What to do with Dirty Wine Glasses

Note: This is an older blog post, originally posted June 14, 2019.

I washed my wine glasses today. That may not sound very exciting, but it is for me because these two wine glasses had been sitting dirty next to my kitchen faucet for over four months. Don’t get me wrong, I do 3-4 loads of dishes a week and keep my kitchen clean, so this was an exception.

The thing a lot of people don’t realize about dishes, is that for single items (like one plate, one fork, one glass, etc) it’s faster and easier to just wash them by hand in between each use without putting them away. Use a glass, set it in the sink, wash said glass the next day right before use, repeat. Simple, efficient.

This I think was the subconscious motivation for my leaving those wine glasses out. It was the first time I’d used them; they are rather nice, you see. They are Waterford crystal and normally cost a small fortune, but I happened to get mine, brand new, for a steal from a good friend. They are tall, clear, and when you clink them together, they ring like bells.

They were designed for special occasions and romantic dinners, and their first use in my care fell into both categories: the first real romantic dinner I’d had in years – the first of many, it turned out, over the next few blissful months.

So, I just didn’t see any point in washing them and putting them away just yet. They would be used again soon, after all. But for some reason they weren’t. Load after load of dishes made their way into and out of the sink, into and out of the dishwasher, into and out of the cupboards. And my fragile, crystal wine glasses just sat and collected concentric white rings of soap residue.

It got to where we hardly noticed them as they sat there. Sat, and waited it seemed. Waited through home-cooked meals and favorite movies. Through slow forest hikes and lazy Saturday outings. Through long walks, longer talks, and our dreamy Florida beach vacation.

I guess my other, less grand wine glasses needed to get used too.

It’s been a little over a month now since the sudden “I just think we’re better as friends” conversation. It’s the reason many don’t bother with nice wine glasses in the first place. Sometimes I think I bother too much.

But I like my silly wine glasses – it’s about putting out your best. Even though your best is fragile…and breaks. I think maybe I left them sitting out because they were unusable, but too valuable to just throw away. I didn’t know what to do with them. So I did nothing with them.

I suppose that over the weeks I began to feel sorry for my poor, dirty wine glasses… sitting there all alone… making church bell chimes whenever I accidentally bumped them. Maybe I felt guilty for withholding the washing they so desperately needed.

Or maybe, after all these weeks, it finally sunk in that they won’t be needed anymore. That they were just getting in the way and needed to go back to their cupboard. Back where they came from. Out of sight, and most importantly, out of mind.

But anything worth having is worth using, and anything worth using is worth taking care of. Honestly, those wine glasses deserve better. They truly are beautiful, and it wasn’t fair to leave them sitting out this long.

Once they are dry, I’ll put them back in the cupboard. Out of sight, on the top shelf, but not out of mind. I want those glasses kept in pristine condition. Not because there won’t be any more romantic dinners…

…but because there will be.