As we go through life, we discover certain things are immutable. The sun comes up every morning. There is zero caloric intake when eating off of someone else’s plate. Leftover pizza is eaten cold for breakfast. Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy are real. The other line is always faster. There will always be another Star Wars sequel. Cross at the green. April Fool’s Day is not limited to April 1. The list goes on ad infinitum and ad nauseum.
What does all that have to do with cutlery trays? Glad you asked. Since the beginning of time, or the beginning of cutlery or the beginning of place settings which included a fork, knife, soup spoon, teaspoon or the invention of cutlery trays, the Rule of the Cutlery Tray came into being.
Section 86 of the Manifesto of Cooking and Eating Utensils deals specifically with cutlery trays. There are the vertical compartments meant for forks, knives and soup spoons. The teaspoons are designated for the horizontal compartment. That is the essence of the Rule and it’s immutability. However, we must delve deeper into the specifics.
Sub Section 1 of this rule allows each owner of cutlery and a cutlery tray to arrange the forks, knives and soup spoons in their order of choice. It is preferable to begin with the forks on the left, but to each his own.
Sub-section 1A states the soup spoons must be stored in a vertical unit. This is an irrevocable directive.
Sub Section 2 states that all teaspoons must be stored in the horizontal compartment. This regulation is written in stone. That’s no joke since it was believed to have originated in the Stone Age or with Stone Age thinking. Likely the latter.
Why any of this matters has to do with a shocking discovery a friend of mine made while visiting family. She happened to open the cutlery drawer. OMG! The soup spoons were located where the teaspoons are meant to be. What was my friend to do? She managed to pull herself together and carry on as if nothing had happened.
When my friend returned home, she let me know about her startling finding. I was gobsmacked. What kind of person puts soup spoons where the teaspoons belong? Was this a disregard for or an ignorance of propriety?
We are in a new and different age. Many things have changed. I wonder sometimes if propriety, decorum, good values are becoming an endangered species. Truly, whether it’s a new age or an old age, manners, respect, tolerance, kindness, compassion are not now and will never become extinct.
BTW. If you’ve had several teaspoons go missing like I have, I may have solved that mystery. I noticed that as the number of teaspoons in my kitchen decreased, the number of paper clips in my desk increased. The obvious conclusion, of course, is disappearing teaspoons turn into paper clips. The question then becomes how to reverse the process. Any ideas?
Comments are welcomed.