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Euclid in the Dishwasher

You really should see me load a dishwasher. Certainly it is a thing of beauty. Not unlike a carefully choreographed piece of modern performance art. I can fit a remarkable amount of dishes into a standard-issue dishwasher. I can feel my connection to the ancient Greeks with their mastery of mathematics and engineering, as I configure just one more plate, just one more spoon, with precision, cunning, craft, and (dare I say it?) yes, even creative expression.

I’m convinced that my skill was borne not as a clear symptom of clinical obsessive-compulsive disorder, as you might suggest, rather from a childhood of hearing, “You’ve gotta get that in there. We’re not gonna run that thing more than once. Do you have any idea how much water costs?”

The very existence of the question implies that it must have been some fabulous amount. As a child, I pictured water sheiks rolling around in their extravagant palaces made of ice, sloshing ankle deep with water throughout. Sleeping on waterbeds the size of a moonbounce, enough for their entire harem to lounge about lazily. (No doubt that would explain the bikinis which also occur within my imagination.)

Nevertheless, it’s like a complicated puzzle. I’ve had friends tell me, “You know, that stuff’s not really getting clean when you pack so much in.” Huns. Savages. Heathens. It’s already clean when I put it into my fantastical splash-on-hot-soapy-water machine. Besides, you simply don’t get it. I’m not just piling it in there willy-nilly. Each placement is carefully considered and calculated, positioning each unique piece with an eye for turning its “dirty” surface in a direction where optimal splashage can occur. Neanderthals.

Ironically, the same discipline of parenting that made me into this monster will not pass into the next generation. Trust my kids with loading the dishwasher? Even if they could understand why I do it the way I do, there’s no way I could sufficiently explain it to them. Are you crazy? Nobody is even allowed to touch this dishwasher except Daddy. And everybody in our house knows it.

What’s your relationship with YOUR dishwasher like? What about your other appliances? What’s a radical skill you’ve cultivated over time that no one else seems to appreciate?