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Dear Auntie Vicky: torn over tarnish

Dear Auntie Vicky,

I recently inherited several pieces of old silver from my beloved Granny. The unexpected gift has taught me two things. One, I LOVE old silver. Two, I HATE cleaning silver, old or new. So I haven’t polished them in months. My friend Ethel says this is a disgrace and that poor old Grans is rolling over in her grave at my blatant neglect. I’m torn, and wondering if Granny is in fact sitting up there (wherever THERE is) and tsk-tsking over the tarnish. How often must I clean my silver? And is there an easy way to do it? Please help.


Tarnished in Toronto

Dear TinT

I LIKE tarnished silver. Ethels of the world – take a Valium on this one.

The answers, in short, are technically never and, depends on what you mean by easy. But here are two questions for you. Who the darn heck does Ethel think she is, and is she free on Thursday afternoon to do some serious silver cleaning and polishing chez vous? Around the House, we don’t really embrace silver polishing  – I actually love the look of tarnished silver. If Ethel doesn’t, tough beanie beanereenos for her. To be perfectly accurate, I do clean silver once a year (maybe) – and only when the spirit truly moves me. Even Martha Stewart, whose standards are altogether higher than mine, opts for an easy solution.  And Ethel, if you’re reading this, bonus advice for you – back off, bitch, or we’ll start inquiring about whether  your spice drawer has been alphabetized recently.


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