Archive | May, 2012

Adventures in Adulthood: The Dishwasher is YOU

31 May

So, as I’m settling into my new apartment, I’m beginning to come to terms with a major factor of my new place: there is no dishwasher. Ok, there is no electronic machine that washes the dishes. There is a dishwasher- me (insert “I told you so”-type comment from my parents here).

 

When I was doing dishes for the third time today (I got entirely too fancy with my scrambled eggs at breakfast), I was wincing away and wondering if dishes actually do get cleaned with a sponge and some magical, mysterious frothy liquid. It’s green for heaven’s sake! How can a green liquid sanitize my dishes?! Of course, then I remembered that dishwashing machines are relatively new inventions, only entering people’s homes in the middle of the 20th century. Heck, people have been hand washing their dishes/trenchers/meat spears for millenia, and have been totally fine, right? Right. Well…mostly. These are the same people who died of influenza in droves and got diptheria and things like that. Generally, whenever you’re reading about how depressingly low life expectancies were historically, one of the biggest explanations is always poor sanitation. Sanitation…as in clean dishes- ack! Makes me want to boil my sponge (do people do that? Can you even do that? Does it kill the germs? I’ve heard of people throwing things into the dishwasher to sanitize them…but of course I don’t have one of those. People of the universe, advise me! How do I know that my dishes are clean?).

 

After my historically-driven panic over the cleanliness of my dishes (dear friends and family, please don’t be afraid to visit- I promise I’m putting some serious elbow grease into scrubbing those suckers), it occurred to me that I should be thankful I know how to do dishes at all. Who knows- maybe in the future there will only be dishwashing machine ans people won’t know how to handwash things. I can totally imagine fictional-future-me standing in front of the sink waving around plates and spoons looking completely bewildered. (Or maybe washing is intuitive? Although, I’ve recently discovered that fewer of these sorts of things are intuitive than I thought…or maybe I just have a sub-par intuition?)

 

Just a final question (putting it out the the universe here): will your dishes still get clean if you wash them with cold water? I know the machines use steamy hot water, but they also don’t have hands to burn, either. With all my vigorous scrubbing, it isn’t pleasant to use really hot water for too long (secondary question: can you be boiled alive? Accidentally? Could I accidentally boil my hands like a chicken cutlet?). I do prefer using cold water (especially with the weather starting to get warm), but I also don’t want to sacrifice one iota of potential cleanliness.

Adventures in Adulthood: Pioneer Woman Tea

23 May

I know that I have been away from blogging for a while (okay, more like 6 months), but I plan on getting back into the swing of things. In recent news, I just moved north. Okay, I moved to Rhode Island, but in my head, saying I moved “North” sounds better. When I say it that way, I feel like I’m back in the Civil War era and that I’m proudly declaring myself a Yankee (“I do declare!”), or something along those lines.

Also, I have this weird mental block on “Rhode Island” as a concept. Despite now living here, I struggle to accept that it is a real place. In my head, it’s like some colonial myth (much like Anne Hutchinson)- a totally historical place that, since it is historical, must therefore be fictional (yeah, I know the logic there is a bit iffy, but it is what goes on inside my head, so that’s pretty iffy to start with). Sure, Philadelphia is a historic (even colonial) place, but it also exists, and frequently makes the news (okay, mostly for murders). Ah well, I’ll eventually wrap my head around the idea of Rhode Island. Now, the Rhode Island accent, that’s another matter. How on earth does the Rhode Island accent make sense?

Anyways, the moral of the story is that I’ve moved to a new city, and as a result, I seem to be missing a few necessary things. I’ve been set adrift in adulthood- wandering about in the wilderness of grown-up life. To be honest, it’s more than a bit terrifying (thank you parents, for everything; thank you former roommates for teaching me what vegetables are; thank you everyone I’ve spoken to in the last week for encouraging me). I went grocery shopping for the first time (first time in this new place- of course I’ve been grocery shopping before, but now it seems like a whole new ballgame) and nearly had a meltdown. My thought process went like this:

“What do normal people eat? I like frozen goods [reaching into the freezer section]- wait! I can’t cook frozen goods- I don’t have a microwave! Aaagh, what do real people do?? Soup! You can make soup in the microwave OR on the stove! Adults use the stove! I can be an adult! [reaching for soup cans] Wait- I can’t have soup- I don’t have any bowls, only plates. You can’t have soup on a plate, you just can’t. Noooooo!”

Incidentally, I got the soup. And I bought a bowl. One bowl. Ah well, you win some and you lose some. I’ll get more bowls later (because respectable adults have company, and they make food for their company, which requires them to own more than one bowl).

I also discovered a new way to apply one of my adult skills: boiling water. Usually, I microwave water for tea, but of course, I don’t have a microwave. I do have all the other necessary things, though, like a mug and tea bags and water. But how to make the water hot. Teapots boil water, but I don’t have a teapot. Aha- boiling water! I can do that in a small pot (thank you parents for pots and pans). Weird to pot-boil water for tea? Possibly, but I really wanted my tea, so I did it. I felt very much like a pioneer woman with my pot-boiled water (pioneer women used pots to boil water, right? On their cast-iron stoves, right? In their cabins?), but I had my tea! Success! I haven’t starved yet- more success!

Undoubtedly, there are more of my adventures in adulthood to come (as I founder about trying to pretend I’m completely competent), so stay tuned.