For years we moved the boxes with us — the “good” dishes, the ones we got for our wedding. From Missouri to Wyoming, across the country to South Carolina, and finally back to Missouri.
First we stored them under the bed because the cabinets in our apartment were so small there was no place to put them.
After a few years, we liberated the dishes from their boxes when we graduated to a China hutch. Now the dishes were on permanent display.
And, because the dishes were finally accessible, we even managed to use them–occasionally. But only with guests.
Progress, I suppose.
When we moved this last time, the good dishes went back into the China hutch. But, each time we used them for entertaining, I had to wash all the pieces beforehand to get rid of the dust that collected there.
My pre-marital fantasies sure weren’t matching up with my post-marital reality.
One day I wondered about all those dishes gathering dust.
What if they didn’t gather dust? What if we used them?
What if our birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays were worth it?
What if our normal regular days were worth it, too?
The days when we’re tired from mowing the grass and eat frozen pizza on the dinner plates.
The mornings when we’re up early drinking our coffee from the cups.
The late nights when we’re snacking on a slice of pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream because it’s the fall.
Those times are all worth it.
So use the good stuff.
All the time.
All the days worth it.
Every. Single. One of Them.
Those were my exact thoughts when we moved and downsized. We now only have one set of dishes and silverware. We use the “good for company only” everyday and enjoy them. However, I could not bring myself to get rid of my Christmas dishes. So once a year I spend days washing them and getting ready for the holidays.
I would love to get a set of holiday dishes…maybe snowflakes that I’d use the whole month of December??? Hmmmm……
Diane Low says
Great post Gina!
My dad’s comment to my mom as he looked at the filled china cabibet one day, ” Are you saving those for my second wife? ” She was mad, then understood what he was saying. Unless they are used, there are no memories made and when you are gone, they are just things. When used, they come to commemorate love, laughter and sharing. Sharing your treasures with those you treasure is a gift.
YES!!! Absolutely YES!!!
I had a set of those old “State Song” glasses that I got when my aunt died. We used them every day, and I told my son stories about Aunt Holly and visiting her house and drinking lemonade with fresh mint out of those glasses. He got to know her through those stories, and although the glasses eventually broke, the memory of Aunt Holly was extended.
Nanette Edmonds says
Same decision I came to when my niece and nephew refused the offer of my mother’s china when I’m gone. As millenials, they “don’t know what they would do with it”. Same with their mother’s china. I remember the days when we used it when I was young and I guess I thought it would always be that way.
I’m glad you’re enjoying your mother’s china right now! Because every day is worth it.
Cheryl Parker says
When I was single, and had my first apartment, my grandmother gave me some china, and I already had some crystal (from my father), and I’d eat chili dogs on the china plates, and drink coke from the crystal. I was way too poor to afford fancy food, but, eating on my ‘good stuff’ made the cheap food taste so much better. My friends loved that I did this. Even fast food tasted better when we pulled out the good dishes. When my boys were little, we still used the good stuff (had to wait longer for the crystal, until they could handle it easier). My sister in law, and her kids came over, to celebrate her youngest’s 6th birthday. My son had set the table, using the ‘good stuff’ from our wedding. My SIL saw the table and insisted that we reset it, with everyday dishes. I told her no. When we sat at the table, before we served, I told her 4 kids that she was scared that they would break our dishes. I told them that I believed that they could take care of my good dishes. Those kids LOVED the good dishes, and the girls asked for a special ‘tea party’ the next day, using some of my special teapots (which I collect). My SIL didn’t say a word at that. The girls had a blast. I would use my crystal more, but, it has to be hand washed, and I’m lazy.