New dishes pro­vide a full plate of fam­ily din­ner op­tions

North Penn Life - - Accent - Mike Morsch is ex­ec­u­tive ed­i­tor of Mont­gomery Me­dia and au­thor of the book, “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear: The Sound­track of My Life.” He can be reached by call­ing 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ ya­ This col­umn can also be found at ww

Ed­i­tor’s note: As part of the Arts & Lec­ture Se­ries for the Ed­u­ca­tion Foun­da­tion of Up­per Dublin School Dis­trict, Mike and spe­cial guest, Philadel­phia singer­song­writer Dan May, will of­fer a “Danc­ing in My Un­der­wear” per­for­mance of sto­ry­telling and mu­sic at 7:30 p.m. Thurs­day, Oct. 25, at the new Per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter at Up­per Dublin High School. For ticket in­for­ma­tion, go to www.udsd. org.

The only thing I know about dishes is that I usu­ally eat ev­ery­thing that’s on one placed in front of me. So it is no sur­prise that I was un­aware that we needed new dishes at our house.

A quick look inside the kitchen cab­i­nets — and the china cab­i­net in the din­ing room and the stor­age cab­i­net in the garage and the at­tic and the stor­age space in the base­ment — re­veals that we seem to have lots of dishes. This is what must have fooled me into think­ing that we had all the dishes that we needed.

Alas, this was not the case last week­end. The Blonde Ac­coun­tant was pre­par­ing a big fam­ily din­ner for 11 peo­ple to cel­e­brate my birthday. She likes me, which is a good thing for a mar­riage, and she wanted to make sure I had a spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion.

So she laid out this won­der­ful ta­ble in the din­ing room, com­plete with beau­ti­ful fall col­ors and cen­ter­pieces. She even ironed the ta­ble cov­ers and nap­kins to take out the creases, some­thing I’m pretty sure I would never have thought of do­ing. I’m not sure I would even notice that ta­ble cov­ers and nap­kins even have creases in them. To me it’s kind of like iron­ing one’s un­der­shorts. Who cares about creases in ta­ble cov­er­ings and un­der­shorts? But it was a lot of ef­fort, it was a gor­geous ta­ble and it was very much ap­pre­ci­ated on my part.

As we were sur­vey­ing the din­ing room the night be­fore the big shindig, she sud­denly started to have sec­ond thoughts that some­thing was miss­ing.

“We need new dishes,” she said.

This, gentle­men, is what I call “Rut Row Ter­ri­tory.” See, my first re­sponse, which could be in­ter­preted as in­sen­si­tive, would have been to say, “No we don’t, we have plenty of nice dishes in ev­ery cab­i­net in the house.”

That would be in­cor­rect. There is ac­tu­ally more in­for­ma­tion to the equa­tion, in­for­ma­tion that we men need so as not to come off sound­ing like we usu­ally do, which is to say, like big knuck­le­headed id­iots.

For­tu­nately, I sensed some­thing was afoot, that I did in­deed not have all the in­for­ma­tion I needed to for­mu­late an ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse to the “We need new dishes” com­ment.

So in a most sen­si­tive way, I re­sponded ac­cord­ingly. “Huh?” I said. Short, sweet and am­bigu­ous enough to stay out of the line of fire for the mo­ment. I was pretty proud that I had crafted that type of re­sponse.

As it turns out, the dishes we would nor­mally use for such a fancy schmancy soiree were her grand­mother’s dishes. And those heir­loom dishes have blue flow­ers on them. The blue flow­ers were not go­ing to go with the fallthemed col­ors of the ta­ble cov­ers and cen­ter­pieces.

OK, all right, I see . . . it makes per­fect sense. That was the mes­sage I con­veyed on the out­side. On the inside, my think­ing was that I was pretty sure that I didn’t even re­al­ize that the fancy dishes were once her grand­mother’s dishes and I’m just as cer­tain that I had ab­so­lutely no clue that they had blue flow­ers on them.

Be­fore I knew it, she was out the door. Now this was a lit­tle af­ter 8 p.m. on Satur­day night for the 5 p.m. din­ner sched­ule for the fol­low­ing day. But she was on her way so quickly that I could only as­sume that late on a Satur­day night is the op­ti­mum time to go shop­ping for dishes.

Less than a half-hour later, she re­turned with two big boxes of new dishes. They were what I’d call a plain pat­tern, but with no col­ors on them. I’d call them white dishes but ap­par­ently there are sev­eral col­ors of white when it comes to dishes and I can’t be­gin to re­mem­ber or ex­plain them all to you.

Boxes of new dishes are heavy and I don’t own a fork­lift, so I en­listed the help of Son of Blonde Ac­coun­tant and oh, 18 or 19 other hus­bands from the neigh­bor­hood to carry the dishes from the car to the kitchen, where of course, they needed to be washed be­fore they were put on the ta­ble. An­other thing I didn’t know: That one has to wash dishes that are al­ready clean and spank­ing new out of the box.

The end re­sult was that all turned out well. The din­ner was spec­tac­u­lar, ev­ery­one com­mented on how nice the ta­ble looked and . . . no­body made one com­ment on the new dishes.

“I’m sorry no­body com­mented on your new dishes,” I said.

“No, no, that’s OK. They go with ev­ery­thing, so the fact that they went un­no­ticed is a good thing,” said The Blonde Ac­coun­tant.

Oh. Well, that makes per­fect sense.

Outta Left­field Mike Morsch

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