Tense Utensil

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Story Sent in by Jill:

Christmas had just passed when I first met Ricky. We had spoken online for a while and I liked him.

In person, we met at a nice restaurant and he gave me a wrapped box. "Merry Christmas!" he said.

I hadn't expected anything, and I instantly felt bad as I hadn't thought to buy something for him. After thanking him profusely, I opened the gift.

It was a red plastic knife and fork, like from a "My first knife and fork" set. The edges were all comically rounded, rendering them completely useless for anything at all.

"Seemed appropriate," he said, "We're about to eat, after all."

I laughed. "Thank you." I put them away.

"What are you doing?" he asked, "Use them. They're clean."

I said, "Seriously? I don't think they're really meant to be used to eat actual meals."

"Why the hell not?" he asked, becoming clearly upset, "I bought you personalized silverware. Did you even see your name on them?"

I pulled them back out. Wouldn't you know it, he had scrawled my initials in black ink on the back of each utensil. Touching, really.

So when our meals came, I did my best to shovel the food around with the stupid plastic flatware like I was a two-year-old. It became more difficult than it was worth, and I finally put them away for good. "I don't want to mess them up," I told him.

"You're so ungrateful," he told me, sounding a bit unhinged.

"Sorry," I told him, just hoping that the situation would end faster if I didn't antagonize him.

When the check came, he looked at it for a long time and said, "I'll bet you're expecting me to pay for this."

I told him, "I'll pay my share. Give it here."

"No," he said, "I'll take care of it."



After he signed the credit card slip, he said, "Enjoy your gift," and left me sitting there.

Since then, I've completely lost track of what became of him, but my friends and I consistently gift and regift the "monogrammed" flatware back and forth to each other, as a joke.

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