Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

The Throwaway Society

 When I was growing up we used proper linen napkins and each member of the family had their own silver napkin ring. My parents had a matching rings with their initials on, my sister had a large one with scrolling ornamentation and mine was slim and delicate (like its owner). My parents rings have gone missing, my sister probably has hers in safe keeping and mine has been travelling round with me for years- never actually being put to use but moving from house to house and drawer to drawer. We were a doing a little frivolous spring cleaning this morning and my ring turned up again- very badly tarnished- so I gave it a good polish and put it away in yet another drawer.

These days we use paper serviettes- or kleenex tissues- so napkin rings are superfluous.  I've gone through life congratulating myself on how much less formal I am than my parents- but the obverse of formality is carelessness- including carelessness about resources. You don't wash you napkin you just throw it away and grab another- and actually- on mature reflection- I think this is regression not progress.

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