Monday, March 15, 2010

Fork Over the Forks

I unloaded the dishwasher yesterday and, just to aggravate myself, I counted the forks. Why would I do this, you ask? Well, when you know you had a complete set of twelve place settings of an expensive Oneida set,  painstakingly purchased one place setting a month over an entire year, and then notice that the silverware drawer is becoming increasingly empty over time, it makes a mother suspicious.

So I counted. I'm missing nine forks.  

And what does this mean? It means that my careless, spoiled children have thrown away the forks as they've cleaned off their dishes, or thrown out the paper plates they've used.  

I had this dream of having really nice silverware - probably some Jewish genetic thing, hand in hand with my desire for good china, a gigantic house, and a really big diamond. So far, all I had was the silverware. And the silverware had to be of some heft, not the tinny stuff you find in cafeterias, not the haphazard stuff we had at my house growing up, whatever my mother got from S&H Green Stamps along with whatever people left at our house on the holidays and she purloined. My mother, after all, was coming at this from a different perspective. Any time she wasn't starving in the forest like she did during World War II was good, eating with anything that wasn't her hands was good. Obviously, she didn't have my utensil needs.

So about ten years ago I made a plan. Each month I took $42.00 and bought one place setting and put it away until the end of the year when I had the entire set and we began using them. Of course, what I failed to consider was that by then we also had children. Children who would've been better off eating with their hands. Hence, nine forks gone a missing.

I know I should be a little more optimistic. I mean, knowing our house and the general disorganization and what the kids' bedrooms look like, the missing forks could be anywhere. They might just be stuck under a piece of furniture, maybe welded to the carpeting along with a mass of sticky food or something. They could be lying forgotten inside an old lunchbox, or nine old lunchboxes.

But I don't think so. I think that in my kids' constant juggling of the dual demands of parents wanting washed off plates and cleaned off spots at the kitchen table and their own desire to frantically return to whatever they were doing (TV, gaming, playing outside) they simply dumped the whole thing in the garbage. I'm probably lucky I have any dishes left.

Wait a minute. Should I count the dishes?

How bad is the missing item situation in your household? How about the broken item situation? Are you missing an inordinate amount of one thing that the kids use mostly?


  1. Oh my goodness, our children are twins.
    I have 3 forks.
    The rest of the forks are residing with everybody's left sock somewhere.
    I say..."where are the forks?"
    Noone knows.
    Spoons I have out the wazoo.
    I have spoons I don't know where they came from.
    Forks, Well...let's put it this way.
    It's so bad my husband brought home plastic sporks from work the other day so we would have some.

  2. Chris, thank goodness someone else has this problem! I thought I was losing my mind. Where can they be?

  3. We are missing silverware, plates, bowls, glasses. I think the former is from when we have guests over and use paper plates, much as you describe. I think the latter are all owing to my kids. My teen seems to make drinking glasses vanish!

  4. It's probably a good thing they don't print this stuff in WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU'RE EXPECTING.... I am so sorry ladies. No kids here. We have dogs. They bark a lot and fight over food that's dropped on the floor. I do worry that one of them might eat a fork in the frenzy. Anyway, I hope you both find your forks.

  5. That is weird?! I was noticing the other day that we have far fewer forks than any other type of silverware? And I KNOW we started with the same number to begin with...

    Who IS this mysterious fork bandit? Is this an epidemic?

  6. Oh this is very enlightening. Until today, I was thinking that we sure seem to run out of spoon a lot more than we used to. ( my kids eat things scooped with spoons.. cereal, mac&cheese, rice, ice cream) It did not occur to me to COUNT the spoons... and now, I'm gonna... and it did not occur to me that they had been thrown in the garbage either. I'm like you... I don't like cheap cafeteria silverware.. I registered and received nice Oneida silverware when I got married... and managed to keep the entire set in tact for the past 10 years ( I've been married 11 and have only begun to notice the spoon deficiency in the last year).

  7. This cracked me up! My silverware has TWICE gone missing (75% of two sets). I'm convinced all those knives, forks, soup spoons (and even my espresso spoons!) are lost in another dimension, with the missing socks.

  8. I'm sure your missing silver is under their beds with empty pizza boxes. Hey at least they are clearing and washing!

    I'm on my way into my kitchen to count my silver!

  9. I think the missing silverware may be hanging out with some rebel socks!

  10. My small spoons are always the first to go. I am sure it is because it is my most favorite silverware item. I have counted and only have 6. And my kids aren't even old enough to begin losing things themselves!

  11. No counting allowed; it just depressed you!!
    I've lost so much silverware to the kids as well, especially knives. Hmmm, maybe I have a different problem here.
    No, I'll ignore my own comment.
    Kids wreck everything. Good thing we love
    em so damned much.

