Breaking with tradition


For weeks now I have been fussing over the fact that all of my “good” china and crystal was sitting in boxes in my storage room that were never unpacked after my last move. Like most people of our generation I have really only used these things on special occasions, or when people came to visit.

During the last few months I have tried more than once to purchase a china cabinet on the internet, without success. My last attempt was thwarted by a woman who first agreed to sell me a cabinet that she had advertised for sale, and then emailed me later to inform me that her painter “might” want it and she “would let me know whether or not I could have it” if her painter did not take it. Needless to say I responded that I was no longer interested.

Then I decided to purchase some utility shelving so that I could at least unpack all the boxes. But as I was driving to the hardware store to pick out the shelving, I had a revelation: I am fifty years old; if I don’t use the Waterford crystal now, when will I?

“But you can’t use that every day, you have to save it!” I can hear you shrieking.

“What for?”

Seriously, think about it. Why on earth are we eating all of our meals off the kitchen dishes and leaving all of the nice things in a dark cabinet? Oh right – because our mother told us to. And why did she do that? Because that is what her mother told her to do.

“But I am saving it for my daughter!”

Ok, fair enough if your daughter actually adores your china pattern and is still does not have a home of her own. Chances are however, you and your daughter have very different taste and, unless the china in question has a timeless holiday motif, it will just collect dust in a dark cabinet in her house too.

“But I might break some of it!”

Yes you might; so what? The worst thing that could happen is that you would use it at a family gathering and wind up eating your own dinner off a kitchen plate on that one day, and I am willing to bet that you would be so happy to see everyone that you wouldn’t mind at all.

“But I have never even owned good dishes”.

Then don’t you think it is about time you did? This does not have to cost a lot – you can purchase one new place setting or get a whole set second hand depending on your circumstances and what your budget permits.

What it comes down to is this: do you really believe that you do not deserve to enjoy your special china and crystal every day? If your answer is yes, then you have a much bigger problem to think about than whether or not you might break a plate if you used it.

As for me, I have sent all of my kitchen dishes to the thrift store and made a vow to treat myself a little better every chance I get.

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