Around here we are still in the dark ages. We have no dishwasher. When we designed our kitchen I did not want to give up any of my drawer space nor did I think we needed a dishwasher because with just the two of us it would take forever to fill. On the few occasions that there are lots of us here, there are lots of people to do dishes!
When the grand-girls lived with us, it was quite a shock to their system. Paige said "I can't believe you don't have a dishwasher, everyone has one." They were used to loading and unloading a dishwasher. I gave them lessons on how to wash and dry dishes. I explained that this was how we did it in the "olden days." They still thought I should go out and purchase a dishwasher. I said "I now have three little dishwashers why would I need one from the store."
I should have taught them Far Guys Mothers way. First you had to clear everything away, plates were scraped and stacked. You could not begin until all the left overs were put away and the table was cleaned to accept the dried dishes. Then you began, and she had a very specific order, glasses first then cups, small plates, large plates, serving bowls, silverware. Those were all wiped with a white flower-sack dishtowel. Then you got out a terrycloth dish towel to wipe the pots and pans. She always washed, and would rarely let anyone wash for her. She always wanted to put the dishes away herself too. I tried to follow her rules, I always had to be reminded when to switch dish towels.
I was the eldest in our family, I learned how to do dishes at an early age. Make the soapy water in the dish pan, set up your hot rinse water pan and just do it..wash whatever you can, I always soaked the silverware for a long time, saving it for last. I had no rhyme or reason how I did the dishes, I just did them. Every night when I had finished eating I would start the dishes, if I got all the ones done on the counter and someone was still eating I would patiently wait at their elbow and as soon as they were finished I would grab their plate and silverware from them.
My Dad was my biggest help, he would often dry dishes for me, but if I lagged behind and there was nothing for him to dry..he would quit. Then I was stuck with whatever was left. My Dad came from a big family with lots of boys, so he learned to do dishes. I am not sure why my brother was not required to do dishes. Probably the same reason Far Guy never learned to do dishes. It was woman's work. I remember when that changed in our household....
I was eight months pregnant with Jennifer, it was August (1975) and it was about 100 degrees and we did not have air conditioning. I had a big belly, my back hurt, I had to lean way over to reach the sink, I had a mountain of dishes after supper one evening. Far Guy and Trica were outside, and I began to cry. I cried and washed and I cried and dried, Far Guy came inside and asked why I was crying. DUH? It might have something to do with the mountain of a belly I was trying to carry to term, or maybe, just maybe the mountain of dishes I am left with while you are outside where it is only 90 degrees and there is a breeze?? Well I guess I gave him an earful, and from then on he helped with dishes. I had finally stated my feelings..if you eat you do dishes. No exceptions:)