I’m not a Luddite, although the fact that it took 6 weeks for us to figure out how to get the internet to work in our new house does suggest my husband and I are not blessed with technological prowess. I might not embrace every new fangled fascinations and I’m no social twitterer (where do people get the time??) but I do throw my arms around and hug all time-saving devices that make my life easier. I often think back to my mum’s time and wonder how on earth she coped with two young children, a job, and no microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, car, disposable nappies and all those other things I just take for granted.
So for a brief moment, when our dishwasher gave up the ghost and had a nervous breakdown, I almost joined it and had a small seizure at the terrifying thought of actually having to wash up after the 1473 meals a day I cook (ok, it’s actually about five but sometimes it does feel like it). But a strange thing has happened. Every time I go to ring the repair man, I hesitate and then find something else to do (washing up for instance).
I’ve noticed my husband and I are talking more. Now, instead of one of us rushing off to do something after dinner while the other silently, solitarily stacks the dishwasher, we have a conversation. A real one. He usually washes up and I stand beside him drying the dishes as he places them in the stupidly small, but very cool rack that is only there for ceremonial purposes (well, when you have a dishwasher, who needs one that is actually practical?). We sling banter at each other, and occasionally he flicks me with water, or I get a great flick of the drying cloth on his leg if I get my wrist action right. It’s been a long time you see, and I’m long out of practise. When I was growing up (with no dishwasher remember) clearing up after dinner was a family affair. Mum would wipe around the cooker, dad would put the condiments away, my brother would wash and I would dry. I remember some of the best conversations with my brother over the kitchen sink. And so it seems again. The death of the dishwasher is breathing new life into our washed out routine.
So here’s my plan. I will get round to ringing the repair man one of these days, because let’s face it – nostalgia is one thing, but reality bites and my hands are beginning to suffer! But I think as my girls get older I might just have to pull the plug occasionally on the time-saving device so we can have some time-enhanced discussions as our busy lives take over.