mommybeast handling the loading of the dishwasher. Note I said weeks, not years.

I worry about your spouse’s ability to learn new tasks.

This solution is only practical if both parties do their chores in a timely manner, something I suspect your husband won’t excel at. The fact that it took you years of badgering to get the man to load a dishwasher is startling. I would like to propose this fairly obvious question back to you for further thought.

Is he purposely loading dirty dishes onto clean ones so you’ll take over the task?

Before you discount that theory, ponder it seriously. If the man was this stupid, would you have married him? If he was unable to learn even the most basic of housekeeping skills, would you not have discovered this before years had gone by? Would someone this inept be able to hold down a job and support a family? And the final indicator that your spouse is most likely playing the part of an incapable idiot is this – he hasn’t died from being too stupid to cross a street safely. I can only hope this means he is capable of identifying the signals of a clean dishwasher.

You’ve added a magnet that says CLEAN for goodness’ sakes!

So my solution to your problem is to play his game back at him. Find a chore that you do around the home which also benefits your spouse greatly. Stop doing that chore, or do it so poorly that your husband will be bothered by the outcome. Once he has to wear dirty underwear, I’m sure he’ll suddenly know how to differentiate a clean dishwasher from a dirty one.


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