DEAR ABBY: Wow! I can't believe that "Terri in Johnstown, Pa." (April 7) has the nerve to complain about how her husband washes the dishes or vacuums. She should be grateful her husband isn't like so many other husbands, who sit on the couch while their wives do the dishes themselves.
If you use hot water and good detergent, there are no germs left. I was always taught to wash the dishes first (glasses, plates, silverware), and leave the pans for last. Beyond that the order doesn't matter.
Personally, I do the dishes in order of how they best fit in the drainer, and my wife has never complained. Because "Terri" feels that certain things need to be washed first, perhaps she should suggest that her husband move over so that she can wash and he can rinse.
My wife and I are split on the vacuuming issue. I think you should dust first, then vacuum. My wife seems to think that dusting last will remove the dust stirred up by the vacuum. With today's technology, I really don't think it matters either way.
One of the best lessons I learned while growing up is that if you complain about how somebody is doing something, be prepared to do it yourself. -- BILL IN MICHIGAN
DEAR BILL: I agree that it doesn't matter in what order you dust and vacuum. However, my readers were divided on the issue. Most agreed with you on the dishwashing procedure you described. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: That wife needs to step back and let her husband do it his way. In the long run, it makes no difference if you vacuum first or dust first, or wash the plates first or the glasses first.
It was difficult initially for me to let my husband clean the kitchen, vacuum and dust, but over time it's been a blessing to have someone who automatically shares the housework instead of spending his time watching TV and waiting for me to do everything. My husband also cooks (which was an adjustment for me), and we've had some wonderful times cooking together.
If that woman wants to do all the housework herself and treat her spouse like her child, she's heading in the right direction. If she wants a partner, then she needs to stop being so bossy. -- ELIZABETH, CROSS PLAINS, WIS.
DEAR ABBY: I am astounded by "Terri in Pa.," who sees red every time her husband does the dishes because she doesn't like the order in which he washes them!
My husband often fixes his own breakfast and lets me sleep late. This morning he told me he had fixed breakfast and "cleaned it all up." His idea of cleaning up is to remove the dirty dishes from the table. Did I see red? No way! I was happy to be able to sleep late. It only takes a minute to clean the pan and put it away, then put the dishes in the dishwasher.
Some people don't have enough sense to know when they've got a good deal. -- CONTENT TO SLEEP LATE
DEAR ABBY: It seems to me that "Terri" should look into getting some help for her obsessive-compulsive disorder. If something like that is such a big deal (and makes her that uncomfortable), then there's a bigger problem. I know, because I am a long-time OCD sufferer who recognizes the signs. -- DONE THAT BEFORE
DEAR ABBY: Every time my husband does the dishes, I thank my lucky stars that he's willing to partner with me in the housework. He is also willing to vacuum, dust and fold laundry. Does he do it the way I would? No. Do I keep my mouth shut and count my blessings? Absolutely! -- CALL ME BLESSED