  12. Oh my goodness Linda! I just ordered and received replacements for the missing spoons and forks that have been slowly disappearing over the last 15 years...Are you SURE we are not related somehow?

    However, my silverware is nothing fancy...and luckily, I was able to complete my 12 settings...I should be okay for another 15 years right?

  13. The mysteriously disappearing item in our house is sippy cups. The culprit, of course, is Big Boy who leaves them in increasingly creative/odd locations. (My favorite place he leaves them is the refrigerator in his toy kitchen - logical, I suppose.)

    My dad is notorious for throwing away non-disposable meal items. My mom considered divorce after he chucked one of her good Cutco knives.

  14. In my house it seems to be knives. Should I be worried about what the kids are doing with all the missing knives? Hope not as I don't care as long as I get one.

  15. I have 3 god damn teaspoons from 16. I noticed it last week. Seriously! Here is what I think: the kids pack them in there lunch for their pudding! I busted them, I saw it go down. I said, " what are you doing with that spoon?" this is last week mind you and my oldest is in 4th grade so apparently this has been going on under my nose for a while. They tell me it is for pudding, the same pudding my middle child got caught stealing! So I gave the lecture to use the schools plastic crap utensils and to leave my stainless steel out of your lunch boxes!

  16. I have given up. About twice a year I buy another dozen spoons & forks for like $5. That way I don't mourn their constant disappearing act. I do have some nice steak knives, but I don't let the kids use them and count them like a hawk.

  17. I am giggling so hard right now!! I am constantly refilling our silverware from the dollar store. Apparently my husband throws out the forks and spoons I pack in his lunch. At least they're only a dollar right? (Of course...I am spending like a hundred dollars a year on this bad habit.) I think I might buy nice silverware when my kids leave the house. Maybe.

  18. So here's the question...are you going to buy more forks? Seems you don't even have enough for the whole family to sit down for a meal together, yeah?

    In our house, it's butter knives. They are the all-purpose tool for my husband and if he DOES replace them, they are all bent and dirtied. Lovely.

  19. Karen at Waisting Time, Hmmm. I hadn't thought about counting the drinking glasses. Of course, I thought my son broke them all pressing them too hard against the icemaker anyway!

  20. Robin, so funny about this not being in What to Expect When You're Expecting. They need to warn people!

    TKW, soon you'll be missing 9 like me. Hint: best price was on ebay...

    Jennifer, my fellow Oneida addict! Have fun. Once you count, it's going to bug you! (See hint to TKW above).

  21. BLW, that's a lot of stuff to be missing. I need to train my kids on disposable chopsticks (not that I know how to use them.)

    Terry, got home yesterday and, for the first time, caught my daughter. A paper plate was in the garbage with a fork on it! A almost took a picture for the blog!

    Ellen at Weighting Around, I need to write a whole separate blog post about socks.

  22. Celeste, thanks for visiting my blog! If it can't be your kids' faults, then it's your husband's. Women just don't throw away silverware. It's impossible.

    Maureen, funny about the knives. Maybe they're practicing to be knife-throwers in the backyard?

    Maria, you're not going to make it another 15 years without replacing silverware again! Three boys in the house = lots of lost everything, right?

  23. Kristen, Well, at least Big Boy is the only one using the sippy cups... :) And I love that he considers his play kitchen kind of real, right?

    Nicki, hopefully they're doing something oldfashioned with the knives, like whittling.

    Joely, welcome to the blog and so funny! You'd think your kids would just be happy they have any utensil to use - not like me always forgetting to pack something. No, they need REAL utensils?

  24. Charlotte, you are such a seasoned pro at this. I kept thinking maybe they were lurking somewhere, even after I'd checked the drawer, the sink and the dishwasher. Where else could they be?

    Amber, totally proves my point. If it's not the kids losing it, it's the husband.

  25. Sarah, I just ordered 8 Oneida lunch forks from ebay. I'll still be missing 1 dinner fork. We had 12 of each so I was down to 11 of one and 4 of the other. It's math so my brain always gets a little fuzzy but I should be able to handle counting to 24...

    Ebay's dangerous. I noticed my set used to come in all-silver! Can you imagine if they had lost those?

  26. Teaspoons! And I actually bought two sets of our expensive Oneida pattern just to avoid this calamity. When *I* noticed so many teaspoons missing I went online to find replacements. They've discontinued our pattern. Ugh!

  27. This post reminds me of the original sleeping beauty story where the Queen could only invite 12 fairies because she only had 12 place settings... ;-) The men in my family are not such good-mannered so there's no risk of me losing my utensils in the trash, however I did lose quite a few in the garbage disposal.