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?