Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Barbara and the Dishes...
Barbara and the
was a lot of fun to be around, kind and generous, and a wonderful
friend. But she hated to do dishes worse than anyone I've ever
known, before or since. When we were young, no one had a
dishwasher. Dishwashers were a luxury. Dishes were washed
by hand and dried or allowed to air-dry the old fashioned way.
Barbara and I worked in the same office. We both had husbands
named David. The two Davids eventually met and we all became
friends. We were young married couples and budgets were tight, so
instead of other entertainment, we hung out together, drank coffee,
played cards or watched TV, something that didn't cost money. Every
weekend either we were at their house or they were at ours.
Sometimes we grocery shopped together and that was the weekend
entertainment. Barbara taught me a lot about cooking, and gave
me recipes that I still have. We couldn't afford to eat out. Carry-out
Jack Salmon from Uncle Charlie's was only two dollars then and we
could only afford that once in a while.
My husband and I were living in a four room flat in St. Louis, and
Barbara and Dave had a small two-bedroom house that they were buying
from her husband's parents who had moved to better digs. It was
pretty run down, but at least it was a house. We spent a lot of
time day-dreaming about the homes we would like to have some day and
looking at house plans and decorating magazines.
Barbara liked company, and we seemed to spend more time at their place
than at ours. Sometimes we ate Sloppy Joe's, which were made by
browning a pound of hamburger and pouring a bottle of ketchup over it.
We ate the meat on buns, or if we were out of buns, we ate it on plain
sandwich bread. Other times we grilled hamburgers or hot dogs, which
didn't mess up as many dishes.
Barbara's weakness was dirty dishes. There were a lot of them
since they cooked and ate at home from necessity. A reasonable
person would do dishes each day so they didn't pile up. In
Barbara's case, she would rather do something else -- anything else --
than wash dishes. The sink was always full and usually the
cabinet was piled high as well. As long as there were any clean
dishes, or any paper plates, she didn't see a need to do them.
Sometimes she would invite us over and dishes had not been done in a
week. I often helped her catch up, but a few days later the
situation would be the same. I convinced her to fill the sink up
with water so they could soak and be easier to wash. They still
waited until scum formed. Eventually, she would run out of
cooking pots or have an attack of ambition, and resort herself to
doing the task she hated.
I learned to accept dirty dishes as a part of Barbara that was not
going to change. She didn't mind housekeeping, vacuuming,
dusting, polishing furniture, and she liked doing laundry, even
ironing. I'm sure she was tired after working all day and
cooking, as well as taking care of her small child, and that was part
of it. But her aversion to doing dishes was still legendary.
Over time, our friendship eventually faded and we drifted apart, not
for any particular reason, but just because interests change and
people move on. I don't know if she ever got that dream home or
not. I hope she did. But more than anything, I hope she got
a dishwasher, and that it is stainless steel and heavy duty with a pot
scrubbing cycle and lots of buttons to push. Barbara was a
great friend, but she hated to do dishes more than anyone I've ever
Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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