A few days ago I looked into my cupboard and found five glasses. I checked the dishwasher, the counter, and the refrigerator to see if I'd missed some but there weren't any more to be found.
The next day I noticed that we were out of bread (small) plates for dinner and did the search again. Five were in the dishwasher from breakfast, two from lunch, but the rest were just as missing as the glasses.
When I informed Brandon later that our glasses stock has dwindled to just five, he commented that we couldn't even have anyone over for dinner unless we broke out the blue plastic cups. It's probably a good thing we only have seven weeks left anyway.
When Brandon and I got married we registered for all of our dishes and silverware and sheets and towels because between the two of us we had about nothing. I had some pots and pans and various kitchen things (including a six-piece set of small tart pans. Ask me sometime how often I've used those), but never any actual dishes. I can't really remember what I ate off of in the college years, but whatever it was, it wasn't mine.
So on the registry went plates, bowls, glasses and silverware. Although there were only two of us at the time, I planned ahead and registered for sixteen settings of everything but the silverware. I signed up for twenty of those. You know, just in case I needed some extras. Of course we didn't get all of the place settings we registered for, but when Brandon got his first real job with State I marched myself down to the Clarendon Crate and Barrel and finished up everything that we lacked. I still remember unpacking my dishes in Cairo and admiring the tall stacks of white porcelain beauty that could hold food for sixteen people at once.
The only problem with white porcelain beauty is that it sometimes breaks. Especially when you tend to live in houses that have hard-surface floors in their kitchen. Stone and ceramic tile just isn't very forgiving to glasses and dishes dropped on it, and it seems that over the last four years there have been a lot of dishes dropped on them. It doesn't seem like that many when they're dropped one at a time, a few months apart, but it only takes nine times to go from sixteen bread plates to seven. And I'm not helping matters by making the children unload the dishwasher.
Of course I can always make the switch to plastic - it takes a whole lot of abuse to break plastic dishes - but I don't want to. Everyone has things they're weirdly particular about and I guess dishes is one of my (fifty) things. I like to use real porcelain dishes and I swear that drinks are colder and taste better when they're in glasses.
The price of this oddity is, of course, periodic orders from Crate and Barrel to replenish. Usually I restock at the beginning of a tour with a few pieces of each kind - three or four bread plates, a half dozen glasses, a salad plate or two, but this next one's going to be a bit bigger than usual. Maybe the children have been throwing them away when I'm not looking. So far, I've been lucky and Crate and Barrel hasn't discontinued the setting I use. Hopefully when they finally do, the children will be grown up and we'll be done moving around. I'll cross my fingers. Or maybe just unload the dishwasher myself. But probably just cross my fingers.