Have you ever seen the seminal classic Ella Enchanted? Well, if you haven’t then you should definitely look it up. The premise is basically this: Ella’s fairy godmother gives her an unbreakable gift of obedience which ends up being more of a curse than anything. And that’s…relatively what happened to me ten years ago. It’s not that I won’t wash the dishes, it’s that I can’t wash the dishes. Truly, I can’t. At a young age, a witch put a spell on me and now I’m incapable of doing my fair share to keep my shared kitchen clean.

When I was fifteen years old, I loved helping my mother clean our house. Anytime she needed someone to assist her in cooking, cleaning or general household chores, I jumped at the chance to help out. You couldn’t hold me back from running into whatever room she was cleaning and offering my assistance. We’d put on a Marc Anthony CD and scrub the toilet and it was always the happiest moments of my life. Which is why, what I’m about to say is so very tragic.

One Sunday afternoon, my mother asked me to wash the remaining dishes in our kitchen sink. “Nothing would give me more pleasure!” I shouted back. I walked into the kitchen to find a woman in tattered clothing rifling through our fridge. “Hey, what’re you doing?!” I yelled. She turned around and hissed at me. There was a large, oozing wart on her chin and her skin looked pale green. I knew in my bones that this woman was a witch. What else could explain her appearance? And if The Wizard of Oz taught me anything, she was definitely an evil witch.

She procured a wand from her long sleeve and twirled it in the air. She chanted, “Dawn and Palmolive, Scotchbrite and Ocelo, you’re not allowed to do the dishes no more-lo.” I felt a chill down my spine and the next thing I knew, my mother came out of her room and asked why the dishes weren’t clean. I moved toward the sink but every time I reached for a dish, I felt blocked. Literally. Like there was this invisible shield preventing me from washing the dishes. I just wasn’t allowed to do it anymore.

So you see, I simply can’t wash my dishes. My current roommate constantly gets on my case about cleaning my dishes and putting them away after I’ve used them, which is just so insensitive given my current circumstances. I’ve explained my predicament to her at least a thousand times but each time she just says, “That’s not a real thing!”

I’ve heard her go on rants while FaceTiming her friends, telling them how rude it is that I “use her pots and leave them in the sink for a week waiting for her to clean them” or how when she “moved in she had at least 10 forks and now she only has three left and she wonders if I’ve been throwing them away.” Yes, on occasion, I’ve thrown away a fork or two but that’s only because, to reiterate, I simply can’t wash them.

If I could clean up after myself, I would! I’d love to help out, but unfortunately I can’t. And I don’t know how long this curse will last, so for now, all I ask is for some empathy and understanding. My mom had no problem cleaning up after me, so why should my roommate? I think the next time she wants to chastise me for not washing my dishes, maybe instead she should congratulate me on going toe to toe with an evil witch and living to tell the tale.

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