Dear Annie: This is a constant debate in my house, and I am sure it is in others. I would like to know your opinion on this.
I say that if you clean dishes under running hot water (with soap, of course), you can get them cleaner. My son believes the best method is to fill the whole sink with soapy water first and then wash all the dishes in the same water. I personally think this wastes time, because in the time it takes to wait for the sink to fill, I could have half the dishes done if I were to clean them my way. Also, I think his way is unsanitary; even though you are using hot water and soap, the water still collects residue and germs from what was on the plates previously. So I find filling the sink not only a waste of time but also unsanitary. What is your opinion? Fill the sink or clean the dishes under running fresh hot water?— Washing Well
Dear Washing Well: As much as I hate to be wishy-washy, I have to say it depends. Filling up the sink, as your son does, is more environmentally friendly because it uses a lot less water. So if you’re concerned with saving the planet or reducing your water bill, that’s the optimal method. Personally, I prefer using running water, for the reasons you mentioned. It’s faster, and it just feels cleaner.
Dear Annie: Your advice to “Motherless in the Midwest,” whose mother has inexplicably always been cruel to her, was spot on. I really liked your line, “Your head must be a friend to your heart.” Having been raised by an unloving, toxic mother, I can also offer a line: “Live with no regrets.”
I was in my 40s (I’m now 64) before I finally realized that there was nothing I could do to change this unhappy woman, so I had to change how I let her get to me and had to keep a loving distance, for my sake and my family’s. (I often neglected my family members over her needs and wants.) After my loving father died, I continued to check on her and address any needs she had that I could help with from a distance. I knew that if I repaid ugly with ugly, I would regret it. That’s just not me, and it’s just not right.
I realized I had to love my mom even though her behaviors made it impossible to like her. When she passed away, I had a most unexpected reaction: relief! How sad is that? People say I am a kind, loving and caring person. I still miss my sweet dad, but to this day, I do not miss her. On Mother’s Day, when social media are blowing up with emotion, I still can’t work up an “I miss her.” I know she had issues, and I did love her. I joke with my sister that I hope I can count on heaven’s having “many mansions” — with mine being in a different neighborhood than our mother’s.— Relieved in the South
Dear Relieved: Life is too short to live with regrets. Kudos on your positive attitude, and thanks for sharing.
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