In my shipment of household belongings from Paris was my much-used, much-loved Laguiole cutlery. Perfect for casual entertaining.
On Easter weekend I set five places at the breakfast table. Something was really wrong.
The handles didn't all go in the same direction. My ingrained etiquette dictated that the knife blade face the plate, of course. But in doing so, the fork and spoon handles faced away from the knife. The visual disarray made me seasick.
How could Laguiole POSSIBLY make a cutlery set that didn't match? (Sure, I bought it at a discount at Carrefour, but even so...) I fumed.
And why hadn't I noticed this in Paris?
Oh. Lightbulb pops.
In France the forks and spoons are placed on the table face down. See how they line up all pretty like sloops in a harbor?
I guess I'll have to carry on the French method of table setting here in the U.S., because I simply can't abide the visual disharmony of wayward flatware.