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Those Silly Boys!
Miss Melody faces
her first moral dilemma

My younger brother just graduated from a major public institution known for its overly intoxicated students, who are often want to burn furniture after major sports victories. Needless to say, it's fair to assume that he wasn't sipping merlot while discussing philosophical anthropology on Saturday evenings.

Naturally, the next step in his life was to get a real apartment. When we first spoke after his big move, I was a bit alarmed that he didn't have some critical home necessities, like a full set of silverware.

"I can't have people over to eat anything that requires a spoon because I've only got one, and some people look at you funny if you've got ice cream and then say you gotta share the spoon."

Oh really? As I pondered why it seemed as though the guys in my life were Neanderthal man's first cousin, I became very afraid for my little brother. If he didn't have silverware, imagine the couch pillows! Oh the humanity!

Before rushing out to one of my favorite peddlers of discount décor, I called him back, wondering what sort of color schemes he had in mind. His response: only the colors of his alma mater, which is not exactly what I'd deem a sophisticated interior design strategy for a minimum budget.

And, he planned to frame posters of the university's stadium and some of its football legends for the walls.

And then I felt a searing pain for the really nice girl he may one day make his wife. Will she be willing to decorate at least one room of her house in this ridiculous manner? Is this going to be the reason my brother's first marriage ends in a horrible train wreck?

What if I buy some nice navy blue pillows to compliment the couch my aunt gave him last spring? Even though it goes against the color scheme, it's a perfect option.

Racked with guilt, I knew what I had to do. I went out on a mission. First, I checked out the kitchen gear at Marshall's, then on to K-Mart. At the World Market, I found the perfect gift for my hapless brother: a 20-piece set of stainless-steel flatware, on clearance for $7.

I was absolved of any guilty feelings for contributing to the poor decorating scheme of my brother's living room.

In addition, my brother has never purchased a drinking glass in his life. He gets them from fine establishments that let you keep the cup when you buy the beer of the month. Lucky for him I found a collection of visually striking highballs, rocks glasses and pint glasses at Marshall's for less than $15 (12 glasses total).

So now his guests can properly drink and eat with utensils. It's a start, and I must remind myself that progress is slow in some parts of the population.

My application for sainthood will be expedited.

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