Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Curious Case of the Broken Pasta Bowl

So I came downstairs this morning to start the coffee, feed the kittens, pack our lunches, scoop dirty kitty litter, forage for something for breakfast and…well, you know, the stuff you have to do before you can get out the door to head to work.

The thing that stopped me in my tracks (after I'd dumped food in the bowls for our meowing and overly insistent cats who were evidently about to perish unless they got fed immediately) was the sight of one of our pasta bowls sitting on the counter.

It had obviously been broken and had even more obviously been glued back together. And there was a big piece of packing tape over the seam holding the pieces together while the glue dried.

Hmmm. Now WHO could have done that?? The cats? Nooo, I don’t think so. Sure, they could have broken the thing in the first place. But not possessing opposable thumbs precluded them from attempting the repair work.

Clearly, my darling husband had been busy last night after I’d gone upstairs to get ready for bed. He said he’d been washing the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. But it explained why it had taken him so long to wash a coupla plates and forks.

Rather than make me angry because the bowl (that we’d received as a wedding gift) had been broken, the sight of that pitiful looking thing made me laugh. I mean, Vince sure gave it the ol’ college try. But he’d been a little heavy-handed with the glue and it had bubbled out in globs along the crack line. Plus, I wasn’t sure how he was going to remove the tape since it looked like it was permanently attached to the bowl.

Not only that, but when I tried to pick up the bowl, I couldn’t. Yep, you guessed it. It was glued to the counter. Since we have precious little counter space as it is and I didn’t want the thing stuck there forever, I tried pulling it up gently. Didn’t work. So then I tried wiggling it back and forth hoping to pry it loose without damaging the counter. I’d add “without damaging the bowl,” too, but I figured that was a lost cause. But still – no dice. So finally I just yanked it – and it broke free. Yeah, “broke” being the operative word. A piece from the bottom of the bowl remained stuck to the counter.

Uh oh.

Before I had a chance to try to scrape off the bit of china from the counter, Vince came downstairs. He took a look at the bowl and said, “I didn’t want to tell you about this last night and risk upsetting you, so I glued it thinking maybe you wouldn’t even notice it had broken.”

Uh, yeah, honey. Except that I’m not blind when I’m wearing my glasses. Shaking my head, I just looked at him and smiled.

Then he spied the piece of bowl still stuck to the counter. And he says, “You broke the bowl?”

Are you kidding me?!

He then explained that the bowl had broken in the dishwasher. This doesn’t surprise me as Vince has a habit of jamming as many plates, bowls and glasses into the dishwasher as possible so as not to be forced to wash a single piece by hand. It’s an engineering marvel as he moves plates and baking dishes around like puzzle pieces to use every millimeter of space.

I, on the other hand, put one plate in each of the slots allotted for plates in the lower shelf. And, on the upper shelf, there is a single row of glasses or small bowls – none of which touch. It seems reasonable to me. Fortunately, we are not a family of six. Using my method would require more than one session per day with the dishwasher.

In our home, whoever is responsible for drying the non-dishwasherable stuff like our good knives and pots and pans is also responsible for loading the rinsed dishes. So whenever that’s me, I’ll eventually tell Vince that the dishwasher is full. Because this usually occurs before we’re finished, he’ll move me out of the way so he can rearrange my handiwork to fit in more stuff.

Not saying it’s related or anything, but our plates and bowls have a suspiciously large number of chips on them.

Oh well. We still have two surviving pasta bowls. If we just agree never to serve any guests pasta for dinner, we’ll be good to go. But…perhaps if we use them again, we should consider washing them by hand.

Just sayin'.

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