John Is from OGLE-TR-56b, Part II

During the early years of our marriage, I stayed home with the children so I never asked John to help much around the house.  It seemed logical to me that our roles should be fairly traditional as long as I didn’t have outside employment.  However, once I started working, nothing seemed to change.  I worked longer and longer hours both outside and inside the home.  Occasionally, I would have a meltdown and demand more assistance.  These displays would usually precipitate some temporary change, but it was never long before John would revert back to his non-participatory status, and all things domestic would once again be my responsibility.  The one area where he helped the most, although intermittent at best, was the dishes.  He would from time to time load and/or unload the dishwasher.  I was always very careful not to criticize or offer suggestions even though he could never get as many dishes loaded as I could, and he never seemed to figure out whether a specific piece was better suited for loading on the top or bottom rack.  I also bit my lip when he would run the dishwasher half full.  Since he was actually helping out, I learned to live with it.

One day during a long period of domestic inactivity, I asked him if he would unload the clean dishes and load the few dirty dishes that were in the sink.  I made a particular point of telling him there weren’t enough dishes there for a full load, so he didn’t need to worry about running it.  He agreed to do the job, so I left to run some errands.

When I got home, I was pleased to see that the dirty dishes were out of the sink so I thanked him for taking care of that chore.  He said, “Just so you know, some of the dishes in the dishwasher are dirty so don’t unload it by mistake.”

Somewhat confused I asked, “What do you mean SOME of the dishes are dirty?”

“Well, I unloaded enough clean dishes for the dirty ones to fit in there, so you need to run it,” he answered.

By this time he had walked into the kitchen and I’m sure I was looking at him with the same expression I would have on my face if I spotted a unicorn or Bigfoot.  The only response I could muster was, “You what?”

He told me again how he had removed some, not all, of the clean dishes, and once he had room for the dirty ones, he loaded those.

“Why, why, why would you do that?” I stammered.

“You mean you’ve never done that before?” he asked.

I said, “Not only have I never done that before, I’ve never heard of anyone ever doing that until today.”

He responded, “The dirty dishes are out of the sink.  That’s what you asked me to do.”

I had to admit that technically he was correct, and his solution seemed perfectly logical to him.  I’ve often thought it might be fun to visit his home planet some day.  Now I’m not so sure.

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