The Mystery of the Missing Silverware

A young couple walk into a department store on a mission to purchase something for their new life together. They have two gift certificates amounting to less than $50.00 total. They have no idea what they want as they enter the Service Merchandise store.

They wander through isles of housewares trying to decide what it is that they need most. The bride-to-be spots the flatware and realizes that they don’t have forks, spoons, and knives to eat with. Plastic cutlery is not optimal so they decide to purchase flatware with part of their money. Together they look at each pattern available. I’m not sure if the groom had a preference and I don’t remember if they discussed the decision or if it was the first of the many times he would sacrifice his feelings and let his bride have what she liked.

After walking up and down the aisle admiring each set of flatware a certain pattern catches the young girl’s eye. That is the silverware they will eat their meals with. They will share many meals with friends using these well chosen utensils. In a few years they will feed their baby his first tastes of food with one of these spoons. They will be the instruments used to deliver nourishment to their bodies.

For twenty-four years they eat with those same utensils. Holidays, birthdays, anniversary dinners, snow day breakfasts, family meals, and dinners with countless friends. With the exception of one soup spoon lost within the first year of their marriage the silverware has been used and returned to it’s place in the drawer with the others. (Fraternity brothers cannot be trusted to return silverware and dishes even if the chili you deliver to their job is delicious.)

The couple has some people over for dinner. The now only slightly older woman goes to the silverware drawer to retrieve the forks only to find that there are only two lonely forks lying in the place where 8 forks should be. She assumes that the forks must be in the dishwasher because that could be the only logical answer. Opening the door of the dishwasher she is confused when she doesn’t find even one fork. Her next step is to check the sink. No luck! Where could those forks be?

One thing I failed to disclose in this story is that this couple aren’t just a couple anymore. Sixteen years prior to this dinner and the search for the missing forks they became the parents of a beautiful baby boy. Hmmm? Sixteen year old son. Six missing forks. Come to think of it there are some glasses and bowls missing also. A quick check of the teen’s room is fruitless. Sixteen years old? Forks not in his room. Where could a SIXTEEN year old take a fork? ANYWHERE he wants because the state thinks he is mature enough to handle the responsibility of driving a two ton vehicle independently. Although he has proven himself responsible in driving, he has not proven trustworthy with flatware! Of course he swears that he is not to blame for the missing forks. However, they managed to make it safely into their little home in the silverware drawer for TWENTY-FOUR years until someone gained the ability to drive.

Moral of the story: Don’t trust young men between the ages of 16-22+ with your silverware. Hide it, lock it away, but don’t ever leave it unattended or unprotected because if you do you will find yourself doing what I have been doing; searching the Internet for replacement pieces to a retired flatware pattern and finding out you’re going to end up paying more for a couple of pieces as you paid for the entire set 27 years ago.

I’ve looked for three years hoping to find those lost forks to no avail. I have finally resigned myself to the fact I will probably never see them again. They could be anywhere! So, if you are out and about and find a lost fork I sure would be grateful if you’d help it find it’s way home. Just in case I am putting a picture of the lost or abducted flatware. If this doesn’t work I’ll be renting out the boy to finance the replacement pieces for my set!


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