Walk On My Clean Dishes Once, Shame On Me

I ran the dishwasher on Monday.

I scrape my plates well before loading them. I have plenty of dishes. I eat out a lot. My load is mostly glasses. I only need to run the dishwasher once a week.

When the cycle is done I rarely spend the five minutes it takes to unload the racks right away. I don’t need to. I still have dishes in the cabinets.

It’s just me here.

Me and the gumdrop-sized, roadrunner-fast SPIDER that sprinted for the drain when I surprised him (and myself), by opening the dishwasher door at the unlikely hour of nine o’clock on a Saturday night, having suddenly gained the fortitude to begin the unloading process.


There were no cries of terror when I saw him run for his life last night. Well, he might have screamed, but I didn’t hear anything. There was definitely a gasp, and then frozen silence and staring on my part. He seemed to keep his wits about him.

As I watched him disappear down the dishwasher drain, I slammed the door shut and began the arduous task of deciding what to do next.

Logical Me:  The dishes are clean.

Just Saw A Spider In The Dishwasher Me:  Well, the dishes WERE clean until eight tiny, potentially-disease-carrying legs might have crawled all over them.

Logical Me:  Your dishes sit on open shelves. There could be spiders crawling all over them while you sleep for all you know and that doesn’t bother you.

Just Saw A Spider In The Dishwasher Me:  Yes. But, I’ve never actually SEEN a spider on my plates on the shelves.

Logical Me: If you hadn’t chosen to open the dishwasher at that very moment, you would have no idea there was a spider in there.

Just Saw A Spider In The Dishwasher Me:  Yes, what I don’t know, won’t hurt me. BUT I KNOW THERE WAS A SPIDER IN THE DISHWASHER. I SAW IT!

So, after five minutes of deep debate and arguments from both sides of my brain, I struck a compromise.

A compromise between wasting water and electricity running what should have been perfectly clean dishes through an extra cycle AND spending the next week shuttering every time I picked up a dish or a glass imagining an eight-legged mastermind laughing at me from his lair, gloating in the knowledge that he had left me incessantly questioning what untoward things he had done on my dishware.

I shoved my pile of newly dirty dishes in with my previously clean, but possibly contaminated ones and started the cycle again. Shaking my head and mumbling to myself as I walked away that that’s what I get for procrastinating on unloading the dishwasher.

I also took a slight bit of joy in the idea that if he thought he would hide in the drain until I was gone, he would soon be flushed out of his hidey-hole by a flood of detergent and hot water. Sorry, to all you “scoop him onto a piece of paper and relocate him outside” people. I am not one of you. I am a squasher. Hey, I don’t come into his house and walk all over his dishes. He’s more than welcome to live in my yard, but the minute he crosses my threshold we’re through with the niceties.

This is definitely a “one that got away” story, by the way. Last night he was the size of an M&M. Today, as I write this, he’s a gumdrop. Tomorrow, if asked about my weekend, he will no doubt have morphed into a giant jawbreaker. The size that cost a whole quarter in the candy machine when I was a kid. Not one of the measly ten cent ones.

And I really do hope it was a spider and not a cricket. It was moving so fast I’m left with an educated guess based on my 37 years of bug sightings in this house. A spider creeps me out less, despite its extra legs, so I’m going with spider.

Heaven help us all if that was an ANT. Any ant that big likely arrived on a spaceship and shoots lasers out of its antennae.

As the saying goes, the title of this post technically should have been “Walk On My Clean Dishes Once, Shame On You. Walk On My Clean Dishes Twice, Shame On Me.” But, really, shame on me the first time for not just taking five minutes to unload the clean dishes right away.

And while we’re at it, we can all go ahead and shame me again, because, yes, the “rid my perfectly clean dishes of unseen spider footprints” cycle was finished approximately 19 hours ago, and no, I still have not unloaded the dishes.

I have, however, walked by and quickly jerked the door open in an “aHA! Sneak attack!” stance at least twice. Just to make sure I’m still alone here.

I know. I hear you all loud and clear. I will unload the dishwasher.

As soon as I get back from getting a chocolate malt.

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