24 June 2008

Just a cage of rib bones

In my ongoing efforts to win a Daytime Emmy award, I am hereby converting what started out as a simple post about my quirky love for a food conveyance into my shot at a treatment for a Lifetime Original Movie.

Towards that end, I have provided a suggested soundtrack by the inimitable Ingrid Michaelson, which seems to currently be required for all such entertainment (with good reason):

[Background music: The Way I Am]

When I went to load a bowl into our dishwasher the other day, I was struck with the memory that I'd broken the matching bowl a month or so ago, so I didn't have to leave a spot for that one right next to the other (I have a tried-and-true arrangement for loading our dishwasher). I love these bowls, because their nearly ideal shape and the fact that they're ceramic makes them the most versatile dishes we have.

I say "them" because we started out with four, but as we are now down to one, I suppose I should get used to saying "it" instead. Forget about those other two that were broken long ago, though, because we've only had two for a long time, and that makes the loss (or murder) of one that much more poignant.

[Background music: Breakable]

I'll pause for a moment to allow you to wipe away your tears, because if you're like me, this all seems exactly as tragic as someone setting a place at the table for the recently deceased before realizing there's no longer a need for it, and then finding themselves unable to take the place setting away because it seems so final and cruel. The only real difference is that in my story, the protagonist is the place setting itself.

On that note, I felt a little sorry for the bowl, and then I felt a bit guilty for robbing it of its life partner. They nested so perfectly together, quiet and content in that cozy cabinet, except when one or both of them went out to work or on vacation to the counter by the sink. Absence always made its heart grow fonder, so now it can grow fonder forevermore. At the same time, I have to think that it is now left to live in terror of the day when one of us drops it a little too hard or loves it a little too much, a la Lennie from Of Mice and Men.

For the icing on this maudlin cake, I had broken the dearly departed bowl by dropping it just a few inches onto the dishwasher rack, of all places, and this surviving bowl had to sit there watching in horror. And every time I put it back into that cursed place, it has to relive that awful moment. I believe the cause of death was that the victim had been brittle from a case of thermal shock, but that's all in the past and there's no sense in torturing myself any more than I already have.

So as this Last Bowl Standing now lay in that same dishwasher rack where its lover met its end, waiting for the ax to fall while facedown and trembling in fear, wracked with regret, horrible flashbacks, and post-traumatic stress, it became clear that these bowls are subject to the same whimsies of fate as the rest of us.

[Background music: Keep Breathing]

What makes them so special then, you ask? Nothing much, I guess. I just like the way they hold my cereal up like a gift each morning, making a healthy amount seem like the excessive quantity I might otherwise pour. Plus, they fit so nicely in our little dishwasher. (Sorry... too soon? They/it really do/does, though.)

So this bowl, just like those before it and every one to follow, is not much more special than any others, and it has little choice but to do whatever it is it does while it can, because it can never know which day will be its last.

Aaaaaaaand scene.


• If need be, we can add a little coda about the last bowl moving in with one of the other set of bowls we have.

• That leaves open a sequel about the two renegades bucking the conventions of the society in our cabinet, and making their own way towards being happy again in the short time they have, and so on.

• The widowed bowl must be voiced by Valerie Bertinelli, or there's no deal, and I believe Dennis Haysbert was born to play the broken bowl. Suggestions for the widow's possible love interest include Vin Diesel or Pierce Brosnan.


Kori said...

Oh, I think I have the same story going on at my house, only with coffee cups. And I am crying for your loss, because I wll know the soothing effects of having a well-loved friend holding your cereal. Or in my case, coffee. Nothing better. But really, Valerie Bertinelli? Eeew.

Swirl Girl said...

Why don't you take your bowl to Pier One for a speed date? Or is it too soon?

How'bout Mike Farrel for the departed and Greg Evigan for the love interest?


Anonymous said...

My remaining bowls have horrible chips around the rim, and are just biding their time until they crack in half completely, as their former lovers did.

Charlie Blockhead said...

Congratulations on your recent honor of being named a Best Of Blog winner. The winner buttons have now arrived and all you have to do to receive yours is send an email to my address below with the subject line of “Winner’s Button”. I will start sending these out this week.
Thank you,
Bill Beck
Best Of Blog Awards

Kevin McKeever said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin McKeever said...

It think dishwasher layout protocol truly is a guy thing. You're the fourth one, myself included, I know who seems to understand the value of spatial relations to the cleansing ritual and process.

Natalie said...

you, my friend, are a writer! this was so funny! and the speed dating comment...cracked me up!

i have a way i like to load the dishwasher, and my husband has a different way. once one of us starts loading we have to finish the job or else the other person comes in and takes it all out to start over. i wish he would just see that my way is better. i am not complaining though. at least he loads it!

Mama Dawg said...

I have a juice glass with cherries on it that was widowed a while ago. Is, perchance, your bowl a lesbian or can be converted to one? Cause if so, my juice glass is ready to go!

LiteralDan said...

Kori: My heart goes out to your coffee mug cabinet. Maybe I'll send over a casserole or something.

Hey, I go with what the people want, and it seems to be Ms. Bertinelli on Lifetime.

Swirl Girl: Nice-- I tip my hat to you for your quipping skills, madame. I wonder what they'd think of that if I did... actually, I wouldn't know when to nest them and turn my back, or even who would go in who. So I guess she'll have to be chaste till death, unless she's content with the dating pool already in our cabinet.

I'm sorry, my casting choices are final. Though of course there are plenty of other dishes in the dishwasher, so speaking roles abound.

Andrea's Sweet Life: A bowl with chips has character, and is probably really well-made. They've had full lives. It's the ones that have no damage until they shatter irreparably that are where the melodrama's at.

Charlie Blockhead: Hey, cool, will do!

Always Home and Uncool: I hope it is, because in the last six months or so, I've been losing a lot of claims to "guy things". I will never lose this one, though, because as I explain to my wife or anyone else who mocks me, I hate washing dishes, so the more I can fit in there without compromising washing thoroughness, the better off I am.

Natalie: Thank you, thank you-- glad you liked it. I was all over the place with it and tried to pull it all together so I could get off the computer and wrestle with D-, (who definitely needs an outlet these days).

At least you guys each respect the art of dishwasher loading. It's greatly disrespected in our house by those who "just don't care". Heathens.

Mama Dawg: I don't know if bowl-cup relations would be considered homosexuality, regardless of the sex of the participants, or if the Morality Police of Dishes (MPD) would just call it bestiality and arrest them both.

Rikki said...

Oh boy! I totally feel your pain. I had a set of Waterford crystal wine glasses (four of them) that I got as a wedding gift (since I am NO high roller) and loved with a passion.

I was guilted in to hosting a bridal shower for an annoying coworker (never again). I had purchased plastic disposable wine glasses for the event, but the tacky bride-to-be rummaged through my cupboards and found my precious stemware. Not 30 seconds into her chardonnay, she dropped the glass.

I had to excuse myself so that I could go cry in the bathroom. It was tragic.

LiteralDan said...

The question is, did you forgive and forget by attending her funeral? Or was it too soon for forgiveness?

Rikki said...

I am still bitter 8 years later...may she rest in peace. ;)

LiteralDan said...

I would be bitter forever, but I'm just an awful person like that-- I'm sure in time you'll feel better about it.