Here was my dilemma. I needed a napkin holder, but in stores all the napkin holders looked a little too hokey to me. So naturally, I was far from delighted at having to spend money for something I didn’t like in the first place.

I took a little cruise around the apartment. What could I possibly use for a napkin holder? This is one advantage of being a casual housekeeper: if, after using something, you don’t immediately put it back where it belongs, you can often spot an object that will solve a current problem in an unrelated area. In this case, however, nothing suitable was in plain view.

Opening a kitchen cabinet door, I spotted way in the back a few inherited, antique pink glasses I hadn’t used in a long time. They were long on rosy beauty and short on practicality. The bright pink surface glaze had a tendency to flake off. And if you were drinking from that glass while that glaze was flaking, you can imagine where those glazed flecks were going…but it was definitely better not to.

I pulled out the glass, grabbed a handful of napkins and plunked them inside. Couldn’t have fit better! Plus they looked okay. Elegant even.

So now my little problem was solved. My new napkin holder cost me exactly zero. Plus it cheered up my tiny kitchen and was a pleasant reminder of the prior owner, who had always gotten a charge out of the unexpected.

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