Wednesday, November 26, 2008


If I invite you to dinner at my house, I am not inviting you to do my dishes. Please bring wine. That is the best way to show appreciation. If you insist on doing dishes, it will only make me uncomfortable and mad. You are inevitably doing them WRONG and I will just have to redo them after you are gone, and in the meantime you are making me look like an asshole who makes her guests clean her house while she lounges around continuing to drink wine. If my conversation sucks so badly, feel free to leave. More wine for me. But please get the fuck out of my kitchen if I kindly ask you to stop. 

We had our Thanksgiving early. Last Saturday. Guess who got a wee bit frustrated over her extended family refusing to get out of her kitchen. I don’t want to do the dishes at your house. I don’t. I offer, because it’s socially required, and if you are appreciative and need help, it’s not a big deal. Many hands light work and all that. But that is not the case in my house. I do not want your help, because it’s really not helpful so much as getting in my way. 

I’m over it. And the meal was good, and the conversation wasn’t bad. We were missing a grandmother and that was very sad, but it was nice to have the rest of the family together. And now we’ve got a four-day weekend to look forward to without the hassle of cooking another massive feast. I anticipate much reading.

And I need the time, because there are a lot of things to be read. I just finished Mating, by Norman Rush. And am now starting in on All the Pretty Horses, which was last month’s book for book club. I’m only a little behind. Mating was excellent, even if it was completely pretentious and required a little bit of brain power. And now that I’ve started All the Pretty Horses, I can tell you something about National Book Award Winners. They are above grammar.

Quotation marks? Oh, that’s so… mass market. Should you wish to be considered literary, apparently you need to eschew something so base as two bitty dots to denote when someone is speaking. If someone is brilliant enough to be reading your masterpiece, then surely they will be able to divine from your supremely awesome writing style when a character is actually saying something without such a crutch as a common quotation mark.

I’m headed back to chick-lit after this. Chick lit with all its lovely commas and quotation marks. I’m a peon in the masses, baby. And I’m o.k. with that.




meno said...

Miss Manners says that it's rude to do the dishes while the guests are still there (unless they are overnight guests) so your guests were both rude AND annoying.

Diane said...

I use cooking and doing dishes as an excuse not to have to join in the conversations complaining about absent family members.

And I agree, feel free to help clear the table, and if you must, rinse off the dishes as you stack them, but then let me take it from there.

linds said...

It gets better, I promise! At the beginning I was constantly having the count back at the end of the dialogue passages to figure out who said what, but by the end, I got used to their voices and didn't need to do it anymore.

Also, Happy Turkey Day!!!!!!!!!

Nick, Holly & Maren said...

that quotation thing was one of the things that killed that book for me. I was the only one who didn't read the whole thing, and the only one who didn't think it was great.

And I'm with you on the dishes, chica. TOTALLY.

Michele said...

Man oh man does your blog make me laugh. Thank you for that.

I can't stand it when people do my dishes. Worse is if they try to, like, dry the dishes but don't know where anything goes so they end up just setting them all over the counters or, worse, continually asking, "Where should I put this?" And when one is elbow-deep in dish water and hating that a stranger is touching her dish towels, there really is only ONE answer to that question.

So, did your cleaning ladies clean the moth mess?

ms chica said...

I thinks we are both members of the same secret kitchen natzi sorority. I will always leave the kitchen when I am told...unless it is my kitchen.

JoJo said...

I seriously dislike when authors don't use quotation marks. I just don't get it. Why is it better writing to confuse the reader? This is not poetry, people.

I bought McCarthy's The Road for a honeymoon book and now I might regret it if he continues that trend.

Imez said...

I gently urge my guests in the direction of the dishes. Someone has to do the damn things and I cooked.
God I hate work.

Anyway, Dishes are probably just a focal point for the frustration of having too many damn people in your house.

Adlibby said...

I completely 100% agree. It makes me so uncomfortable when people start messing around in my kitchen!