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For some reason I assumed that the second the ring slid on my finger I would know how to cook without ever really trying. Or that I could tackle simple household chores without setting the vacuum on fire or cutting my elbow to the point of needing stitches while washing the dishes. I couldn’t understand why my “housewife” switch didn’t click on. My house was a mess and I couldn’t handle any task without notifying some sort of borough official.
Last year my husband’s company sent us down to Disney World to work on project for six weeks. They were putting us up in a nice condo that even had a dishwasher! A dishwasher, people! Wow. There is no way I can screw this up!
And then I tried to make lunch.
Our first day there I decided to start off easy and put fish sticks in the oven. As they were busy baking away in their own grease I found myself staring at the dishwasher. I never had one growing up and I was always envious of those who did. We were only in the house for a night so there were a couple of cups and a plate but the need to use it overpowered me. I opened the cupboard and took some dishes out to wash.
I opened the cupboard under the sink and found a box of powdered soap. Shrugging I emptied some of it in the little slot that said “detergent,” closed up shop and hit the “start” cycle. Smiling to myself I joined my daughter on the sofa for some cartoons.
About 10 minutes later she got up off of the sofa and ventured into the kitchen to retrieve her cup. She came back soaking wet with bubbles in her hair. You can imagine my surprise when I went into the kitchen to find the dishwasher spewing out foam and bubbles. Panic set in as I reached over the counter to turn off the machine. I started to move towards the pantry closet where I knew they had a mop and found myself on my back staring up at a giggling two year old.
Realizing that walking was out of the question, I crawled over to the pantry and used the door knob to steady myself as I stood up. As I reached inside to grab the mop a peculiar smell tickled my nose. Smoke! I turned around to see smoke rising from the oven. Forgetting that the floor was coated with water and bubbles I attempted to make it across the kitchen to the oven and found myself on the floor… again.
Once again I crawled to the oven. By this time the smoke detector was going off waking up my youngest from her nap. Amongst the cries, both my baby’s and mine, the giggling from my oldest and the alarm I managed to pull the fish sticks from the oven and shut it off.
The patio door was by the oven so I opened it and looked frantically for the smoke detector. Seeing a small white box above the pantry door I skated across the room but I overshot my stride a bit too much and I slammed into the pantry door. After the spots before my eyes cleared, I used a kitchen towel to wave the smoke away from the box in hopes to shut the thing off. It didn’t work. I stood on a kitchen chair and tried to dismantle it but I couldn’t get it off the wall.
I thought it was hopeless; I expected to hear the police and fire trucks any minute. Then much to my surprise the alarm stopped. I don’t know how, maybe my frantic waving worked, maybe all the smoke went out the open patio door, at that point I didn’t care. I hopped off the chair and spent the next two hours cleaning up soap.
Just as I was about to collapse onto the sofa and cry there was a knock at the door. It turns out that the doorbell didn’t work properly and the owner’s of the home wanted it fixed for our stay. The repair man knew the house better than I did so I followed him into the kitchen where he started to take down my smoke detector. Turns out it was the doorbell. Guess it was the open patio door that cleared the smoke.
As I watched him take down that tiny box I did the only thing I could do. I laughed. I laughed so hard I cried. The guy thought I was crazy but I didn’t care.
It was that day that I decided to give in to nature. I’m not a 1950’s housewife, and I don’t want to be. My house is messy, I burn pork chops and my kids always have something sticky in their hair. But they’re happy and healthy and because of me we have great stories… and eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Shhh..don’t tell Karen this, but I’ve actually flooded a dishwasher with bubbles before, so I can definitely relate. But hey, just to be safe, somebody remind me not to ask Karen to cook for me.
Until the next time…I’ll be figuring out what to destroy next.