I'd appreciate some insights into blokes' minds, if you'd be so kind. It's a trivial thing, but ... well, it's the thought processes that I don't quite understand.
When I came downstairs this morning, I went to the dishwasher to finish unpacking it, having removed a good deal of its clean contents last night to use straight away in the cooking and serving of dinner. I hadn't done the whole job because preparing the meal was quite complex, I was doing something all the time and there were no odd minutes to fill with another job. And after dinner I watched some television, read the paper, wrote some emails and a blog post. I didn't do housework.
The dishwasher contained, among other things, two dirty dinner plates, so I thought maybe the Sage had done the unpacking. Then I realised that the cutlery container was full. I took it out to look and everything there was clean. On checking, it was evident that he'd simply put in two dirty plates. So I asked him. He said he thought everything was dirty, so kept filling it up.
Now, it was less than half full, so it was quite understandable that he might have assumed that, except for that full cutlery rack. It's right at the front, how could he not notice and not deduce that two plates, a dish or two and a few mugs and glasses do not equate with all that cutlery? So that's the first puzzle.
The second puzzle is that both sinks were full of dirty crockery, cutlery and pans. Putting in two plates was really no help at all. So it was a completely empty gesture, if the machine had indeed contained dirty dishes I'd not even have noticed (so no brownie points there) and if he'd really wanted to help, why not do the whole lot? Was it just to make himself feel good for the least possible effort? I wouldn't have thought so, he's a kind man and not lazy.
As it was, of course, I was just a bit irritated at a half-arsed gesture that went awry anyway. I emptied the dishwasher - he did come and help - and then restacked it and switched it on. He'll probably not touch the thing for weeks now, on the grounds that he's bound to get it wrong. Not that it matters a lot, this is really not intended as a complaint. Just a search for an insight - I'd ask him, but he'd just worry, introspection isn't his thing.
In fact though, the Sage and I rarely irritate each other in daily life. I was thinking about that as I squeezed the toothpaste to the top of the tube last night. I squeeze it from the middle, you see, until it has to be put right. The Sage is rather more likely to go from the bottom, but he isn't in the least bothered what I do. The point is, I've as much right to squeeze from the middle or top as he has from the bottom.
Similarly, he leaves the toilet seat up. Well, that seems fine with me. Mostly, he uses the loo with the seat up. If I complained about having to put it down (which I never have), he'd be just as justified in asking me to raise it again after use so that he doesn't have to.
But the number of times I've heard and read complaints about members of a family who get one or both of these things *wrong*. There is no wrong. Just because it's not what you do doesn't make it wrong.