To Clean The Dishes and Chores

    It seems so far away,…

         When I was in Middle School sometimes we didn’t have help to clean the dishes and there was not a dishwasher. So, after dinner there was a pile of dishes in the sink, and my Mom designated each day per child to wash the dishes, and another one to dry them. We were four sisters and we worked in pairs. We alternated turns during the week.

    At the beginning,  we naturally didn’t care who was with who. I choose to pair with whoever was in the days that I didn’t go to swimming lessons or volleyball practice. But, as time went by, everybody wanted to pair with the fastest and efficient; and nobody with the opposite. Now I reflect about this memory as the incredible the differences that can be among the sisters.

    The eldest was super fast washing; and the dishes were spotless, the one before the youngest was the best at drying; I never understood how she did it, with only one towel, everything was dry; and everything was put in place  in an incredible fast manner.

    When it was my turn, the towel was always dripping after a few dishes. Not only that, it took me more time than the others to put them in place.

    At the beginning, Sisters were patient with me, but, to many dishes were rejected for bad washing or rinsing; of both. I have taken too much time to redo things; for my sisters,  this was scandalous.


    I need to add; I didn’t notice that, after sometime everybody had developed certain methods and techniques to do the dishes as fast as possible. They were focus on excelling the task .

    After a while, harmony was absent. My Mom asked what was going on.

Sisters wanted to do other things than wash dishes, except me, I didn’t care; my mind was somewhere else.

    I was singing. The problem with singing is that you are really slow washing dishes, and when you think; oh! This is ready to be dried; the dish, pan or utensil was returned for defects on the washing or worst on the rinsing; nobody wants to eat dish detergent. I really felt interrupted in my singing when the dish was dropped into the sink to be redone. First I inspected the dish myself, then to cut time I asked what was wrong and the explanation was sometimes with words but mostly finger pointing out the guilty particle or bubble adhered to the object in question.

     It was annoying. We had a family talk after some time, and the complaining  pile up towards my slowness and inefficiency. What? For me, that was completely absurd, they were interrupting my song in the middle. They were impatient, and rude. My Mom solved it by letting me do the dishes at my own pace. She thought; problem solve. Well, not quite, because of the time that I was able to relax, and do the clean inspection, that by the way, I was able to do at leisure; hours passed. It was bedtime and I was  singing like forever and half of the pile dishes were not even done.

    My washing dishes chore lasted five more times. My Mom put an end to my singing; an end to a sink full of water and bubbles, and an end to the slowest drying dishes with immaculate and pristine appearance.

    Chores, chores, chores, like the dishes  there were other chores to do everyday; it is worth to mention a peculiar chore I used to do; and as far as I know it is still in practice.

    The chore was to go to buy fresh tortillas for the day to the closest store that made the tortillas in a machine in place front of the customers. The tortillas are warm, soft and fluffy; yet firm, full of flavor  and delicate. I think is the most exquisite form to nurture humans.

    The closest store from home was five minutes walking, I remember that, and again, we had turns to go to buy the tortillas. For me everything was a normal thing to do, just walk to the store, make a line, ask for the tortillas, pay, receive the tortillas in a special napkin you provided or paper the store could provide in case you have forgotten your tortilla’s napkin, and when it was my turn, it was fine.

    My sisters did the same, the difference between us, was that the eldest always found on the way friends to talk to and it wasn’t  what Mom wanted; and the youngest was too young, so it was left between the middle sisters meaning me, the second, and my sister who was born after me.

     Mom sometimes had a narrow time to announce that dinner was ready, and she needed the tortillas faster than usual. Sister three was the fastest biker of the family, so she was designated forever to go for the tortillas, if  the time  was compromised which was most of the time.


     She thought it was unfair, I thought it was amazing that she could handle the tortillas in one hand and the bike with the other; because our bikes didn’t have any place for baskets and the tortillas were warm and we didn’t have backpacks to carry them.

   I always admired my industrious sisters. We can go on and on with the chores, you can ask me how many times people have telling me how to broom, make a hem to a dress, knit a baby jacket, with no avail. Time have told I was able to do other things.

   This memory is for the time when some people feel overwhelmed with some of the everyday things to do and some chores are not appealing or perfected.   

    I know people who loves to feel water in their hands, I know people that can’t stand dust or things out of place; and so, I know people who prefer disinfect wipes to clean their hands, and people who can work in dusty environments, and people that love to have things in a very disorderly way.

     I think there are different temperaments and intelligences to do chores or wash the dishes. Let’s consider that nowadays we can use modern machines to do many tasks for the sake of all.


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