February 26, 2003

Hi Yo! Silverware!

My idea of removing moisture from the silverware is to take the wire basketful out of the dishwasher and bounce it sharply on the counter a few times before sticking the knives and spoons in the drawer. Why bother wiping water drops off something that is clean and will sit in the dark drawer and dry without consequence before you need forks and spoons again? I'm sorry. The horror of water spots is just an emotional trauma that I can't comprehend. There are some things about which I am obsessive and meticulous, but flatware can be put up slightly damp as far as I'm concerned. Ann disagrees, but has given up trying to 'civilize' me. We were chatting this morning as I put away the mildly damp silverware we have carried with us now through three states and seven homes through 32 years of married life.

"Look at this knife" I said. "I must have used this for a hammer at some point" as I turned it round in my hand to see the slight dent in the handle. "And check out this fork". I handed her a 40-year old fork that must have come from one of our parents' collections. The tines were slightly snaggled, and you could see both a bowing along the long axis and a twisting in the handle as if it had been turned hard while fixed in something solid and unyielding.

"Holli and the ice cream" Ann reminded me. Our daughter was notoriously hard on silverware, especially when she was in a hurry to get at the rock-hard ice cream straight out of the freezer. Holli always operated by the 'bigger-hammer' approach, and that didn't just apply to ice cream. She was equally hard on the plates, as we still notice in the chips and cracks on what few pieces survive from those days.

Ann continued with lore of silverware as I removed cereal bowls from the dishwasher and pretended to wipe them off with a dry towel. She asked me if I remembered fixing a window with a fork. I didn't. "Yeah, we had just moved in to the little house on Greasy Creek. Remember those ratty double-hung windows, the ones we replaced by the second winter there? We were standing in that kitchen putting away dishes. The wind was blowing like crazy, like it always did there in the valley, and the window was rattling so bad we could hardly carry on a conversation. I commenced to harping about how you had to do something to fix these crummy windows so they wouldn't rattle so".

"Without a word, you reached into the silverware drawer, grabbed a fork, and wedged it between the upper and lower sash of the window. It stopped rattling. And six months later, that fork was still there" she gloated. I guess she thought I'd feel somehow apologetic over this. It had quite the opposite effect. Made me proud. Show me a problem, I fix it. Sometimes that takes the form of banging the wet silverware on the counter a time or two. A man does what a man's gotta do.

Posted by fred1st at February 26, 2003 08:04 AM | TrackBack

You know, it's incidents like the fork in the window and the besplotched silverware that cause us wifey types to "tsk tsk!" around our men, but give us our smiles in private. My husband's a total goober... but only to his face; otherwise, that big bear of a man is indeed the blessing of my life. Men who do what men gotta do... and the women who love 'em. A lovely story.

Posted by: Anne at February 26, 2003 01:45 PM

A bit of folded up paper does a good job too. I have a piece in my study window which has been there for years, "till I have time to fix it." He put it there and it's still there.

Posted by: Jan at February 26, 2003 02:03 PM

ummm...sorry to have to say this...BUT...you knew there was a but coming...the reason you dry the flatware and kitchen ware before storing is a basic housekeeping tenent: to keep insects at bay. Moisture + darkness = insect habitat.

Posted by: feste at February 26, 2003 04:01 PM

Tableware, unlike infants, will eventually dry by evaporation.

Posted by: CGHill at February 26, 2003 08:46 PM

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