Richard Levitt: What's With All the Dishes?

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They seem to come from nowhere, a relentless, impossible-to-ignore product of staying at home all day. Richard Levitt asks, "What’s with all the dishes?"

Gah! Dishes … they’re the hidden scourge of sheltering in place.

Every time I look they’re piling up in the sink. I’ve never seen so many accumulate, so fast.

We cook and eat at home all the time. But wow. This whole deal with staying in has changed everything. I’m not sure why.

We have breakfast, same as always. A bowl of yogurt with some dried fruit or muesli. Sometimes oatmeal. Sometimes we get fancy with omelette aux fines herbes.


But at most, it’s a couple bowls and maybe a skillet.

So imagine my surprise when I turn around and see stacks of plates, glasses, bowls, cups, forks and knives.

And they all need to be washed.

There are only two of us. We don’t eat any more than we ever did. Less, even. What’s with all the dishes?

Lunch? A sandwich or leftovers. C’mon … a couple slices of bread or stuff out of the ‘fridge.

And yet, an hour later, they’re back. The dishes. A stray coffee cup. A teaspoon. A tiny ramekin. It gives me a pang of anxiety.

Even the cats and their supposedly cute little bowls. A pink one for Olive and a blue one for Edwin. As I write this, they’re in the sink, and I feel my blood rising. Those cats … all they ever do is eat … and sleep.

Are there dish gremlins? Do neighbors sneak in and dump their dishes on us? Could dishes be transmogrified from a parallel universe … where they are equally sick of washing whatever it is they eat off of?

And Karen … she does more than her share, which makes it even weirder.

The other day, I was warming soup and forgot. An hour later, after bubbling up and all over the stove top, it burned itself into a dense, acrid crust at the bottom of the pan. Extreme dish washing. Imagine my delight.

The good news in all this is that we are eating more interesting meals, more slowly, and taking more pleasure in it.

That said ... now I’m going to go make dinner. Dinner. Here we go again …

With a Perspective, I’m Richard Levitt.

Richard Levitt is an East Bay writer who teaches martial arts, yoga and creative problem solving.