Thursday, March 11, 2010

Waiting For Signs

One of my fondest memories of being a teenager was when I had finished loading all the dishes into the dishwasher, had wiped down all the counters, and was just about ready to announce myself finished, when in walked my father, arms and hands laden with glasses and cups of water from around the house. At the time, my teenage perspective was quite certain that he did this to spite me, piss me off, and otherwise prolong my chores just because he could. Being the perfect teen that I was, I did not huff, sigh, or shoot him dirty looks. I did not roll my eyes and silently wish I was adopted. No, I said, “Thank you Father. I appreciate your thorough collection of water glasses and I’m glad that we’ll be able to load these dishes to capacity so as not to waste these three precious tablespoons of liquid dishwashing soap.”

Well, maybe I didn’t say all that. But I remember that this little dance happened more than once, me just about ready to finish up the dishes, and him, walking into the kitchen with more.

Now that I’m adult, I can see that not only was the chocolate sniffing gene passed down to me and my children, but so was the water collecting gene. To fully illustrate what I mean, I put together a little photo gallery for you. This is what I found in one afternoon:

These are in the downstairs bedroom. No one has slept down here in about thee weeks.

I'll admit, these are mine. They are in the windowsill because my daughter's don't have nightstands. Yes, I sleep in my daughter's room. It's another blog.

My son's sports collection.

These belong to my husband.

These colorful glasses belong to my middle girl. I appreciate that she coordinated them to her room.

Yes, even our youngest is a collector. Thank goodness these are (mostly) leak proof.

Walking into my own kitchen it’s pretty obvious that my family has more glasses of water strewn about the house and in various bedrooms than are currently resting on my urban kitchen shelving. I admit that many of these water glasses are mine, since I need a new glass of water each evening. Water in open containers from the previous day taste stale, for one. How water can taste stale I can’t quite explain, except to say old water on my nightstand tastes, well… old, and water fresh from the fridge, tastes fresh. It’s not really any more scientific than that.

Secondly, water in open glasses from the night before always contains bits of filament and dust. You might not be able to see this upon first glance at the water glass, but if you tilt the glass slightly allowing the light to shine on the water’s surface, you’ll see it. Bits of linty whatnot floating there on top. Maybe it’s the dust from my lampshade. Maybe it’s crud from the humidifier or room heater. Perhaps they’re even dust mites and single cell amoebas, all I know is I’m not going to drink it.

My children feel the same way. Even my son—who keeps his water in a sports bottle since he sleeps in a loft—gets a new water bottle pretty frequently. I have a sneaking suspicion that his motivation is less a desire for fresh water than a means to stay awake 10 more minutes while he fills a fresh bottle, but the result is the same. His bed is littered with plastic squeeze containers.

Why my family (and I include myself in the group) can’t return their water glasses to the sink each morning I don’t know. In fact, collection of said glasses doesn’t usually happen until I notice we only have one left on the shelf and the dishwasher is empty. Perhaps we are unconsciously waiting for strange circles to appear in the front yard grass and those water glasses will come in handy when aliens try to abduct one of my children, inspiring my son and husband to take their baseball bats out and “swing high,” freeing us from the grips of the evil alien life forms. If they come, we’ll be ready.


Anonymous said...

Did see the bus. . . .

Anonymous said...

That should read "did not see the bus". . . .

Fred A. said...

You have learned your lessons well Grasshopper! Keeping alive those valued traditions you learned as a child despite being thousands of miles from home would make any father proud! I still deal with this on a daily basis- most notably when I am done with the dishes (hand washed and dried) then your mom comes home from work and empties her plastic storage containers, etc from that day into the sink- all caddywampus, not stacked neatly, tops on one side, dirty containers on the other.....
Add to this the quart glass jar by the side of her bed and the coffee cup in the bathroom where she gets going every morning and I am still colecting things- YEARS after you and your sisters have left.

Still, with all of the issues in the world, this I can handle.

Dishpan Hands Dad