Sunday, December 7, 2008

Referee Please

I need to get something off my chest. It's been a long, drawn-out discussion, and we need a referee to get things straight. A friend recently posted on her blog that some things she's just now learning about her spouse after several years of marriage. We've almost hit the four month mark, but I didn't just learn this. It's been bothering me every time I set the table, every time food of any sort is going to be consumed and a utensil is required: do you use a spoon or fork?
  • What if it is served in a bowl? Of course, the rational, reasonable, and correct answer is that a spoon is required! How else can you get everything off the bottom of the bowl? Forks leave so much wanting in this sad realm, and yet Barbie seems fixated that if it has any solid-like mass, a fork has to be used. Examples include stew, macaroni, even ice cream on occasion! It is just unreasonable
  • And then question 2, the one that leads up to question 1: do you serve the meal in a bowl or on a plate? Of course, if it's something solid, it should go on the plate! Take spaghetti for example: it clearly belongs on a plate, so that a fork can be used. In a bowl, a spoon would be required in order to get all the sauce left on the bottom, but a spoon clearly won't work for spaghetti! Some plates have lips, and I agree that these are preferred for things with sauce such as spaghetti, but to go to the extreme of a deep dish bowl? I rest my case.


Elise said...

Dan: I go with Barbie. Some things are just fork foods, and some of those foods are also just bowl foods, and so there are times that a bowl needs a fork. And hey, sometimes ice cream is so much more fun to eat with a fork so you can push your fork down flat and watch the ice cream ooze up through the prongs. And though I usually have spaghetti on a plate, I prefer it in a bowl b/c some sauces are way too watery and I don't like my noodles sogging in the water at the bottom of the plate so a bowl does a better job of preventing the sogginess, and I don't like the left over sauce much anyway, so...

Elise: I agree with Josh. He said it all. Dan and I really have never thought about this though, but now that we do we both decided that a good spork would solve all the problems here.

Jonathan Hall said...

Unfortunately Josh, you are being a bit dogmatic. Don't you agree it would be best to let each individual choose the utensil that would maximize his or her individual utility while consuming the food. The same principle applies to whether it should be served in a bowl or plate. Haven't you learned anything from Becker or Murphy?

Now if you are going with what the social norms are, I think that there are sufficient examples of food served in a bowl but eaten with a fork to say that your "bowl->spoon" rule is not a social norm. Take for example macaroni and cheese, or the existence of pasta bowls.

Of course, I think anyone who would eat ice cream with a fork (excepting of course, when eating it with a brownie) is committing a most heinous crime.

When Chelsea and I first got married we had a similar conflict over the proper way to set a table. She would set the knife facing out, while we all know if should face towards the plate!

Jess said...

I think it mostly depends on what type of clean dishware you have available & the level of laziness currently being employed by both of you. We seem to go through extraordinary amounts of dishes and sometimes there just isn't a plate for the spaghetti and we don't feel like washing one. I don't think I could eat spaghetti with a spoon though (or even ice cream with a fork!). Even in a bowl. Sometimes you just have to leave the sauce in the bottom. :)

maknm3famous said...

HAHA...the Barbie I knew ate kethup with everything too! :D
I agree with both of you. You're arguments are pretty good from both angles. When it comes to spaghetti at my house, we usually eat it in the bowl. Same with rice and stir fry dinner. I think its just whatever makes you comfortable and what you yourself like.

Melanie said...

Ryan: Whatever Melanie says is right:)

Melanie: I agree with Jess. Of course, if you want to get technical and proper then I agree with Josh. I remember attending a lot of etiquette classes (I guess my mom thought I needed them:) and Josh's way would be the most classy. But sometimes you have to let loose, and at those times Barbie's got the right idea. I guess I'm saying it depends on the circumstances that surround your dining. Maybe we should start an elite dining club (or like in the show The Office with the "Finer things club"). By the way- want to come over for dinner sometime?