Friday, February 25, 2011

The Rubber Gloves

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate doing the dishes? Well I do. A lot.

And my aversion increased ten-fold when I recently got what's called "Acute Dermatitis" on my hands. Really, that's just a fancy way to say that washing the dishes makes my hands blister and crack and bleed. Not fun.

For a while, I left stacks of dishes for my husband to do when he got home from work. But I hated that and felt horribly guilty because he has so little free time anyway. In addition, it turns out that I hate a dirty kitchen worse than I hate doing the dishes. It was a rotten dilemma, because Acute Dermatitis really hurts. It seemed like I couldn't win.

I was complaining to my mom, and she said, "Well why don't you just go buy some rubber gloves?"

It was an "Aha! moment" for sure. The thought had never occurred to me. Never. But it was the perfect solution---well, almost. Hiring a maid would have been the perfect solution, but this was a pretty darn good one (and much more based on reality).

No more acute dermatitis. No more dirty kitchen. Granted, I still have to DO the dishes (which are never ending!), but the gloves are new enough that they're like a fun little toy. ;) I almost look forward to it. Almost.

So this story is a little like life (and writing novels). We run into problems that seem unsolvable. We can't think of any good ways to get past them. We feel stuck between a rock and a hard place.

But sometimes, all it takes is a willingness to look outside the box. Maybe they aren't what we'd expect, but the solutions are there, ready to shock us with their simplicity.

When's the last time you found an unexpectedly simple solution to a dire problem?

16 comments:

Stina Lindenblatt said...

We have a dishwasher but I still love doing the dishes. The dishwasher sucks when it comes to cleaning the glasses. But I think about my wip when I do the dishes (though most I let the dishwasher deal with), so maybe that's why I love doing them. It's just another excuse to be thinking about my writing when I'm not writing. ;)

Joanne said...

We use the dishwasher and the sink, depending on the day. But I always use rubber gloves to protect my hands. They do come in lots of colors and lengths, Janet, so I guess we can be stylin' at the sink :)

Tere Kirkland said...

I hate washing the dishes, too, but we do at least have a dishwasher, which makes it much easier. It's my turn tonight, so I better suck it up.

I love how writers can turn any life experience into a metaphor on writing. ;)

Have a great weekend!

Melissa said...

My hands reaction to dishes isn't taht bad, but my hands get all itchy and wrinkly and shriveled and then I can't open them right... if I put my hands in unclean water with chemicals in it - pools suck! It takes so much lotion to get rid of it and it still hurts for ages afterward. My mom got me rubber gloves so I could help with dishes... I wans't remotely happy about it!

Lindsay said...

We have a dishwasher, but my dad does like to wash the pots in the sink every so often (usually Christmas or New Year at my Nan's house). He says it makes his hands soft. LOL.

Glad you found a solution to the dry hands problem ;)

Heidi-"Heidi in Real Life" said...

Rubber gloves are not a fad like they were in my mother's day--when everyone had dishpan hands. ;-) Glad you figured that out!

Kristen said...

I found a great solution when I became tired of cleaning the bathrooms. I taught my children how to clean them, and now they have that included in their job list on Saturdays. I am a genius! :)

Connie Arnold said...

Sorry about your dermatitis, Janet, but it's great that you found a solution! I'm always looking for ways to simplify house cleaning. I love a clean house but not the work to keep it that way. Lots of lotion works for my dishpan hands.

KLo said...

Our dishwasher was out of commission for a few weeks (the plumber order the wrong hose or something at first). I actually enjoyed doing the dishes by hand for a very brief period ... by the time the right hose was in, I was very happy to revert to the dishwasher way.

I very rarely find simple solutions to anything on my own. However, I have very wise friends and relatives that do a lot of recommending to me (ideas like the rubber gloves :-))

Lynn said...

Sometimes Mom's still have the simplest and best answer. At least I hope that is what my kids think! Yellow rubber gloves were a staple in my house growing up. Sorry to hear about your hands! I hope they feel better.

Beth said...

Simple solutions to big problems are great! But sometimes it takes someone else to help us find that solution. Like getting stuck in the middle of writing a book, it's easy to get bogged down. Sometimes a fresh perspective is what we need!

WritingNut said...

Okay.. I'm totally going to contradict myself here.. I HATE doing the dishes, yet I find it strangely therapeutic at the same time... I have no idea how that even works!

I think I have the same condition as you, but on a much lesser scale.. my hands don't bleed, but they do become very cracked, dry, red, and burn hotter than the sun ;)

Medeia Sharif said...

I used to use gloves, but I hate bothering with them.

Someone gave me a wonderful solution for my dirty floors: a Cuban stick. It's a t-bar mop and at the end you wrap a towel around it. It picks up a lot more dirt than a regular mop.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Ha, ha! This is funny you didn't think of something that simple as gloves. I do that too. Sometimes you just need to take a step back and look at things from a different angle.
I actually don't mind doing dishes. It was something my mom and I did together when I was young, and it still holds a special place for me. It's my thinking time.

Angela Felsted said...

This is so cute. I wish I had your enthusiasm. Happy to do the dishes because I've purchased a pair of new rubber gloves.

Malinda Chaudhry said...

I’m really glad you talked to your mom. Putting on rubber gloves when doing the dishes would prevent your hand condition in getting worse. Although it’s better that you still don’t do the task often until you’re hands are fully recovered. Don’t forget to dry your gloves. ;) I’m sure you’ll dislike a mold-infested glove as much as you hate the dishes!

Malinda Chaudhry