During the first Great Sorting, we realized that we liked her flatware better than mine. My set was perfectly good, but we didn’t have room in the kitchen for both. It went into a box in storage. When we knew that none of our friends who were moving or unexpectedly refurnishing a house needed it, we sent that box to a second-hand store.
Well, not all of it. We each kept a place setting. One knife, fork, and spoon was designated for each of our offices. We’ve also each kept a little dinnerware: I’ve got a big bowl that’s perfect for salad, soup, or oatmeal, and is wide enough to work as a plate, too. She’s got a smaller plate and bowl in hers. Between us, we have a huge pile of cloth napkins, so we usually have one of those in the office as well, and bring it home for laundering.
We eat at least one meal at our desks, most days, and some days two or three. There’s nothing wrong with going out for a workday meal. Taking some time away from the office is a good thing. But it gets pricey if it’s an everyday occurrence. Economics aside, though, we like the meals we bring from home. We know what’s in them, and what’s not.
We also like not having to dispose of plastic cutlery or paper plates or napkins. There’s nothing wrong with using a sandwich’s wrapper as a placemat, or eating a salad from the plastic container in which it was carried to work. It takes a little extra time to wash the dishes, and to find a place in the office where they can be stored. But there is something a bit more civilized about using proper dinnerware. It makes lunch-at-the-office feel more like a meal and less like a re-fueling stop during a 500 mile road race. And it reminds us of home. These days, we aren’t at home together as often as we’d like. Our matching flatware makes it a little more like we’re sharing a meal.
Ah, well. Back to work.