family life, marriage

Now I know why it’s called “silver anniversary”

Photo by artemation through Pixabay.

I didn’t really notice how paltry our collection of silverware — by which I mean stainless steel eating implements — had become until Thanksgiving of last year. I was setting the table and could only come up with seven dinner forks from two unmatched sets, although we had an insane number of salad/dessert forks.

(Did our forks go to the same place socks go?)

Fortunately, our table was hosting exactly seven. We were covered for the day without having to break into my husband’s grandmother’s actual silverware — whose forks could be used for body piercing. I set the table, making a mental note that our upcoming 25th anniversary would be a great time to buy a new cutlery set, it being our silver anniversary and all.

When the big day rolled around this week — and we were celebrating with Chinese takeout, as that is the only restaurant food that meets every family member’s dietary needs and so many other ways of celebrating feel out of the question given COVID — I was in such a mood that I almost opted for the plastic forks that came with the meal.

Milestone — and mood — passed, I made an unexpected decision on the silverware thing. When we started off our marriage, it mattered to me that we had matching service for 10. But, somewhere along the line, our household turned into a beach cottage.

We have a vintage globe on top of the refrigerator. A turquoise fan from the 50s is on a counter. Beach glass is stored in jars on the sink window’s sill. A bag of swim and picnic gear hangs in the pantry in the summer, knitting supplies taking their place in the winter.

Times have changed. We have changed. Our cutlery can change, too. I bought a handful of forks at Target for $1.49 each, added them to the drawer and called it a day. I figure we have enough to last until our 50th.

35 thoughts on “Now I know why it’s called “silver anniversary””

  1. My parents’ generation were always given a canteen of cutlery for a wedding present. If we had visitors I would be tasked to open the wooden case with it’s green felt lining and delightful scent and lay the table. I’m sure we never used all the items. We have never had any silver cutlery!

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      1. I’ve actually never tried that. I used to use toothpaste, oddly enough, on some other pieces we have. (Our silverware came with flannel storage bags that mysteriously keep it from tarnishing.) Then, one daughter came up with a recipe involving boiling water and aluminum foil that works miraculously without any polishing. There is a puff of smoke, however, that always makes me wonder if the process is entirely safe. I run the stove hood at full speed just in case!

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      2. It looks great, since it’s dipped rather than polished. But, I wouldn’t want to try it on anything really valuable. I have a collection of silver-plate cups that I pile on the dining room mantle in deep winter for something shiny to look at. I’m not too worried about it for those pieces. 🙂

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  2. Congratulations on your anniversary

    I had a problem with teaspoons a number of years ago, I had adapted some pretty plastic pink ones that came with a particular sundae I liked to buy. Then someone suggested the dollar store and I bought I think 12 for something like $5! Still working…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 I’ve only used the set we have maybe a half dozen times. It’s stored in many, many tiny flannel bags that keep it from tarnishing. But, seriously, the forks are scary! My mom had a set, as well. She wisely sold the whole thing when silver prices were so high!

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  3. Happy Anniversary! One of my favorite stores in my hometown is a “Renuzit” where all wares are donated and the money goes to Mennonite missions. In the kitchenware section is a large assortment of cutlery -10 cents a piece. You can mix and match to your hearts delight and outfit a table of ten for a dollar.

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  4. Bon anniversaire de mariage! Les noces d’argent, bravo!
    Hello Nora. My mom gave me her old set of real silverware. Let me tell you this: each item is so heavy that I have only used the set once. My American « mismatched » one is much more practical! Why do I specify American? Because I don’t like French forks and tablespoons very as much: they are big and bulky, which is funny, because on the other hand our dinner plates are smaller than American plates. Figure that out!
    Have a very nice Sunday, Nora! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 🙂 Merci, Joëlle!! The real stuff does weigh a ton! I have to laugh about your mention of smaller plates being French. When I reached a certain age — cough, cough — I bought all smaller dinner plates so they would look fuller with less food. Then, I got about a million (according to my husband) tiny plates for courses to make less food look even better. I call it my mid-life set!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Better to own a mid-life set than to have a mid-life crisis, Nora 😉
        Shall I let you in on a secret? I use even smaller plates for the photos of the food on my blog, because it is easier to have less to display if you are not very good at food staging, which is totally my case 🤫

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