How much is too much? Is there such a thing as adequately prepared? Do we really need to be ready to handle all situations that may arise, or is that a completely unfathomable existence? I thought about all of these existential questions as I stood in my kitchen in my underwear looking in my utensil drawer.
I have too many spoons in my apartment, way too many. I actually don’t even know how many I have. It wasn’t my idea to have all of these spoons. I inherited all of my parent’s dishware and cutlery when they sold the house. I am grateful for this because I had no desire to spend any money on kitchen supplies. If it were up to me I’d probably be using plastic ware I stole from a McDonald’s.
However I come from a family of 4 people that entertained large groups quite regularly. We often needed spoons (and forks and knives) in great numbers. We owned a dishwasher and a set of formal silver. We had a dining room that held over a dozen people on more than one occasion. We used our flatware quite frequently.
But I live alone. I have no dishwasher. I barely have a kitchen. I most certainly don’t have a dining room table, and I actually don’t even have a kitchen table. And on top of that all I have like… four friends. My life is simple and quiet. There is no need for me to have an entire drawer full of spoons.
I can’t even hold onto them for an emergency. What emergency could possibly require a drawer full of spoons? Some sort of horrible oatmeal disaster that strikes my apartment? I don’t know any of my neighbors, so it’s unlikely any of them would come banging on my door in a time of need;
“I’m having a gazpacho party and I’m completely unprepared! Can I borrow 38 spoons?”
Not so much.
Aristotle once said, “Show me his spoons, and the man I shall know.” Okay actually I just made that up. If owning spoons was an indicator of some sort of social standing I should be beating the women off with a stick (or a serving spoon as it were). But this is not the case. My spoons contribute nothing to my social standing.
Seeing as my kitchen is smaller than most elevators, I really don’t know how I could find use for more than one cutting board, but alas, I have three. I don’t have that much to cut. And I may be revealing too much yet again, but sometimes if I make myself a piece of chicken for dinner, I don’t feel the need to slice it up on the cutting board. I just put it on the fork and take bites out of it like a chicken lollipop. Mmm chicken lollipop.
My parents also bestowed upon me 10 cereal bowls. Now I like cereal, I might even eat it every single day. But 10 bowls? I don’t even have a dishwasher. So I can only use so many cereal bowls without hand washing them before they start getting stacked up in my sink like the Leaning Tower of Gross.
And don’t even get me started on pots and pans. Pending I start getting really interested in pan art, or join the cast of STOMP I don’t think I’m going to use most of them. I have been in this apartment almost four months and I have used two different pans. I tried to use a third this past weekend and burnt four DIFFERENT pieces of chicken. I’m a two-pan man. That’s just the type of guy I am.
Come to think of it, and this isn’t even an exaggeration, I just counted and I have nearly 70 glasses in my apartment. That one I can’t even blame on my parents. That was my own doing. After bartending for over three years, I have acquired quite a diverse array of glassware, most of which I will never use.
If this writing thing doesn’t work out, I could always be one of those guys in
Central Park who plays songs on glasses half-filled with water. Making glasses “sing” is what I believe the technical term is. But the market for glassware music these days is extremely competitive. And I’m just not that committed to it.
But what super cedes all of these eating implements as the most ridiculous thing, is that I am afraid to get rid of any of them. A fork saved is a fork earned? Maybe. But I think I hate the idea of throwing out something perfectly useful. I hate being wasteful, and as I am so spoiled as to have way too many eating tools, perhaps I should just be grateful. Ask not what your knife drawer can do for you; ask what you can do for your knife drawer.
If I tried to take 20 glasses to Goodwill, I’d probably smash them all before I got there. I just don’t care enough to put them on craigslist. I’ll most likely just develop the habit of being very careless so I get to use all of my glasses. And if I go to a Jewish wedding you can bet your ass I’m going to be prepared.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some spoons to wash.