FILED IN: Parenting

Our Dirty Little Secret

My husband and I have been together for a long time (we’ll be married 18 years, this summer) and — though, I refuse to believe that we look anything alike — Garth (not his real name) and I have grown comfortable with each other and often times find ourselves finishing each others sentences.

Okay — you can go ahead and puke, now — I’ll wait.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s not all sunshine and rainbows — we have our moments. What, with his job… our children… my job… the children… yard work… our children… housework… oh, holy hell, why won’t these children go to bed… well, you get what I’m saying, don’t you?

After years of raising kids and killer dust bunnies, we’re truly amazed at how hard it can be.


The value and importance of romance in a marriage goes through many changes over the years and — along with spontaneous sex — maintaining a healthy physical relationship often times takes a back seat to, well, everything else.


Romanticism is reduced to evanescent moments of tenderness and intimacy, displayed during drive-by meetings in a school parking lot and waving at each other from the other side of the driveway.

[sighs deeply]

Then, our dishwasher died.

[takes a moment of silence]

Quite the mood killer, yes?

[bites lower lip and grins]

On the contrary, it was absolutely liberating!


I was TOTALLY aroused by the realization that — although, it’s no secret that my dependency on household appliances border-lined on dysfunctional — I was about to find a more efficient and multi-functional means of self-gratification; with my husband’s full consent, of course.

Well, sort of.

I find it hard to believe that anyone else would consider handling piles of baked on, greasy dishes smeared with copious amounts of ketchup as a turn on.

[If you do, then good for you, sweet pea, and please feel free to re-read that last sentence; go ahead, I’ll wait!]

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

[looks right, left and closes the bathroom door]

Besides grabbing the laptop and hiding out in the toilet — it IS the most private room in our house — Garth (not his real name) and I enjoy stealing time away together and sort of, you know, look forward to doing the dirty dishes!

[blank stare]

No, it’s not some sort of new sexual position.  Although, if you say it sexy enough — like, with a lisp… and perhaps involving a little champagne… with lots and lots of bubbles — I can certainly understand how some people would find it sounds sort of, you know, interesting.

“Psssssst, Garth (not his real name) come here and help me do these dirty dishessssss!”

It’s the perfect metaphor for our marriage, really and we’re very proficient at coming up with stimulating (yet,  kid-friendly) uses of domestically geared double entendres, that best illustrate how random acts of housework, like soaking the pan and scrubbing the pot can be so HOT!

[cue real sexy jazzy-type music]

Every day, as we stood together (side-by-side) and did the dishes, I would watch him close and found myself reaching for the sponge, and vigorously work up a lather, just to be near him.

Honestly, I was a little surprised at how well he handled his load but he felt I was still a little too rough at toweling the stemware.

[bites lower lip]
Quite frankly, we’re not opposed to switching never fearing that either one of us would take on more than we can handle, often times using the entire counter top, as we spent a few minutes of private time… doing the dirty dishes, together.

Imagine even further, if you will, our excitement when reading aloud the features included with our new dishwasher:

Adjustable Upper Rack – accommodating tall items, by moving the upper rack up and down (All women should come with one of these!)

Built In – also referred to as under counter as it is to be installed under the counter.  (I can’t think of a better place to put it, at the moment!)

Controls – sleek electronic controls, buttons or touch pads designed to regulate functions.  (The thought alone, especially when used in the same sentence, is enough to give me goose bumps!)

Delay Start Option – a timer option that allows you to program your selection to start at a later time.  (We have one of these and to tell you the truth, with kids living in the house, it just never seems to work right.)

Dirt Sensor – also referred to as a soil sensor. This feature (the sensor), detects the amount of dirt and automatically adjusts the length of the cycle, accordingly.  (Again, having kids seems to make this feature sound tired and absolutely useless!)

Door Lock
– this feature safeguards children by locking the door when the machine is on.  (OMG, don’t we ALL need one of these, big time!?!)

End-of-Cycle Signal – a light that lets you see when the cycle has ended.  (Beats the heck out of, "So, are we done…yet…or what!?!)

Fast Fill Technology – fill any size container twice as fast.  50% larger in size, the Fast Fill dispenser housing easily accommodates both large and small containers, while the rotating faucet directs the water to the exact spot it is needed.  (Would have to try it at least once, as this may, or may not, be a good thing.)

Half Load Cycle – top or bottom rack is filled to run half load.  (That’s okay, my man and I are used to "the top rack" being a bit uneven and…with all these kids running around…we’ve never run the bottom rack, with less than a full load!)

Plate Warmer Cycle – This cycle lets you to warm prior to serving. No water is used.  (Yeah, but…how long does it take and can it serve more than one person at a time!?!)

Pots and Pans Cycle
– this cycle uses maximum pressure and/or longer, hotter washes to clean heavily soiled dishes.  (Oh? Well…then baby…that’s great…because I’ve got A LOT of dirty dishes!)

Rear Rollers
– located at the bottom of the unit which make it easier to slide into place.

[holds breath and faints, dead away!]
Rinse Aid Dispenser – a dispenser inside that automatically distributes the rinse agent, which minimizes spotting.  (Very handy in the summer and whenever you’re wearing white!)

Sound Reduction System
– insulation designed to dampen noise.  (Every parent should come equipped with one of these!)

Well, you get it, don’t you?

[shrugs shoulders]

I’m just saying — the secret to our domestic tranquility is, there is NO secret. We’re just lucky, that’s all. The difference is that Garth (not his real name) and I respect each other’s imperfections — even when we struggle to understand each other – but, we also make it a point to acknowledge the fact that we Both work very hard at raising our family. Especially, when it seems that everything else, around us, is falling apart and there are days when I find it damned difficult to keep from crying over a load of sour laundry.

Did I mention our dryer broke, last week?

“Where are you going?”

I had just finished separating the dirty laundry — feeling overwhelmed and a bit surprised that it only took 5 hampers — and weren’t we supposed to sit down and figure out how in the hell we were going to make it through another month, let alone, go 2 weeks without a dryer?

I watched my husband calmly load the hampers into the car — hating his ability at maintaining his composure, better than mine — then he grabbed the detergent and answered in his best Schwarzenegger.

“I’ll bee-BOCK!”

I closed my eyes, grabbed my chest, inhaled deeply and I couldn’t think of anything better, or any place I’d rather be, than being with my husband and the clean fresh smell of man doing the laundry…NOPE…not at the moment!

“Wanna come?”


No, our marriage is not perfect. In fact, we must be one of the most boring couples on the planet — hell, we read service manuals for kicks — perhaps, lowering our expectations isn’t such a bad idea, since it’s a bloody miracle whenever we DO find something… anything… that works!

If we’re REALLY lucky, perhaps the refrigerator will break…next!

[crosses legs and leans forward a little]

One can only hope!