Late last year I surveyed my few wine glasses and found them wanting. Short, thick-stemmed, heavy-walled, with mold-lines and big rounded lips, they were everything a wine glass ought not to be.
So, with malice aforethought, I explained this situation to a close friend. He, being no fool, knew exactly what was expected of him. So, on Christmas, I was surprised, amazed, and delighted to receive a number of fine wine glasses from him. “Thank you for your thoughtfulness.” They came in two varieties -- slender for white wines, and wide-mouthed for reds. Who knew that two kinds of wine glasses were needed? Certainly not I. Now I knew. And had them too!
These glasses possessed all the qualities that an object worthy of the name ‘stemware’ should have: tall, with copious capacity, ever-so-slender stems, and smooth thin walls with delicate lips. Everyone loves to look at them and even more to use them -- to sip their white wine from a slender cup or their red wine from a rounded cup to help savor the fine aroma.
Unfortunately, these glasses have one drawback. They are fragile; I am clumsy. Everytime I wash one, a frisson of fear runs along my spine at the thought of one shattering as I push my hand into it, and several times that fear has come to fruition. (That’s a fancy way of saying clumsy me broke some of the damn things.)
Now, I try to avoid superstitions, credulous belief in the paranormal, and all such forms of quackery and poor judgment as aromatherapy, homeopathy, string theory, macroeconomic models, and Academy Awards. So I was quite shocked by the behavior of one of my wine glasses last week. I washed it ever so carefully and avoided cracking it. Whew! I placed it steadily on a firm spot in the drying rack. I continued washing the other dishes, when, out of the corner of my eye, I observed the glass suddenly hurl itself up and over the side of the rack and shatter upon the floor!
A poltergeist? I don’t like to think so. Some jumping-bean-like quality inserted by the manufacturer to help sell replacement product? Probably not. A glass wilfully proclaiming its disdain for me and my plebeian taste in wines, which runs to Zin for me and cheap Merlot for guests? Perhaps.
What, oh what, should I think of the glass’ behavior? I really don’t know, and it bothers me. The only thing I'm sure of is that I’m out one more wine-glass!