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Monday, September 12, 2011

Doing Dishes... The Royal Way

The Queen and her cousin, and confidante, Margaret
Rhodes at the late Queen Mother's log cabin on
the royal estate at Balmoral Castle.  Who do you think
will wash and who will dry?
Every summer for the past 60 years, Britain's Prime Ministers have been invited to join the Queen at her Scottish castle, Balmoral, for a weekend.  Part of the routine is to visit one of the little cottages that dot the huge estate for lunch and, later, for tea.  If you are, or were, a British Prime Minister (I am assuming that none of them have seen this blog, yet), you have been shocked to see your sovereign, Queen Elizabeth II, doing the washing up after tea.  At least, they all say they were shocked, and I can imagine they were.  Afterall, you'd think the Queen would at least have an automatic dishwasher!  Well, it turns out that Her Majesty really does prefer to wash her royal dishes by hand.  And so do I.

Dishwashers have their place.  There's nothing like the quick fix of filling the Kitchen-Aid with dirty dishes, hoping that they'll emerge sparkling and clean.  The problem is that, usually, they don't.  Not only do you practically have to wash the dishes before you load them, but you have to put them away.  And putting them away is the part I like least.

Washing dishes by hand can be therapeutic.  It can also strengthen family ties.  And, it gets those dishes a lot cleaner.  Picture yourself, standing in front of a sink filled with soft, foamy bubbles.  Not only do they feel nice but, if you invest in some really good dish soap, they smell heavenly.  You see, right here, you are getting the benefits of a spa like steam treatment, with aromatherapy!  Now, imagine that you are not alone.  Next to you is a spouse, a child, a good friend - you choose - brandishing a clean cotton towel, ready to dry.  All through this washing and drying process, you have the opportunity to talk!  Here is the perfect moment to talk about your day, your plans for tomorrow, or anything else that comes to mind.  It's also a time when cell phones, Blackberries and I-Phones are not welcome.  Afterall, who wants to risk dropping them in that hot, soapy water?  And, if it's someone other than your children helping out, it's unlikely that they'll interupt.  They probably aren't going to risk getting roped into putting away.  So...  no interuptions! 

This dapper and dreamy team knows that the couple that
washes dishes together, stays together.

Washing the dishes by hand is sort of a statement, too.  It's like actually writing letters, baking from scratch or scrubbing a floor on your hands and knees.  It's saying that you like to take your time, even savor each moment.  You want to do the job right the first time, and you don't mind a little hard work.  It also feels a little like playing house and it's how Ward and June Cleaver spent that golden hour after dinner.

If it's good enough for the Queen, and the Cleavers...  it's got to be dapper and dreamy!

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