Your opinion, please.

My friend Trudi told me about a quote she once heard.  It went something like,

"The invention of the dishwasher, killed conversation"

or something like that (if you have the creator of this quote, do tell!).

So, here is my deal and here is where you come in.

When we bought this house, there was a LOT wrong with it.  A lot.  Like bees in the walls, chronic smokers for 40 years, peeling wallpaper and stained carpet.  That was just the cosmetic stuff.  It was a wreck.  So much so that I totally didn't care that there wasn't a basket, in the dishwasher, for our utensils.

Please understand that I fully comprehend and understand the trivial nature of this blog post, the question I am about to pose and the general content of this conversation.  It's silly, really, but the more I think about it, the more I turn it into a bigger conversation in my mind because it leads me to think about bigger and bigger choices that this could symbolize.

You see, we have lived here for almost two years (I can't believe that!) and the entire time, I have stood by my kitchen sink, forced to wash the utensils, one by one.  I've seen neighbors walk by, watched little people ride their bikes and seen the fire station pick up our friend.  I stand, rotate the neon sponge back and forth over my steak knives and think about life.  It's routine now but BOY do I spend a bunch of time cleaning utensils.  I searched online this week and found a basket that would fit our dishwasher just perfectly and save me a good 20 minutes a day! Only about 15 dollars!  SOLD!

Or wait.  Hesitation.

AGAIN....let me share that I get how silly this must sound to you.

But is it?  Is it silly?

You see, I don't really need a basket for the dishwasher.  I have been fine for 2 years and I have grown accustomed to washing and scrubbing.  It's worked into my daily routine and although I would really like to have those moments to do something else, it forces me to gaze out the window and stare.  Think and really think.  Sometimes I opt out of giving the kids bath and "offer" to do the dishes so I can stand in peace.  After all, woman washed the dishes (and so so much more then we do now with our modern conveniences) with their own two hands and I like the idea of a return to the way things once were, so to speak.  A simpler life, I guess (but I will not make my own buttter).

So, here's the thing.  I don't need the basket.  I want the basket.  And while it's easy to say, "Just get it!" when it's only $15.00, would we think twice if it was a luxury that cost 10 times that?  Of course!  So, why don't we care when it's small?  I suppose I'm thinking out loud and I suppose that you are REAL happy you aren't in my brain everyday because I have a tendency to turn the very simple into the very ridiculously complicated, but in an effort to simplify, maybe I don't really need the basket.

Oh, I want it.
I want those twenty minutes.
But maybe I don't need it.
Maybe someone else needs my $15.00 more then I need my twenty moments of "peace".
And if I start saying "no" to things like the dishwasher basket, maybe it will become easier to say no to the bigger things?

Or, maybe I'll just buy the basket.

{so, what do you think?}


  1. Jordan and I are in the runnings to rent this very adorable, very quirky home... with no dishwasher (it was built in 1936). I've been thinking a lot lately about what that could mean, and while our fingers are crossed that the homeowner decides to install an apartment-sized dishwasher, I'm also beginning to wonder if being forced to wash our own dishes -- like our grandmothers did -- might be good for us.

    For me, the $15 utensil basket isn't so much about the money (I'm of the mindset that if you're generous and bold in your giving, a small $15 item is probably worth the purchase); it's more about the 20 minutes you spend doing nothing. It's about the methodical motion of working with your hands, about staring out the window and waving at passers-by. How often do we really make time to do those things?

    You've got me thinking about my own dishwasher dilemma, but while I ponder mine, I think I'll vote "no" on your utensil basket. Not because it's an unnecessary, "first world" perk, but because of how the lack of one has made you live.

    1. The last sentence was my favorite Annie. It's definitely forced me into a routine that I wouldn't have picked, but certainly appreciate.

