Ari and I realized something about ourselves the other day. No matter how many conveniences we surround ourselves with, we somehow manage to render them all completely useless. I can think of only one logical explanation: we must be geniuses.
The most recent example of this is the dishwasher--or lack thereof. At first, we were nervous about moving into a house with no dishwasher. In retrospect, I don't know what we thought we'd be missing. Our dishwasher in the old apartment basically served as a holding facility for clean dishes. I'll never understand why we were so repulsed by the prospect of lifting the clean dishes three feet into the kitchen cabinets. Instead, we piled our dirty dishes in the sink, almost as if we had no dishwasher. I knew the sink had reached maximum capacity one day when I needed a bowl of water for pasta, but the dishes were piled so high my bowl could no longer fit under the faucet. That didn't motivate me to do the dishes, though--I just used the little sprayer thing instead. (Retrieving the sprayer without toppling our precarious tower of dishes was like playing a game of Operation, where the penalty for touching the sides was being splattered with tepid dishwater and food remnants.) Only when we'd used all the clean dishes in the dishwasher did we dismantle Dish Mountain and start the cycle again. Honestly, having no dishwasher hasn't been much of an adjustment.
Then there's the Roomba. Just by looking at the inside of our house, you'd never know we have a robot vacuum that will clean the floors for us at the push of a button. The Roomba has made the actual task of vacuuming much more convenient, but there's one catch--we still have to maintain reasonably clutter-free floors so that our Roomba can operate. This is just asking too much. Are we supposed to believe that when we stomp through the front door and kick off our mud-and-ice encrusted shoes, we should leave our gloves somewhere other than the floor? Are there really people out there who walk an additional 5-10 feet to the nearest available surface for the sake of maintaining an operable living space? I always thought that only happened in commercials. Here's a quick rundown of the junk in our living room floor at this very moment: several empty cardboard boxes; two bags of bedding that are supposed to be in the guest room; one giant cardboard box that still has stuff in it; a bulging bag of clothes for GoodWill; a box of crackers; a stack of books; Ari's portable DVD player; assorted socks, gloves, and detachable hoods; and our holiday tree, still completely decorated, although I did have the class to move it from the table to the floor. When we bought our Roomba nearly a year ago, I thought we'd start vacuuming once a week. We do well to vacuum once a month, and vacuuming, while no longer difficult in itself, is usually accompanied by a massive 24-hour purge in which we return things to their proper places--or at least toss them on top of the furniture so they'll be out of Roomba's way.
Procrastination always trumps technology. No matter how convenient the movers and shakers of our generation make something, we procrastinators will always find a way to keep it complicated. It's the one area in which we always manage to be a step ahead.