Everyone has a significant date stuck in their heads. For me, there are a couple of dates. The day my sons were born. The day Andy Griffith died. The bombing of the towers in New York.
And the day that had a huge impact on my life...
The day my dishwasher broke.
I recently spent most of a week in Virginia with my parents, leaving a 4 year-old and three grown men home alone without any female (adult) supervision. During one of the phone calls home, my son admitted that the 4 year-old made the comment, “We gotta git this pwace cweaned up or Mamaw gonna kick ouw butts.”
I came home on a Tuesday. The house was a little messy, and the men looked guilty ... of something.
”What’s that smell?” I asked.
That’s all I had to say. They immediately turned on each other.
The 27 year-old gave it up first. “One night when I got home from work I couldn’t believe it. There wasn’t a surface in the house that didn’t have stuff piled up on it! It was bad mom. I told ‘em they better get this cleaned up.” He looked accusingly at his father and 23-year-old brother.
”Oh it wasn’t that bad!” the 23 year-old claimed.
”And it doesn’t matter anyway, we got it all cleaned up,” said the chubby 50 year-old, who was reclining on the couch, his belly protruding like the Great Mound.
I didn’t really agree. “I don’t think so. What IS that smell?”
I found the smell — dirty dishes. The dishwasher was broken. It was fully loaded with incredibly dirty dishes (including a plate decorated with a partially eaten slice of pizza). No matter how many times I pushed the well-worn ‘heavy duty wash’ button, the machine made sad little sounds and then gave up. And at so young. Only 17.