  2. I grew up spending the majority of my time with my grandparents. They had big family dinners a couple of times a week. While they had a dishwasher, I still remember spending time in the kitchen with my mom and grandma doing dishes by hand. It forced us to spend that time talking and catching up on life events. I know it's not the same as your situation, but I've never really thought about it like that until just now. I always knew the dishwasher was there, and in perfect condition, but it never occurred to me that there might be a reason they weren't using it. Just brought back a flood of happy memories.. thank you for that.

    and... I say buy the basket. It doesn't mean you have to use it every time. You can still have pensive moments with your neon sponge, but it's nice having the option to just throw them in the dishwasher, too :)

    1. When I read this post I imagined your entire family, standing around the kitchen and talking about their days and happenings.

      It was a happy thought ;)

      Ps-don't be anonymous! I'd love to know who you are!

  3. Buy the you said, it's only $15. if you find it's not what you thought it would be, let it go.

    Things like this are easy come, easy go. We are more prone to over think them and waste time that way than to try it out, IMHO.


    1. Maybe you're right....I tend to overthink things, that's for sure!

  4. i knew i liked you. i have these dilemmas in my life daily. geez.

    i don't have a dish washer (my house was built in 1952). i'd kill for one. buy the basket. and if you ever feel like you need that time again wash by hand. it can be therapeutic. sometimes.


    1. Oh good...I not alone in my mental quandary?! Yay!

  5. ok. get the basket, rachel.
    i'm all for downtime, precious reflection and what have you...but
    must it be spent at the sink?

    if you miss that time for pause, make it happen elsewhere.
    get the basket, and then say "hey, i now have twenty minutes totally free!" pray with it, play with it, memorize scripture with it, be intentional...and save your back and knees:)


    1. Maybe you're right. I would force myself to take that 20 minutes and dub them the "dishwasher 20".

  6. as someone who has lived both with and without a dishwasher, i would like to submit that you don't spend that much less time washing utensils when you have a basket. you still "prewash" them so the food doesn't fossilize onto them in the dishwasher to the point they are essentially clean before you even load them.

    i like the quote though. my grandma, who was full Italian lived to be 90 years old and NEVER had a dishwasher ( she wasn't willing to give up any of the precious cabinet space in her already small kitchen). She would make huge dinners for the whole family and then my grandpa would wash the dishes while the rest of us took turns drying and my grandma would put them away. This is also a lady who dried out paper towels and reused them. totally different generation.

    all that said, i say buy it. if only for the holidays, buy it...and then use it as you wish.

    liked this simple post, good memories of my grandma i might not otherwise have thought of. : )

    1. You're welcome.
      And this story made me happy. I swear that woman of that era were amazing, then again, I'm pretty sure they would have loved some of the conveniences we enjoy, given the opportunity. That being stated, I really loved how industrious they were. Hardworking.

      But yeah. I think for holidays. The option is nice.
      Alright. You talked me into it.

  7. If you don't buy the basket, I am buying it for you! :)
    And, I agree with hannah....use those 20 minutes for something else & be intentional with it :)

  8. I say buy it. Combine the time it takes to wash the dishes plus the time it takes to put them all away you will still have your downtime putting the dishes away!

  9. I don't know if my post is too late, maybe you already made up your mind, but I would, also, say "no" to buying the basket.

    Throughout my childhood my family never used a dishwasher - and to be truly honest - I hated washing the dishes. Now, living in a household with a dishwasher, I tend to think back: washing the dishes, whilst my mother was cooking or baking always was a magical mother-daughter moment. We could talk about everything or nothing, but it was our time. Also, the fight-sessions with my sister, over who had to actually wash the dishes, are remembered with a smile.

    What I want to say is, those 20 minuted of time are truly yours. And you can take them without feeling bad about it. If you had those 20 minutes to used them for something else, would you truly use them for yourself?

    I know I wouldn't have had those special moments with my mother, because I would have done other stuff. But the necessity of doing the dishes and helping out, provided me with the opportunity to have my mother all to myself.