I discovered, last weekend, that Paul has two forks, two spoons, two knives.
I knew this previously, but it only dawned on me how dire the cutlery situation was on Sunday afternoon. We had had had Thai food last Friday in front of the TV, watching some Torvill & Dean special before heading out to some spa a few hours outside of Dublin for the weekend. We had failed to do the dishes on Friday night, and when we returned on Sunday afternoon, I had wanted to cut up an apple and smear peanut butter on the slices.
First, the peanut butter had been a problem. I love peanut butter. But if you are an American in Europe, finding peanut butter can be like finding a unicorn. And when you do find it, none of it has any sugar in it, unless it says AMERICAN-STYLE on the front of the jar, in which case, you can be sure its stuffed full of sugar.
I had found the non-American stuff and when I returned with my bounty, Paul looked at me disapprovingly.
You’re going to eat, like, a spoonful of that and then you know what’s going to happen?
I’m going to eat the rest of the jar. In one sitting.
That sounds like a personal problem, I said over my shoulder as I fumbled around the kitchen, looking for a knife.
There were no knives. We had used them both on Friday.
Don’t you have another knife? I asked, bewildered.
No, I only have two.
How do you survive with so little cutlery? You need to buy more.
I was holding out for getting some as a wedding present, he said, straightfaced.
I chuckled. I had gotten my own cutlery as a wedding gift. I am the woman with more forks and knives than I know what to do with. And sometimes it still doesn’t feel like enough! I have four sets of silverware — two stainless and two silver — both were wedding gifts. When I got divorced, we still had two more sets that Andrew kept — purchased with Westlaw points (remember those?!) in a life that I can barely remember now.
As it turned out, Paul did have a chopping knife that I used to cut up my apple. Then, lacking a butter knife with which to spread my peanut butter, I had to dip the slices into the jar. And Paul continued to snack away on the package of Jelly Babies he had purchased, glaring at me for having purchased the jar of peanut butter he was certain to eat later in the week.
It’s funny to me, sometimes, the things we hang on to, and the things we wait for. Because sometimes we hang on too tightly, and other times, we wait forever.
But then, other times, the girl with more sets of silverware than she knows what to do with winds up meeting the man who lacks enough forks and knives to even set a proper table, and things sort-of work out okay.