I remember this guy from high school. He was a senior, I was a sophomore. He was the class clown who got detention, I was the shy girl who got good grades. We never talked, but I couldn't help but hear everything he said. He was loud, rude, and inappropriate, much like his idol, Andrew Dice Clay.
He once asked no one in particular, "What do you do when your dishwasher breaks down? . . . You hit her."
He probably told this joke in every one of his classes, and probably only once during the middle of our shared math class, but in my distorted memory of high school, he told this joke every single day. I was offended by him, but also mildly amused by his boldness. I'll bet he told a lot of nasty, misogynist jokes, but I have a feeling that had a girl paid any attention to him, he would have been more of a puppy than a pit bull.
My dishwasher has been breaking down for the past few years. First the control panel went out, then the latch broke. It only ran on one cycle, but since the control panel didn't light up, I have no idea which cycle actually worked. My husband would say it was the "make dishes dirty" cycle. It's true, sometimes items came out of the dishwasher dirtier than they went in, and I had to hand wash many a plate and fork to remove the air-dried crud. But never once did I complain - my derelict dishwasher didn't seem to bother me.
The dishwasher, however, drove my husband crazy. He never hit it, but he ultimately decided to replace it. Over a period of months, he researched makes and models, read countless reviews, searched for sales, and one Friday night after work, he came home with a new dishwasher. It was up and running by Saturday afternoon.
The highlight of our new dishwasher (besides the fact that it doesn't need an air gap, so now the extra hole in my sink contains a soap pump instead of an air gap overflow) is that my husband loves it. He loads it, runs it, and even empties it. He doesn't know where half of the stuff goes, so I still have to put some dishes away, but I'm not complaining. Waking up to hear the dishwasher mid cycle is music to my ears.
Are you familiar with the homunculus?
The size of the body parts represent the number of sensory nerve endings they contain. The lips and palms are huge because they contain many more sensory nerve endings than, say, the arms or legs. I was telling my husband the other day that if the homonculus represented our memories, the lips would be high school. For such a short period of time in the grand scheme of things, high school memories tend to be overblown and out of proportion.
What I didn't tell my husband is this: when I load or unload my dishwasher, instead of singing him praises, which he fully deserves, I unintentionally think about that Clay copy-cat creep from high school, which ultimately means I think about him almost every single day. Ewww. He wasn't charming or good looking, but he made a long lasting impression me. I wonder how many dishwashers he's installed, or loaded, or unloaded. Or hit. I'll bet he has no idea that the quiet girl who used to sit near him in math class still remembers that joke he told over twenty years ago; and just wrote about it.
Funny, fickle things, our memories. Stranger yet is our need to share them. I think Blood, Bones & Butter is getting to me. I'm feeling strangly compelled to tell kitchen stories wrapped up in childhood memories, peppered with admissions.