Based in Noblesville, Indiana, Curtis writes the syndicated humor column, Grammar Guy. He also likes to write for startups.

There is a correct way to load the dishwasher.

There is a correct way to load the dishwasher.

 Photo by  Catt Liu  on  Unsplash

Photo by Catt Liu on Unsplash

After ten years of marriage, I can confidently say I now load the dishwasher correctly. And, yes, there is, in fact, a correct way to load the dishwasher.

Forks up or forks down? Bowls on the top or bottom rack? And what about mugs? These are just a few of the questions that have plagued couples since the invention of the first practical dishwasher (by a woman) in 1887.

My wife and I have engaged in a passive-aggressive proxy war over this issue throughout the entire course of our marriage. The battle of loading the dishwasher correctly is representative of larger issues of communication, cleanliness and basically doing things well.

In general, I prefer “done” over “perfect.” Carrie, however, sees my hasty methods as “sloppy.” There’s probably (at least) a kernel of truth in her thinking. On the other hand, Carrie won’t move forward with something until it’s the pinnacle of perfection. So, when I haphazardly put dirty bowls in random places in the dishwasher, she views my creative loading habits as “chaotic” and “wrong.”

So, in the past year, I’ve come to a dramatic realization–a personal revelation that has altered the course of my dish destiny: she’s right.

Yes, my wife is right. When all the cereal bowls are nestled cozily next to each other on the bottom rack, the world really is a better place. When dinner plates and salad plates line up in separate columns like a well-disciplined army regiment, you maximize the efficiency of your wash cycle. And when the forks are all up, they are exposed to more water pressure so they come out gleaming and glistening (knives down, obviously). This harmonious fork feng shui has taken our relationship to new heights, as evidenced by our three-month-old daughter.

But there’s a bigger principle at play here to which all couples should pay attention: the great dishwasher debate comes down to a matter of consideration and thoughtfulness. Carrie is the most deliberate, considerate person I know. Everything she does, she does for a reason; I just kind of do stuff without necessarily, you know, thinking. I guess I should probably think about that some more.

Keep Your Pineapples Off My Pizza

Keep Your Pineapples Off My Pizza

Scouting Your Underlash

Scouting Your Underlash