My late grandmother, Nienie, had two rules:
1. do the dishes before bed, and 2. always wear clean underwear to bed. “In case there’s a fire”, she said. “In case you fall sick in the night and have to go to hospital”, she said.
Because we all know the first thing the fire department does in case of a house fire, is check if the dishes are done. And we all know how medical professionals check the cleanliness of your underwear first, in case of a sudden illness.
No? Just my doctor then?
I kid, of course. These are not bad rules to have by any means, and the reasons she gave make sense to me from a historical perspective.
Living in a small community, in a time where GPs still did house calls, and where women as “home makers” were judged on the cleanliness of their homes.
I understand where she was coming from. I’ll be honest and admit, I don’t always do the dishes before bed. I’m not too concerned about what anyone might think of the one unwashed pan/plate in my sink.This singleton doesn’t do multi-pot cooking. Nah-ah.
There have been times though, where a sudden paranoid thought about some or other thing in my flat has flashed across my mind, just as I’m falling asleep. What would people think of that art house film in my DVD player that came “highly recommend”, but turned out of be really whack (should’ve read the plot line!).
What would people think of 47 identical pictures of my left knee on my digital camera (it was stuck in burst mode and I was trying to take a picture of a minute scratch I got from the neighbour’s dog).
What weird hang-up with my knee would they think I have? And what about the bag of un-opened laundry pegs that has been collecting dust under my coffee table for six months.
I live in a second floor apartment with no clothes line, but they were cute bird-shaped ones. (I’m sure I’ll have a clothes line one day, if there is any justice in this world.) I have way too many examples like this.
A few weeks ago I was talking to my mom on the phone in Malawi, where she and my stepdad had moved to two months ago. She was telling me about the problems they had finding some toiletries/beauty products, and so I decided to make up a package for them with a few necessities.
She was thanking me for it on the phone last week, when I remembered that there had been no room in the package for the denture adhesive for my stepdad’s teeth, which she mentioned they needed.
“Mom, I’m sorry I forgot about the denture adhesive, it’s been sitting in the bottom drawer in my room. You should’ve seen the guy in the chemist’s face when I bought it; pure comedy,” I told her.
This made her chuckle. “I need to get another package to you soon, so I can get rid of this stuff.What if something happened to me; what would dad think if he came to clear out my flat and found denture adhesive in my bottom drawer?”
The picture of my dad finding denture adhesive in his little girl’s bottom drawer had my normally reserved mom laughing uncontrollably. She knows that my dad would naturally think the worst; that I had some dirty OAP boyfriend tucked away somewhere.
Of course I didn’t tell my mom about the giant Chlamydia plush toy (a comedy gift from a friend), the plastic tiara and the Diana wig, sitting in the same drawer.
What those three things would add to the riddle......“Have to go, mom, have to go do the dishes.”
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