Monday, August 08, 2011

Friends don't let friends eat with ugly forks

On the way to the car the other day, I nearly tripped on a package that was lying on our porch floor.

Curious, but in a hurry, I stepped around it and continued on my urgent way to pick up children and get somewhere-- I don't remember where--on time.

When I got back, I picked up the box and carried it into the house. The return address said Hmm. Have I been online shopping in my sleep or while intoxicated? Is it possible I've ordered something and already forgotten about it?

I tore the box open and discovered an order form and "gift note" from my college- friend, Joyce.  "Welcome home," it said.

There, underneath the turbo bubble wrap that sounds like gunfire when stepped on, was a set of flatware. Flatware. Just that word conjures sophistication and maturity. Flatware. Flatware for me and for my family. Flatware to expand upon the two forks and one knife and assorted unsightly spoons that were left in my silverware drawer.

(Am I the only one who has cheap- silverware aversion? There are certain utensils I just can't bring myself to use for purely aesthetic reasons: too light, too thin, too..... cafeteria style. Can silverware have bad feng shui?)

The positive feng shui of my new flatware is emanating right out of the box it's still in. 

Joyce apparently read the "I still can't find my toaster" blog post, which I, self promoter that I am, posted to my Facebook page, and took pity on me. I quickly brought up her Facebook page and wrote on her wall asking her if, were I to write about not being able to find my car, she would send me a new one.

Cheekiness aside, this gift of silverware was a lovely, unexpected gesture. It ranks right up there with the mysterious book we received just when we got back from France, (Did I ever mention that mystery was solved? The book came from the family of my friend Bridget, who lives in France.) and the stuffed-animal care package sent by a loyal reader, Meowmie, in response to the news that Esther had lost her beloved stuffed bear, Barnus, and the book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, sent by Anna, also in response to Esther's loss.

Unexpected gifts, and the warm fuzzy feelings of connection they instill, are one of those rare things in life that remind you of the importance of human connection. They also serve remind me of how lame I am in regard to how many times I've ever actually committed a random act of kindness such as this. The thought, the intention, has struck me on the head me dozens of times. The following through, the actual act of doing it, is another story.

All this to say, Thank you, Joyce. Thank you everyone. Thank you world for having so many cool, kind, conscious people in it and giving me the sense to recognize those people for the gems they are and cling to them for dear life. Not that I needed to receive a gift from my old friend to appreciate her, but maybe I needed to be reminded of just one more thing I have to be grateful for. Gratitude is a renewable resource.

Oh yea, and, about that toaster........

Guess what I found in a dark recess at the opposite end of the attic from the end where all the other boxes were? Yep... a box with the word "toaster" scrawled on every side in my stressed-out-chicken-scratch hand.

And.. in the box with the toaster, to my horror and delight, was a large Ziplock baggie containing the missing silverware, measuring spoons and perfectly-beefy, ergonomic vegetable peeler.

Ooops. I guess I owe those college boys an apology. They may have been astonishingly negligent, but they didn't steal, or wreck, my toaster or silverware. (If only because I packed them safely away, as I should have done with EVERYTHING.)

And, Joyce.... It's not too late for a refund....


adrianne-p said...

I still think you have grounds for keying Mr College Educated's car, regardless of silverware and toaster found. If just for the stress he and his friends have caused you ... no? Okay, you're kinder than I am : )

I think I too may have an aversion to "cheap silverware". I prefer plasticware over cheap silverware. Have you ever eaten with a spoon that bends just with normal use? Or a fork whose tines are all bent out of shape, not because of some mishap with the dishwasher? In silverware shopping the first thing I check is "flexibility" -- if there is any it's classified as "cheap". I blame my Mom. She has really sturdy silverware. It's thick stainless steel and feels great in your hand. There's no flexibility to it. You can use it for gardening, wash it, and use it for dinner. Awesome!

I'm so glad you have new silverware and found your old set : ) Maybe you can put your new set aside for when Ester gets her own place? Or give her your old set? Yeah, that day will come ...


Anonymous said...


Betsy, let's not forget about the ruined hard wood floors, the bonfire, the neglected yard, the pot filled with dirt by the basement door, the mini fridge, etc.! You should have put a sign on your belongings and home to reflect the message on the mini fridge that said; "Don't ruin my f***ing belongings w/o my permission! Thank you!"

Those guys may not have taken your flatware,etc., but they sure wrecked a lot of other things.

I hope that you're able to get everything back in order.


mooserbeans said...

Random acts are kindness are wonderful, aren't they? It is also amazing that you can develop a circle of friends even though they don't live close to you.

Meowmie said...

New silverware is still a great gift and I think it's good to use it to signify that your family is starting anew in your old home. Think of it as a celebration started by your friend Joyce.

And keep the old silverware for when the kids move out. :-)

Betsy said...

adrianne-p, and KimAZ: Yes, yes. I think the influence of my infinitely compassionate mother is at work here. It's a curse.