Our silverware is another casualty of COVID-19

Our silverware is another casualty of COVID-19

Another week, another strategic search through the garbage to attempt to save my silverware. Yes, our silverware (really, stainless steel), the nice set Joe’s grandma got us for our wedding nearly 45 years ago, is in danger of disappearing.

Joe’s grandma and my sister-in-law had even tricked me into getting a set I liked by saying Grandma was getting a new set of silverware and what did I like? I was not suspicious in the least and thrilled when I opened that gift.

Anyway, we were missing one knife, one fork and maybe a teaspoon or two before the pandemic hit, but I wasn’t worried about those. They had been missing a while. Who knew what happened to them?

I was fortunate to retire in March 2020, and with COVID-19 appearing mid-month, the craziness started. Nothing I thought I would be doing in my retirement was happening: no eating out, no senior bus trips, no exercise groups, no vacations, no visiting friends and family, and even no haircuts.

The biggest problem is one I’ve suffered from all my life: no dishwasher. Now we were eating at home all the time, and the dishes were piling up. It is a never-ending job. I had figured out that when I was still working my day job, I only cooked three to four times a week. The rest of the time I packed a lunch, ate leftovers, ate out or brought home takeout. It was quite a shock to be stuck at home for three meals a day and a husband with no ability to make a sandwich.

Paper plates and bowls to the rescue. These are now an essential in our house. I start getting nervous if I see our supply is going down. The bowls are especially nice because I make a lot of gooey things for breakfast in them, like oatmeal or scrambled eggs in the microwave. It’s great to just toss that mess away. I’d probably have to sandblast some of that stuff off otherwise.

Of course, I like to reuse the plates if possible. If I have some waffles or toast that only leave a few crumbs, I’ll brush them off and save the plate for another meal.

There was another problem, though: We were still using our regular silverware to eat. I’d like to blame Joe for the one causing the most silverware to disappear, but one night I caught myself about to throw the spoon I was using into the trash with the paper plate. Yikes.

I started paying attention to the numbers. Our silverware was disappearing. I started going through the trash if a piece was missing. My track record is not good on this. I have only rescued one piece of silverware, a fork that had the remnants of chocolate pie on it. I’m allergic to chocolate, so I know who was responsible for that one.

I thought after all this time it was a miracle we still had all eight salad forks left in our set, but then a couple of weeks later, we were down to seven. Another mad search of the trash turned up nothing. I could have miscounted last week or forgot to count the salad forks since they are way in the back of the silverware drawer.

I was really feeling bad about it until I talked with my sister.

“None of my silverware matches,” she said. “It just disappears, so I keep ordering new sets.”

Oh, I told Joe about it, and he found a reasonably priced set for four place settings that we both liked to add to our dwindling set. I wrote down the number of pieces we have remaining on an index card and taped it inside the cupboard above the silverware drawer.

Our silverware totals are currently 11 knives, 11 forks, 11 salad forks, nine large spoons and 13 teaspoons. To think our teaspoons once numbered 16 and they all matched.

Each week before we move the trash to the curb, I count the silverware. Sometimes we like to run an extra bag out right before pickup, but that is not happening now unless we count the silverware first.

If we keep this routine up, we will be set for life on silverware. But the good, old days still beckon. Whenever I drive by the landfill, I get a warm feeling from being closer to those lost silverware pieces Grandma got us.

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