Awful chore of doing dishes can lead to moment of Zen

I vacuum like a pro. I take joy in using Windex to get my bedroom mirror nice and shiny. Heck, I’ll even volunteer to scrub the bathtub.
But doing dishes? Sorry, mom; I’ll be hiding behind the couch cushions until they’re done.

Abby Badach, editor-in-chief

I love a good family meal – the mellow conversation over flickering candlelight, the feel of a silky tablecloth under my arms, the aroma of mashed potatoes filling the kitchen – and getting up to my elbows in soapy sink water just reminds me that the sensory overload of a top-notch dinner has ended.
Perhaps my hatred of doing dishes is somehow the flipside of my love of eating. That, and three words: empty mayonnaise jars.
If you can stand washing those without dry heaving, you have a certified case of the crazies.
On an unrelated note, would you care to come over for a cookout and homemade potato salad?
For some reason, though, doing dishes at my grandparents’ house always seemed more bearable than doing them at home.
Maybe I was too buzzed on lemonade and homemade snickerdoodles to care.
But when I think about it, I think the difference subsisted in the dish-doing style – and, no, I’m not talking about the regular sponge vs. sponge-on-a-stick dichotomy.
Whenever my sister or I would scrub away at pots and pans in grandma’s kitchen sink, our little brows beaded with sweat, she’d come over, put her hands on our shoulders and say, “Oh, don’t worry about that one. Just let it soak.”
And with that phrase – “let it soak” – we’d retreat to the living room, triumphantly, to get in our pajamas and watch Nick at Nite reruns for an hour or two before taking another shot at that pan.
The residue from that night’s meatloaf or turkey would scrub off, squeaky-clean.
Life was good.
I’m a fan of personality inventories – of course I would be, as a Myers-Briggs ENFJ – and all the self-study in the world hasn’t helped this type-A personality mellow out as much as grandma’s wisdom to “let it soak.”
Some problems can’t be fixed right away, no matter how hard we work at them. Sometimes, a little time is all it takes for clarity to shine through.
Roommate conflicts? Let it soak. Trying to find a job? Let it soak.
Grandma’s advice, I’ve found, can apply to many things – well, except studying for a test.
Then, all the work has to be your doing.
In the fast-paced rhythm of college life, students need a reminder every now and then to slow down.
When you feel that time a-comin’, take her wisdom and let a little rest do your work for you.
You’ll be glad you did.

ABBY BADACH
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