I never intended to be a homemaker, not because of disdain but rather because I am rarely impressed with my organizational or cleaning skills. Yet in this in between year of life that I also never intended to have I find myself enjoying the process entirely too much. A job is going to be an extreme hindrance in my propensity for cleaning the kitchen and catching up on my shows, not to mention my coffee dates with girlfriends and the new hobbies of sewing and pencil sketching that I have picked up. I’ve come to enjoy my leisurely mornings of juice, coffee and a run followed by clean up and then writing. When one of my mentors suggested we meet for coffee at 9 AM I gasped audibly.
“Does it have to be that early?”
One morning I was feeling particularly inspired after several days of half heartedly keeping up with everything and decided to tackle the Everest of dishes in my sink. Cleaning and scrubbing and loading the dishwasher ensued, and satisfied with myself and feeling productive enough to ride out the next two hours without lifting a finger I opened the cabinet and pulled out the empty container of dishwasher soap. A litany of curses flowed out of my mouth and, completely put out, I closed the cabinet door with a flourish and petulantly put my hands on my hips. After all, True Blood was not going to watch itself but somehow these dishes had to be cleaned. I glared at the offending culprit but the snide little green bottle did not magically fill up.
“So clean your dishes will sparkle!” it cruelly teased me with.
I opened every cupboard I could think of wondering if we had any more soap when all of a sudden, like an angel parting to show the holy way, a stream of light fell across my sink and illuminated the deep blue bottle of Dawn that I had been using to clean my non conforming dishes with.
“Soap is soap!” I sang to myself and joyfully filled the entire container in the dishwasher with the magical blue liquid. I shut the door, hit the right cycle and off I went to occupy myself with whatever was next on my list.
Fifteen minutes later my house smelled incredibly clean and I felt an enormous pang of self love at my own brilliant genius. The dishwasher never smelled this clean when we used the boring old dishwasher soap! I practically pranced down the stairs to get a glass of water and then screamed with a combination of anxiety and panic when I saw what awaited me.
The dishwasher was spewing out bubbles like an angry white monster and my counter tops and floor looked like someone had gutted them with a knife and they were oozing soap instead of blood. It was everywhere, small specks of it flying around the air and the dishwasher just kept spilling more and more out as if to punctuate the stupidity of my decision with each passing bubble.
Immediately I thought to myself “This is all Asher’s fault” followed with an ever increasing sense of dread of what he was going to do when he came home and his house was just a giant bubble, consumed with soap and water. I briefly considered running away and claiming that I had no idea what he was talking about but thought better of it. After all, who was going to believe that the next crime wave was an intruder who was putting the wrong kind of soap in dishwashers? If I was going to make a run for it I needed a believable alibi.
“This is why we need a dog” I muttered to no one in particular.
Finally I faced the fact that the dishwasher was still running, there were still bubbles everywhere and that something had to be done. Standing in my underwear in the kitchen while it was being continuously bombarded with soap bubbles was clearly not a viable option. Using my hands as machetes I cut through the attacking forces until I could see the front of the machine and found the customer service number. Spitting soap out of my mouth I frantically dialed the number and waited.
“Thank you for calling customer service! Your call is important to us and will be answered in the order in which it was received”
“MY KITCHEN IS FLOODING WITH SOAP BUBBLES. IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY AND GOOD SOMEONE ANSWER THE..”
“Hi this is Matthew… ma’am is everything okay?”
“NO. Um. Hi Matthew. I was wondering if say, someone had hypothetically put dish soap in the dishwasher instead of the right detergent, just hypothetically, what would one have to do to fix that?”
There was a quiet silence in which I imagined Matthew covering the phone while laughing and then high fiving his buddies at the customer service line. I hate Matthew. Then his voice came back on the line with an almost unbelieving strain of restraint came forward over the line.
“Miss, please do not put dish soap in your dishwasher. And if you did then run the rinse cycle until there aren’t any more bubbles, it should only take a few cycles”
I stared at the mountain of bubbles cascading out of the dishwasher and wondered if the angry sounds emitting from the machine were normal or if the soap had worked its way into the inner pipes of the house. I imagined lying in bed that night reading to Asher and having the pipes groan and burst, the soap bubbles frothing in revenge until finally the walls and ceilings exploded in an ecstatic display of clean white lace. He was not going to be pleased.
Arming myself with three towels and disposable gloves that I imagine psychopaths also keep stock of I took to battling the soap with ferocity. I cleaned, swept and chopped at the bubbles until finally I could see the controls of the dishwasher.
16 rinse cycles and three hours later, the bubbles had subsided and my floors were spotless. It is exhausting business, channeling Lucille Ball.
That evening the door opened and in walked Asher. I was attempting to play off the whole incident as non-chalantly as possible which as I came skidding down the stairs to greet him was instantly betrayed by the look on my face.
“Baby why does it smell like a Laundromat in here?”
I sighed inwardly and related the events as calmly as I could. He ducked his head down and pursed his lips, attempting in vain to keep the smile to himself but it burbled out of him and shook his shoulders. He does the only thing he can which is wrap me in a hug and wonder how on earth this tornado of a girl hasn’t burned his house down yet, and worse yet how it is that even if she did the story would surely be worth the ashes.