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When I was a teenager, I remember arriving at a home for a babysitting appointment. The Mother who had requisitioned my services was in the kitchen packing away her silver cutlery.

I found it odd that she was wrapping each individual piece in tissue paper.

After explaining to me that the tissue helps negate tarnish, she told me this was the silver service set that she got when she was married.

Then with a heavy sigh, she recounted the following story to me as I pulled up a chair.

When she was still a newlywed bride, she and her husband invited their family and friends over to their home for dinner.

Deciding to keep the menu simple she served spaghetti with salad and rolls.

No worries, she thought.

In front of my eyes, this poor woman relived the horror that overtook her after dinner when she gathered up the cutlery.

Her spoons had been horribly scarred.

It had never occurred to her that twirling spaghetti with forks into silver spoons leaves indelible swirly scratches.

Mark my words…

As she ended the story she explained that she shares her experience whenever she can, in hopes that others would learn from her mistake.

Now, fast forward many years later, I am chatting with a good friend and bride to be.

As she discusses her pending wedding gifts, I relate the same story hoping she will benefit from the lesson of not using her silver cutlery when spaghetti is on the menu.

A month or so after her wedding, my friend now makes a startling confession to me.

As a newlywed bride she and her husband invited their family and friends over to their home for dinner.

Deciding to keep the menu simple she served spaghetti with salad and rolls.

No worries, she thought.

It was only as dinner was being served that her horror became complete when everyone began to twirl spaghetti with their forks into her brand new silver spoons.

“Why didn’t you stop them?” I asked her.

“It was too late,” she exasperatedly exhaled with a dismissive wave.

I immediately understood.

What purpose would be served of stopping everyone in mid-bite and asking them to relinquish their fully loaded forks and spoons?

My friend then ended the conversation with a shrug and a smile.

And I learned something valuable from my friend that day.

There are times when you just have to sit back and let fate have it’s way.

Of course, with some ingenuity you’ll be able to turn your tragedy into a good story somewhere down the road.

Kind of like this one.

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