There is one undeniable truth that I learned during the recent holidays. No. It is not goodwill towards all. It is not how to deck any halls, and nor is it that seeing family and friends is more important than locking myself away to watch the Dr. Who Christmas special.
I leave the holiday season with the one ultimate truth: No one is above using paper plates. Not family. Not friends. Not the Queen of England- both the 2D and 3D versions.
My wife and I threw two dinner parties in December. The first one was for family and the second was for friends. They were separated by two weeks. We thought it would be great to have everyone over to break in our new apartment. Each time, we had to do the normal things that make a dinner party happen. We cleaned. We put on pants. And I cooked for hours.
We regretted none of this. None of it was hard. But we did have the bright idea to let our family and friends eat off of our actual dishes… And they did. Oh, they did. They used every single dish that we owned. Each party. We let them use actual glasses. Our mugs, too. Top that off with cooking with a bunch of pots and pans, and we had a pile of dishes to clean that should only be meant as a punishment for those stuck in a hell dimension for all eternity.
We didn’t finish cleaning the dishes from the first party until the second party. And like two people, who have no concept of learning from past mistakes, we used all of our dishes, again. The last of those didn’t get cleaned until 6:30 pm on New Year’s Eve. The party had been on December 22.
During the cleaning process, we endured a clogged sink, questions about why we didn’t get a place that had a dishwasher and, well, the smells. The smells! I cooked chilli, potatoes, spanakopita, mini hot dogs, and various forms of chicken. None of this combined to unlock some sort of secret awesome air-freshener that no one saw coming.
But what angers me the most are our family and friends! Not once did they bother to mention that we should use paper plates for them instead. Society angers me! When family and friends ask, “Do you guys need any help cleaning?” we should not be bound by the rules of the host/guest dynamic. We shouldn’t have to reply, “Nah. Don’t worry about it. Instead of living life for the next few days, I have no problem scrubbing the dried pieces of BBQ chicken residue off of our dishes, so we can eat like normal human beings, again.”
And I anger myself for liking my family and friends enough to let them use our dishes in the first place.
The wife and I learned our lesson. For New Year’s Eve, we invited a couple of friends over and ordered out for pizza. So, as 11:59 pm became 2013, we celebrated the promise of a new year, while I celebrated the promise of an unclogged sink.