Do your own damn dishes, dammit

My abode has become a disgusting showcase in miscellaneous grossness.

Mat Koehler

My Como Avenue Southeast house has five male residents, all of whom seem to be relatively normal guys. This is not a good thing. As normal guys, my roommates couldn’t care less about cleaning, doing chores and keeping our place respectable. Lately, our humble abode has become a disgusting showcase in which miscellaneous sneakers, dust bunnies, grimy cans and bowls of week-old food try their best to gross out my girlfriend. And that’s not cool, because when Becca’s grossed out, she grabs my arms for stability and begins to retch violently.

Just that awful gagging sound has the potential to make me blow chunks, and likewise, anyone around me at the time, including Becca, is liable to spew as well. Lord knows I don’t want to be cleaning piles of goopy intestinal contents among piles of dirty dishes and shoes.

But enough about upchuck. The main problem is that my roommates rarely do any chores, and because of this, the inside of my house looks like a recently abandoned refugee camp. Our coffee table is adorned with empty bottles and potato chip bags, the couches have become crumb receptacles and the carpet has a lovely pattern of utensils and plates. It’s a celebration of filth, and I haven’t even described the worst of it yet.

You’d think with all the dishes strewn around the living room, the kitchen sink would be barren – but no. Moldy dishes lazily lounge among overturned pots and pans while, around the sink’s perimeter, neglected cleaning supplies sit covered in dust. Here’s a tip, y’all: If you’re going to move into a small house with four other guys, make sure it has a dishwasher.

Anyway, the rest of our tiny kitchen includes an overstuffed garbage, a stove that’s always left on and a messy hardwood floor even the most powerful Oreck couldn’t vacuum. I’ve tried time and again to get my roommates to clean this crap with me, but after my fifth time cleaning others’ dishes and trash, I gave up and decided my roommates would just have to live like animals.

This is easier said than done. When my parents told me they’d be “stopping by” one weekend, I spent night and day cleaning the house only to have them enter and say, “I thought you cleaned up.”

At this point, I decided to heal one cleaning woe: the dishes, by boxing them, putting them in storage and replacing them with disposable substitutes. To my dismay, even this over-the-top approach failed as the sink piled up with our “necessary” pots and pans, which my roomies probably used as plates.

Now I use the passive-aggressive tactic. I have this expectation that others will get fed up for once and do my dishes. It actually feels great to eat a sloppy spaghetti dinner and leave my pots strewn about the kitchen.

It’s unfortunate for my girlfriend though – she’s not allowed at my place anymore. I can live with the grotesque dishes, but her constant dry heaving is too much.

Mat Koehler welcomes comments at [email protected]