Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Just use the good dishes already! I dare you.

     Do you remember when you were engaged and did the whole wedding registry thing?  We didn't register for a lot, after all, we were 18 and 20 and all of our friends were our age or younger.  The only place we went "expensive" was when we were choosing dishes, pots and pans.  When it came to choosing those, I had my heart set on a set of Mikasa .  At that time, Mikasa was pretty spendy so we got just a few pieces.  It was good thing really.  Before our 10th anniversary, they had all chipped or broken (even the enamel on the pots and pans) and were of no use.  That comes from having a rowdy husband, raising a rowdy boy and being relatively clumsy myself.  When the last piece "died", I cried a bit. I took it as a lesson for me that those kinds of things just didn't belong in my house.

     Over the years, we have had several sets of Corelle - they are sturdy and dependable.  They seem to be perfect for us.  I have been satisfied with them for years and never gave a thought to upgrading or to buying a good set of china or replacing the Mikasa.  I really didn't feel that I had a need for a set of "special" dishes.  We are far too casual for that kind of thing and I just knew that if I spent the money, I would just break them anyway even if we only  used them for Special Occasions.

     Since I have been living in the MidSouth, several of the older relatives have passed away.  Because of this, several times I have been offered beautiful sets of china, of crystal glassware, of "real" silver.  The silver, I quickly accepted because I knew I couldn't really damage that and I do have a child to pass it on to when he is ready but the china and crystal I repeatedly refused out of fear.  That is until my very wise Aunt said something to me that just clicked.  A while back she brought me a full set of crystal.  It is beautiful but I didn't know when I would ever use them and where I would store them.  I was on the verge of refusing when she said "First, they are very light, so they will be better for your hands.  Second- life is too short to let them just sit and look pretty."  She was speaking from her heart; from a place of knowing.  You see, she had lost her husband not long before we moved back here.  It was Mom's stroke and losing my uncle that spurred our decision to make the move.  She is doing so very well but she also has had a big change of perspective that only loss of your true love can give.  Recently, she brought me a set of china. She had picked them up at an estate sale with her daughter in mind and my cousin did not particularly like them so she brought them back (she lives up near Cincy) and my aunt thought of me.   It is a lovely gray and pink set with flowers- one of my favorite color combinations; right up there with black and pink and chocolate brown and pink. Though I loved them,  I hesitated again.  She just gave me that patented "Mom Look" and reminded me that they are ONLY dishes.  If they break-it's not the end of the world.    I gratefully took the china and brought it home.  I could just hear her in my head the whole way home as I tried to rationalize bringing a complete setting for 12 (when there are only 2 of us) as well as a full accompanyment of serving dishes and it finally clicked. I mulled it over for a few days and then removed all of the Corelle from my hutch and replaced it with that china.  What clicked, what made the decision easy was this:

      We only have a limited time on this earth.  There is no reason to surround ourselves with beautiful things and just store them away to only use them max once or twice a year.  If you have a set of china, a set of crystal- USE THEM.  Enjoy them!  If you need a "reason" or a "special occasion" to break them out; Celebrate your loved ones, they deserve your "good" stuff!  Celebrate you- YOU deserve the "good stuff"!  Celebrate the fact that you are alive, that the sky is blue, that you made it through another day, that you were able to put a meal on the table.  Any day can be a special occasion-you just need to decide that it will be and go with it.  As for me; Hubby still prefers the Corelle for his meals because they are bigger so they are in a handy cabinet for him, but I am using that china every evening and each time I do, it reminds me to give thanks for all of the blessings I have in my life. When I see them I am most grateful that I didn't have to wait until I was 50, 60, 70 or until I lost another person in my life to have that lesson brought home to me.  So I challenge you;  No matter if you are getting take out, making a gourmet meal or hot dogs with mac and cheese, get out those good dishes and use them.  Make your humble dinner special, just because you can.  

1 comment:

drwart said...

My favorite is a Correlle!