DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband tends to be much more fastidious in terms of cleaning up than I am. I am by no means messy, but do sometime leave a dish or two in the sink to come back to later. I work at home and often I am eating quickly, and will place my breakfast or lunch dishes in the sink to deal with when I am done working. Or I may finish a snack and then want to do a load of laundry, finish another task, or even just finish the chapter of the book I am reading before washing the dishes.
My husband, on the other hand, is someone who washes a dish IMMEDIATELY after using it. He even washes all the dishes used to prep dinner before sitting down to eat, resulting in cold food.
There are times where I will leave a few dishes in the sink, with every intention of coming back to wash them later. In the interim though, my husband will have his own few dishes to wash, and he will wash those but leave mine in the sink. He claims that it is rude of me to assume someone else will clean up after me, which I have explained is never the case!
I feel that it is a bigger slap in the face, and intentionally rude, to wash his own plate but leave mine in the sink. Yes, I left it there with every intention to wash it myself later, and will, but would it really kill you to just wash the cup that happens to be sitting in the sink too? If he ever happens to leave something in the sink, I wash it, no problem, since I feel that is just the polite thing to do.
I know you’ll tell me to just wash my dishes as I go, but am I really being rude and selfish? Or is he being rude as he tries to prove his point to me?
GENTLE READER: Were the dishes capable of independent thought, it would be to them that Miss Manners would extend her sympathy, as they are the only innocent party in the room. “We just, please, want someone to wash us,” they plead.
But no, Miss Manners, is not going to tell you that you must clean every dish in your own home as soon as you have finished using it. Whether your husband has found a way to indicate his disagreement at this arrangement, Miss Manners does not know. It is not rude to leave the occasional dish -- assuming, as you assert, that it was not your intention to thereby leave the task to your husband. But if you do not mean him to do it, then you cannot chastise him for not doing so.