Friday, March 07, 2008

Am I a slob?

I read this the other day and it got me thinking.

Do people really still use napkins in this day and age? Or is everyone else just like us, where they scramble to find some napkins when guests come over for dinner and thus perpetuate the myth that every good household uses them on a regular basis?

We didn't own any napkins (paper or cloth) until my family came into town for a visit just after Christmas two months ago. Before that, when guests came over to eat, we tore paper towels in half. Yes, it's true.

(Just in case there are still people out there who use napkins, and they're wondering what I use instead, the answer is nothing. We just eat neatly, I guess. I have noticed that whenever we go to someone's house and have napkins, I end up throwing them in the trash at the end of the meal, crisp and unused.)

So, do you use napkins? If not, feel free to say so. This is a welcome and loving environment. Also, I am the owner of this blog and I don't use them, so at least you're not alone.


Liz Johnson said...

I use paper towels on an "as-needed" basis. Granted, we don't have a kitchen table to eat at either, so perhaps I'm not the expert on this. My parents still use napkins at every meal, though.

Anonymous said...

We generally use paper towels as napkins when it's just the two of us eating, and bring out our *real* Costco paper napkins when we have guests. I'm not entirely sure why we do it this way, come to think of it...


Katie, Scotty and Cora said...

You're not alone, Bridget. I also rip the paper towels in half and use them. Scott thinks I'm so cheap for doing that, but who uses the WHOLE costco papertowl? Of course, I also rip the Costco wet wipes in half as well, even though Scott reminds me that they're only about 2 cents per sheet. Maybe I am what?!

sarah said...

I like to use napkins but Jared doesn't and it drives me crazy! He will just wipe on his pants or brush his hands together so crumbs get on the floor! Maybe it IS a little strange to use them. Thinking about it, when I was little I used to ask for a napkin when at a friends house for dinner and I was always the only one who used one and they had to scramble to find them for me in the first place!

Nancy Heiss said...

We have napkins. We use them occasionally.

Andrew's family typically uses napkins. Mine doesn't.

In fact...they just used up the leftover napkins from my wedding by giving them to my sister for hers.

My family is the paper towel kind. Except when we were little and especially messy. Then we had washcloths, which is what we use for Rachel now. No measly napkin could dare dream to conquer the messes she is capable of creating!

momj said...

hmmm. We use napkins...when the kids were young we got a napkin holder at the school auction and then it just sat on the table and if anyone wanted a napkin...they said " pass a napkin please!" My son uses 2 napkins at every meal..when we have company we always put a napkin around for everyone ...tend to not want to use table space for the holder. I have a pretty holder now on the table now I got more recently. And I have a square napkin basket that was my grandmother's. My grandfather would make his paper napkin last several meals by just leaving it as his spot at the table. I sometimes like using cloth napkins...I worry about staining them and am not inclined to iron them at all. We didn't usually have paper towels when the kids were growing up but now i do and love it. Things change. I feel i can afford them now...and they make those that you can tear off a smaller piece. I like those. I keep a roll under each bathroom counter too. I clean the mirror first, then the faucet, then the counter, then the sink, then the toilet , then toss. I think they earn their spot.

Crys said...

Every meal I give Ezra a ripped in half paper towel (hey no reason to use a whole one)...he will probably use it once but then promptly forget it and start wiping his hands on his pants again. I remind him of his paper towel but every meal he comes out looking like an orphan. Yes he is a one wear kind of kid. One time when we were at my in-laws, my mother-in-law was ripping paper towels in half and my father-in-law said, "Linda I can afford to give everyone a whole paper towel." Which of course totally embarrassed her but was kind of silly of him because you are right, why waste more trees then you have to.

Camille said...

We, unfortunately, fall into the category of messy eaters. Napkins are not always used but must be available, especially for finger food. We are big fans of tacos, oven fries, etc.

Ashley said...

I grew up in a house where we had napkins on the table for every meal and for dinner we always had cloth napkins. Once I got married I stopped buying napkins and we do the paper towel thing. I have no problem with it but if my dad ever found out I would be in trouble.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

We set the dinner table w/ paper napkins, though they are not always used. In that case they go back in the drawer for the next dinner. I guess because my Mom was so proper about things like that, I use them w/out thinking. Napkins are more civilized than wiping hands on clothing. Costco sells a humongous package that lasts forever, so they don't break the bank. One roll of paper towels lasts me forever, as I only use them for icky clean ups that I don't want my dishrag to even touch. Otherwise I have no use for them. Like Katie, I rip them in half when I do use them--wet wipes too. Even if they're cheap, it makes no sense to waste a whole one if you only need half!

Kristen said...

I can't stand the feel of messy fingers, so I have to have something to wipe my fingers on. Come on, not every entree suggests the use of utensils--sandwiches, sliced fruit, burritos, pizza...and then sometimes you have to dab the corners of your mouth, or in my case, wipe your face (think: turkey burger with BBQ sauce spilling out the sides, etc.) My preference for absorbability is paper towels for sure. But since our exchange student has been here, we've preferred to have the napkin holder on the table within easy reach. And when we have dinner parties, I love to pull out the cloth napkins and wrought iron napkin holders. Gary despises this inclination, because he is the one who always ends up ironing each and every one. What a good boy!

Danny and Julee said...

I recently decided that my true passion is Economics.
My husband calls it "anal about finances" but I prefer economist. Ponder these definitions from Unabridged (v 1.1) -
1. Thrifty management; frugality in the expenditure or consumption of money, materials, etc.
2. The efficient, sparing, or concise use of something:...:
I think people in this era are spoiled and have resources at there disposal, literally. Although, we can afford a whole paper towel why not conserve if it will go unused?
It puts my heart at ease to hear that so many people rip paper towels in half and do not use napkins at all.
I am a tree hugger at heart... time to move back to Oregon.


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