Keep your hands off my dishes or I’ll cut you.

I hate when people do the dishes at my house. I hate when they wash them, I hate when they dry them, I hate when they try to put them away and I hate the way they stack them in my dishwasher. After we have friends or family over for dinner and I say, “Please don’t do the dishes, sit down and relax,” what I really mean is, “Don’t touch my f#@&ing dishes because you’re doing them WRONG and it’s bothering me.” I know I’m uptight but I don’t understand why people can’t keep their hands out of my sink when I repeatedly tell them not to. What can I say to make people really understand that I don’t want them washing my dishes?

I once suffered silently for an hour while a well-meaning houseguest scrubbed dishes with the baby’s bottle brush. After everyone left, I burned it in the yard and complained to my husband for six hours, asking WHAT KIND OF RIDICULOUS DOLT doesn’t recognize a brush made for baby bottles.

Since then, I have realized this: honesty is good. Sheepish, goofy-faced, I-know-this-is-deranged-but-please-humor-me honesty is your secret weapon.

“I really really appreciate the fact that you want to do something nice for me, but I become completely unhinged when people do the dishes in my house. I know; it’s crazy. If you insist on helping, I’d love it if you could procure a Valium and another glass of Sauvignon Blanc. But thank you so much for cleaning up.”

If the dish-washer insists, like clueless dipshits often do, your only choice is to laugh in your best serial killer impersonation and say, “Seriously, if you don’t give me that sponge right now, I’m going to shove it so far up your rear end that you’re going to be burping it up in the morning with your corn flakes.” Then smile. Always smile.

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