My Hometown

My Hometown

The Men Do The Dishes

When you travel for business as much as I do, you get to know a lot of different people at the airports during the inevitable flight delays.

On one recent trip, I had the pleasure of talking with an older gentleman who told me about what it was like to be a young, married man in the 1960’s and I couldn’t help but think back to how similar his story looked to my own mom and dad, grandma and grandpa.

It wasn’t a sexist thing or anything like that, but mom, grandma, the aunts, and female cousins did all of the cooking in my family.

It didn’t matter if it was on a Thursday night during the school week or if it was something big like Christmas, if you were looking for the women in my family then there was a good bet the kitchen was where you’d find them.

The guys were usually gathered around the television set watching a ball game and basically, doing their best to stay clear and out of the way as the pots and pans banged in the kitchen.

Occasionally, mom would call dad in to open a jar or grab something for her off of one of the higher shelves, which he was always happy to do for her.

But equality was always a huge part of my upbringing.

Just as you could always find the women of my family in the kitchen before the meal, if you were looking for the men in my family after we ate then look no further than in that same kitchen.

Like an assembly line, the men lined up the dirty dishes on the counter to the left of the sink as they filled it with water and soap.

The silverware all in one section.

Cups in another.

Plates piled by size.

Pile by pile, the dishware from the meal moved from the left side, through the soapy water where it met a washcloth, and off to the right side where each piece was dried and immediately put away.

Though it was never said in my family out loud, it seemed to be an unwritten rule:

Whoever does the cooking, the other does the cleaning!

 

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