Take a well-earned break from your own writing and read a bit of mine – enjoy!
here’s the link: https://open.abc.net.au/explore/98484
By Diana Harley · · From 500 Words: Family Trait
My parents never had a dishwasher and, as many readers of my stories will know, although my current kitchen does sport a fairly modern one, my relationship with that dishwasher has irretrievably broken down. Accordingly, we are not on touchy feely terms anymore and my affections turned, some time ago, to my stainless steel kitchen sink. Each and every day my sink has my undivided attention as I don my rubber gloves and therapeutically set about the cleansing of the crockery.
When I was growing up, our kitchen only had a single sink. None of today’s fancy-shmancy kitchen culture of one-and-a-half or double bowls.
But just because we only had one sink didn’t mean we washed and rinsed our dishes in the same dirty water. No siree.
Our family was very particular about how we washed our dishes – and even though we didn’t have an extra special sink, we rinsed our dishes in a small basin of clean hot water. And the hotter the water, the better.
And because the rinsing water was so incredibly hot, by the time one of us kids had to wipe up, the dishes were virtually dry. No soggy tea towels to contend with either – a win, win situation!
And no, we didn’t use rubber gloves back then. Another family trait of ours may be either a high tolerance to pain or being exceedingly clever in how we wrangle the dishes at the rinsing stage. I think it’s probably the latter.
I’m proud to say that I still enjoy exercising my parents’ rinsing gene. Admittedly, I am spoilt with my one-and-a-half sink that makes rinsing so easy and a mixer tap that delivers lots of lovely hot water, but when you spend as much time as I do doing dishes, I think I deserve this little luxury.
Family and friends think my family’s insistence on rinsing dishes to be quite bizarre. And yes, we have been told to “get a life” or that “small things amuse small minds”, but it seems that our need to rinse is a distinctive trait and one that we are passing on. My children definitely know about my insistence on rinsing!
And if I happen to be at the home of family or friends and I am helping out with the dishes, this washing up dinosaur takes over the sink, the suds and the hot water and always rinses!!!
Unfortunately, or fortunately, there is no way we can tolerate drying dishes without washing off the soapy suds. It’s just not what we do!
So…to rinse or not to rinse, that is the question – you know my answer, now tell me yours!
I have been ruthless and the cull has gone well. The charity shop will be happy. Clothes that I have held on to for years, in the hope that I will lose weight and return to the single digit size I wore when I was just out of my teens, now fill the black, plastic garbage bags.
I glide over the fact that most are out of fashion and cling to the hope that maybe someone else will be able to get some use from them. Why do I continue to do this to myself? Hold on to clothes that I wore years and years ago, and which I have no hope in hell of ever fitting into again. Like the life coaches say, I’ve got to stop hanging on to the past and be honest with myself – I’m never going to be that young skinny minny ever again! That time in my life has ended and there’s no going back.
I poke my head back into my wardrobe. I’ve left my favourite dress till last. There it hangs, faithfully waiting for me. Just looking at this dress makes me smile – it brings back so many memories. Like a matador flourishing his cape, I grab the coat hanger and whip out this last item of clothing from my recently denuded wardrobe.
Now, I’m a budding young actress in a cheesy Doris Day movie and I hold my dress up against me and dance before my full-length mirror. Small moments of happiness flash through my mind as I remember the parties and dinners I wore this dress to. Memories of dancing for hours and sneaking home just before curfew come flooding back. The joy of laughter and fun times, old friends and new, growing up and dreams for the future form part of the fabric I now hold against me. I remember feeling carefree and confident and attractive – what I wouldn’t give to feel like that now!
The black plastic bags are impatiently waiting for me, their slippery ebony mouths gaping open in anticipation of this last tasty morsel. As the stash inside them gently topples, the rubbing plastic swishes and whispers ‘Come on, throw it in, then you’re done, job finished.’
I stop. I hold my dress close. This dress is staying with me. I’m turning my back on this ending and hanging on to my memories. My favourite dress and I take up our dance positions and resume our waltz around the room. I throw my head back and laugh!