KENNEWICK — We won the war against the Germans, but I’m losing a battle 60 years later.
It’s me against my newfangled, technologically advanced dishwasher.
My confrontation with this exceptionally engineered appliance began shortly after my husband installed it.
“OK, here’s the operating manual,” Bill grunted as he gathered up his tools. “I’ve hooked everything up so it should be ready to go.”
I stared at the front of the machine. Where were all those little push buttons that were on my old dishwasher?
The little silver squares that once delighted my grandkids?
"It looks to me,” I sighed as I turned the handbook pages, “that I have to program it internally.”
And that’s when the faceoff began.
Like a soldier at attention, waiting for its first command, this shiny, sleek model wrapped in black dared me to take charge. But even though I’d grown weary reading the directions, I marched ahead.
Carefully, I poured in the detergent. (That part was easy.) Next, I loaded the dirty dishes. (So far so good.)
Then, I closed the door.
As if a spotting scope had taken aim, I stepped to the side to examine the flashing red light. My face took on a rosy glow in the light of the “Regular Wash.”
Then I spied the “Start” button — a familiar sight — and with one swift move the dishwasher saw action.
My mood brightened at the quiet sound of swishing water and the arrival of family for dinner. Clean dishes were only minutes away.
Then it stopped. The cycle was demanding input.
Wearily, I called for a recruit. My daughter, Tiffany, appeared at my side where I was stationed in the kitchen.
Armed with the instruction booklet, she took charge.
Together, mother and daughter pushed on into the night, women against machine.
And this we knew: No matter how long it took, we would never surrender.