You Just Never Know
Thursday, December 14, 2006

People, especially my husband, can really surprise you sometimes.

Last week, he came home from work and told me he picked something up for me. Usually this means they were selling brownies at the gas station, or if I'm really lucky this time of year, he got some eggnog. I love eggnog!

Then he hands me a bag full of clothes. Wait, it's not clothes... it's cloth napkins. What?!!! This from a man who refuses to let me put a tablecloth or placemats on the table? He's got a pretty bad grudge against placemats - I don't know what his mama did to him! He says they make him feel bossed around, like he's too dumb to know where to put his plate... all of my protests of good decorating fall on deaf ears. Although, it does make for less laundry!

So, on Thanksgiving, I pulled out the tablecloth and cloth napkins (once or twice a year is all I get!). I even folded them into nifty little pockets to put the silverware in. Apparently, my fold is an original one, because I browsed several napkin sites and I didn't see it anywhere. You fold the napkin in half so you have an oblong with the fold at the top, , fold the bottom up about a third of the way, and then fold the rectangle into thirds away from you. Stick the forks and stuff in the pocket. My 5 year old can do these! Here's some more.

Easy Breezy Napkin Folding

My husband works construction - specifically, he's building a coal fired electric generating plant. The people he work with wear boots and hardhats and Harley-Davidson tattoos. Not a place that makes you think of genteel dining with crystal and cloth napkins at all! I guess someone else pulled their napkins out this Thanksgiving and didn't like what they saw, so they donated them to the rag pile. My dear husband not only saw a pile of perfectly good napkins on top of the pile (still in a bag), he snatched them up just for me.

6 are very, very green, but will be great for kids, and 2 are white. Actually, it looks like the white ones got washed with a red shirt, because they are pinkish. My "table" is navy blue and white, so I'll just dye them in a pot on the stove and we'll be good to go!

Later, after I went to the store, I returned to find the dishwasher loaded. "You're back earlier than I thought", he says. "I was going to wash the pots too but I ran out of time because I was distracted by the TV". Mary Poppins was on cable at 9 pm and my husband watched it, all by himself since all of the kids were in bed. Who knew?

BTW, I highly recommend choosing "colors" as a basis for your fancy tables. Mine, as I said, are white and navy/cobalt blue. The blue, because I like it, and it will work for any holiday (red sometimes looks funny at Easter!), and white because it's practical and you can always find something to match. Our "good" dishes are plain white with basket weave (and not that good, actually, we got a boxed set at WalMart but keep them for special occasions so they still look nice). My side dishes go in Corningware white casserole dishes. I use blue Pyrex for smaller sides, things baked in a pan, etc. It all coordinates, goes easily from fridge to microwave to oven to table, and I can always find something to match, even if I am in a differet store or different state. For Christmastime, I'll do silver accents; Easter will be yellow daffodils in a blue vase, yellow and green accents; other holidays in winter = snow theme, other fancier dinners in summer = red, white and blue summery Patriotic theme. I can make it simple or fancy, girly or neutral. It's a great way to get more for your money! (We don't have room for a set of special dishes with holly on them, etc. anyway.)

Tags: Family Life, Need to Know
posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 12/14/2006 11:55:00 AM | Permalink | |