adventures in independence: the dishwasher.

There has been a dishwasher in my parents' house for as long as I can remember. However, I don't think I ever knew what it was until my teens, on account of the fact that it was not in working condition for probably a decade or more. It was finally fixed not too long before I graduated high school and left home.

Moral of the story: I don't know how to use a dishwasher.

One of the perks of my new apartment is that it also has one of these marvels of sanitation technology. And, seeing as I am probably paying extra rent for the right to use my dishwasher, I decided I was going to use it. As soon as I learn how.

I asked Casey. He didn't seem interested in educating me, I suspect from his own lack of dishwasher knowledge. So I just decided to figure it out for myself. I'm in college, I'm of reasonable intelligence, right?

I spent a good five minutes in the detergent aisle of my local grocery store, weighing the merits of liquid versus powder. This was a difficult task, since I knew the merits of neither one. I went with powder; it was on sale.

I brought my lemon fresh with power action crystals detergent home and opened up the washer. Luckily, I was practiced in the art of loading the dishwasher, and quickly got to that. Once that was completed, I poured some detergent into the little compartment labeled "MAIN WASH". I decided to ignore the compartment with the "PRE-WASH" sign since I didn't really know what to make of it and it didn't even have a lid anyway.

Looking at the control panel, I began to think that I was making a bigger deal out of this situation than it was, and that I was not after all going to be able to write a long drawn out entry about my domestic incompetance after all. I pushed a couple of buttons that seemed appropriate, and turned the little knob. Silence for a couple of seconds, and then my dishwasher roared to life.

I felt like a real woman.

A couple of hours later, after the loud whirring noises had stopped, I dared to peek at the dishes that were once dirty, but should now be sparkling and lemon-scented. Funny, they still looked pretty dirty. They didn't look any cleaner at all. The experiment had failed.

I felt like a real little girl.

I was in dispair. I imagined myself slaving away over the sink, standing right next to the dishwasher. I imagined a picture much like all those years in my childhood where we washed our dishes by hand and used the dishwasher as only a microwave stand.

Determined, I tried it again, turning the knobs, letting it run a while and then cutting it off to look inside. I found very hot, very dirty dishes. I did the same process again, this time even listening to the side of the machine for sounds of I'm not sure what. Again very hot, very dirty dishes.

I would like the reader to note that I did not say "very hot, very wet, very dirty dishes".

So apparently, you have to hook the dishwasher up to the sink. Also, you have to turn the water on. They should put this kind of information in the leases of dishwasher-endowed apartments.

My dishes came out very hot, very wet, very clean, and I was redeemed. I was once again a real woman, and there was nothing I could not do.

Except get the diswasher attachment off of the faucet.

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