Thursday, August 7, 2008

Single/Serving Platter War

I was feeling all proud of myself this morning for packing a lunch. It was a fabulous salad, with croutons and grape tomatoes and other goodies all sealed tight in this great Tupperware container I had in my kitchen cabinet…

Until I realized I’m a hypocrite.

That Tupperware was not mine at all. It belonged to my friend Tori, who baked cookies for a party months ago and left it to me to return it. Which, gasp, I obviously didn’t. I’m a horrible person. A terrible person who deserves no lunch at all!

I know you think I’m being ridiculous. It’s a stinkin Tupperware, for god’s sake. I’m sure she has many others, right?

WRONG! With this one packed lunch, I’ve contributed to a gripe I’ve long had about the way single people get screwed when it comes to serving ware and other kitchen tools.

Married people have all the fancy dishes, pans and storage containers. People literally shower them with the stuff before they get married, leaving them with cluttered cupboards chock full of pot-luck serving tray options. Fondue sets. Pyrex with matching travel bags.

But for single people, these are supplies we have to accumulate slowly from hand-me-downs or our own trips to IKEA. Often, we only have ONE pizza pan, ONE covered 9-by-13 cake pan, ONE salad-sized Tupperware.

So we need you to give them back!

Most of the time, however, married people forget this. They’ll take your party offering, serve it on the table, then let the emptied container join a stack of their dirty dishes by the sink at the end of the night.

Which leaves us single people in an embarrassing quandary. Do we ask for the tray and appear uptight and stingy?

Or do we just let it go, thereby letting married people steal from the ones who have so little to begin with?

I say we fight! We must not let those who have registered hurt us just because we’ve never held the Target gun. We must not give up the things we have worked hard for – even though it’s not quite Celphalon!

I shouldn’t say all married people are guilty of this theft. I did have one positive experience at a married co-worker’s cook-out last summer. I brought a bowl of cherries – get it? – with my only fruit bowl.

Although I didn’t ask for it, the bowl was washed, wrapped in a bag and sitting on my desk the next work day.

A non-hostile victory.


Thomas said...

There's something to be said for buying the cheap, disposable serving-ware from the grocery store. Then you don't have to worry about getting it back, and the recipient doesn't have to worry about washing it and giving it back.

(I have the opposite problem. I got divorced, and all of that stuff was left here with me. I could serve a dozen with no problem.)

John said...

This one isn't rocket science. If you preface your question of wanting your item(s) back with a short disarming positive comment, you will feel comfort in politely, but firmly, asking for the item(s) back. It can be a small joke, self deprication, short comment on how this happened before, etc...insert example here. They'll "get it" and happily return the item without any second thought. If they forget as people sometimes do, offer to stop by and pick it up at their home.

Polite but firm, say it to yourself over and over until you have it down.

And, btw, there is such a thing as a married couple who are "aware" of their surroundings, you just have to find them.

Many things in life are set up to give the advantage to married couples over singles(taxes etc...) and that is unfortunate as people weren't born to be with one person their whole lives. There is no "the one." It's just the one you married or happened to randomly meet at that location and time when you could have made an alternative decision to be somewhere else that day. With that said, while many married couples, especially the ones who marry younger, have trouble relating to singles, there are always the exceptions, and those are the ones you need to find. They exist.