I think I’ve identified a major source of the angst that fills my every waking moment:
I’ll use that term to include flatware as well, so I’ll ask any pedantic kitchen-knowledgy type of readers to let my lack of distinction between the two slide. (Oh, and by the way, if there really are any readers like that – Phil Hartman’s “The Anal-Retentive Chef” was a comedy sketch, not a real cooking show. Sorry to have to be the one to tell you.)
My current “set” of dinnerware comprises bits and pieces of no less than 15 distinct lines, gathered over decades, with such a variety of colors, shapes, and patterns, that compared to it, the U.N. General Assembly looks about as diverse as a cocktail party in the Hamptons. It includes dishes from my childhood, silverware from the Idaho State University dining hall, a silver serving spoon from a certain not-to-be-named royal family in Western Europe (if the Duchess reads this blog, I’m screwed) … it really is a trainwreck (if, you know, trains were made out of a whole bunch of different styles of dinnerware).
“How charming!” you might be thinking. “How delightfully eclectic!” Well, no. It sucks. Try to imagine the ulcer-inducing uncertainty that comes with each meal: the fear of grabbing the spoon that’s too circular and therefore not suited for Cheerio-scooping that gnaws at me in the hours before breakfast … the knowledge that the plates with raised and textured borders make eating a simple green salad nearly impossible ... I mean, sweet fluted flatware! You try meal planning under that kind of stress! Still think it’s charming? No? Not so keen on the Dead Acorn dining plan anymore?
I thought not.
But that’s the world in which I live. And it’s certainly a relief to finally recognize the underlying cause of my anxieties, and know that salvation can be had with merely a drive to Pier 1, or Cost Plus, or wherever it is that people go to buy that stuff (I’d probably have to enroll at Boise State to gain access to their cafeteria). Corelle, Oneida, Royal Daulton … it doesn’t matter to me, just as long as I finally have some consistency, some continuity, as I sup my way through this life.
Waking up to a different cereal bowl every day* can really wear on you.
* Totally not a metaphor, but if it was, it would certainly rise to my historical level of metaphoric atrociousness.
3 months ago