One of the things that has puzzled me throughout my life is that other people seem to believe that I actually want to put my hands into the kitchen sink strainer and scrape out all that stuff that gets stuck in there.  Have you ever looked at that stuff? It doesn’t resemble anything ever cooked in my kitchen. Somehow going from the cooking stage to the rinsed stage and landing in the sink strainer has rendered it unrecognizable. At which point, it must be dealt with. Yuck!

I have never lived with anyone who has offered to clean out a kitchen sink. No roommates, children, husbands or distant relatives have stepped up to the plate to say, “Hey, don’t put your hands in that mess. I’ll clean it out for you!“ Cleaning out the kitchen sink strainer is another level of a dirty, lonely job. Yet if it isn’t done, complications multiply rapidly. Not the least of which is a malodorous kitchen. Or a sink that won’t drain because of the dreaded gook that swirls around as if it’s laughing at you. I’m supposed to put my hand in there and get it out? Yet it must be done.

Because I live alone, the logical candidate is just me. I don’t have a cleaning person for my small apartment and even if I did, they wouldn’t come daily to empty the kitchen sink strainer of its contents. At least not without an exorbitant fee. Stuck with doing the job myself, musings on the reason for being forced into this disgusting job abound as I scrub and rinse. Is there a legal requirement that I must do this? Is there a prohibition in the child labor laws that kept my children from doing this? They grew up unscathed in the art of emptying kitchen sink strainers, so I guess we won’t know the answer to that one. What about any of those husbands I used to have? Why didn’t they step up and save a damsel in distress from the slime monster lurking in the above ground plumbing? None of them ever evinced the slightest interest in intervention strategies needed for kitchen cleaning warfare.

Glaringly obvious is that this task is relegated to the quaint catch-all “women’s work.” If you think that we are more enlightened as a society, I beg to differ. Possession of a uterus is nine points of the law. Because of that I, me and my comrades in kitchen gloves, continue to make more meals, scrub more pots and pans, empty more dishwashers and, you guessed it: clean out the kitchen sink strainers. This is ignominious work. No recognition, no awards, no rewards. Lest it go undone, there would be plenty of notice from those orbiting the kitchen. Comments ranging from unkind to negative would surely abound. I believe that science should be tasked to find a way to keep the kitchen sink from becoming in need of constant attention. Better things to do are waiting. They won’t get done until the kitchen sink strainer is emptied.