I have a wife. Her name is Judy. She is the most awesome human currently residing on the planet. Yes, Earth – THAT planet.
Judy has a husband (me). His name is Bill. Many people aren’t sure WHICH planet is his current place of residence, but let’s just assume, for the sake of argument, that he lives on Earth, too.
Bill and Judy have been married for a few years, almost 46 of them, and they are both very much in love with each other.
Sometimes people ask Bill and Judy the secret to the longevity of their marriage. Judy used to say that it was because she has a really bad memory, but she has changed her mind on that score. Now she says it’s because she has a really good memory.
Bill, on the other hand, has a bit of a different take. He gives the credit to something he calls mystery…
One day, a few weeks ago, Bill was helping out around the house by doing the dishes. During this act, it dawned on him that there were a few utensils missing from the inventory of knives, forks, spoons, etc.. Not that there weren’t any, but that there were not the former quantity of eight place settings of matching style. In other words, there were lots of utensils, but no eight of them matched.
This kinda bothered him, because he knew that they had purchased actual place settings of matching silverware for eight users. But now there was this hodge podge of different styles types and sizes. He was able to find three salad forks, four dinner forks, five teaspoons, two tablespoons and one knife, all of the same make and model. Plus a plethora of mixed makes and models.
All in the same drawer.
This finally led him to check in with Judy to see if she was hiding the rest of the set somewhere, possibly in her purse where you can find anything from lipstick to a toilet plunger if the need arises (Bill refers to Judy’s purse as her magic bag of tricks), but to no avail. She had no idea where the missing items could be.
This further led him to suggest that they should purchase a complete set of knives, forks and spoons, etc., just so they can have matching place settings in case anyone ever wants to join them at their house for a meal. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
Judy agreed and immediately started searching the internet for something suitable. She found several good deals on nice settings and presented them to Bill for his input. After a brief few days of discussion, they agreed upon a specific 45 (actually 50) piece set. It looked nice and it didn’t cost too much.
With the decision made, Judy ordered them and a few days later they showed up at the post office, where Bill, with hope in his heart, picked them up. He was not immediately disappointed when he opened the package:
It all looked good to him, so he left it as it was and didn’t open the rest of the sub-packages because he wanted Judy to have the pleasure of seeing her brand new silverware, fresh out of the box, when she got home.
This worked out great, until she got home.
When she, with great anticipation, opened the rest of the boxes, they discovered that there were a few surprises:
There were no knives and only a few forks
There were LOTS and LOTS of spoons
This was the perfect set of flatware if you want to have a large ice cream and soup banquet, but it wasn’t much good for meat, spaghetti, potatoes or anything else requiring reduction in size or stabbing in order to get it from the plate to your mouth.
In order to save you the trouble of reading about this episode forever, I’m just going to move on the rest of the actual mystery involved. But be assured that the situation was (mostly) rectified by contacting the manufacturer. I say “mostly” because they are out of stock on the knives (possibly because they sent ours to somebody who can now have a “let’s cut stuff up but not actually eat it” banquet).
Subsequent to this challenge, Bill has discovered that the rest of their “eating”ware suffers from the same malady that he discovered with the knives, forks, etc.. Partial place settings. They have always bought these items in settings of eight. Eight of each bowl, plate, saucer, cup, etc.. But now there are twos, threes and fives of these items present.
How does this happen? Bill doesn’t know and he really doesn’t care. All Bill wants to know is where this stuff goes. Do the kids have them? Are there boxes they have not yet unpacked in the last move? Have they broken over the years and Bill just didn’t notice? Have they been burglarized and all that was taken was a plate, a cup, a fork or a spoon and Bill just didn’t realize that they were gone?
Bill approached Judy with his conundrum and she didn’t help solve the mystery (in his mind, anyway). The best that Judy could come up with was “They have probably been broken over the years. You DO realize that we have had these same dishes for the last thirty-plus years, right?
And therein lies the real mystery…
There’s no way that’s true. That hypothesis goes against nature.
Look, Bill and Judy are a man and a woman. They are married. They love each other. Very much. They spend a lot of time together. It’s only natural that, with all of those truths in place, over the years the forces of nature would win out and they would eventually succumb to their feelings and go out and buy a new set of matching dishes at some point.