I want to fill you in on the main reason working here is not as fabulous as you may think. Don't worry, I know you don't want to hear me blab on about how living in France is just not that exciting...even my mother doesn't want to hear that talk. I just want you to have perspective.
Everyday, no matter what, twice a day, I clean the trash cans outside the back door. Drag them out there, empty the trash into one of the five big dumpsters, spray the gunk off with soapy water, give a decent scrub to the areas that need it most, rinse with hot water and then re-bag them.
(I secretly love this job most days since it means taking a break from the piercing voice of Chef and the heat from the stovetops and ovens...plus, trash in French is "poubelle"...cutest word ever)
I also, on some days, do the dishes. We have a dishwasher who is in charge of all items coming from the front of the house such as plates and glassware, but she doesn't touch a thing from the kitchen.
I put on my latex gloves and I get down and dirty with big brissely sponges, yellow detergent soap and loads of pots, pans, bowls, hotel pans, steamer thingies, ladles, blenders, bain-maries...and other delightful crusted on pieces of metal.
When it's my turn to take a stab at the pile of dish mess I always enter with a positive attitude and undoubtedly by mid-wash I go into a self-pity coma. I can't help myself. I've tried most everything you can imagine to wipe the disgusted/irritable expression off my face and take joy in washing so many dishes but in the middle of the washing, when I feel all alone and can't see the light at the end of the dirty dish tunnel my skin crawls.
I try to think of how I'm being a good servant and how Jesus reminds us that "what you do for the least of these you do for me" and that I don't always have to do them but it doesn't help. Even reminding myself that everyone takes a turn, even the sous chef, and if this were California and I spoke as mush English as I do French I know I'd be designated dishwasher still doesn't help. The only thing that does is having someone in there sharing the burden.
This person usually comes in three quarters of my way through the mess, unloads the dishwasher and runs dishes back into the chaotic kitchen and then I feel better. Less alone, less irritated and resentful; I slowly come out of my rut. Yesterday one of the stages Jeremy came in to help and wanted to sing American songs. No, I take that back..he wanted me to sing him American songs. His favorite: "I believe I Can Fly" by R. Kelly. How could you not laugh and be in a good mood when someone requests you to sing R. Kelly?