Monday, March 29, 2010
The china dilemma
A few weeks ago, Ryan and I decided it had been far too long since we'd seen my grandparents, so we planned a little visit. We brought the shuffleboard with us (a tabletop version, which we rocked with all the confidence of two twenty-somethings who love a game that was possibly invented in a senior center, thankyouverymuch), and we played the afternoon away. Turns out my grandpa's a pro--his team always won--and my grandma has a myriad of other lovely talents (her team never won...)
Of course when they got word that we'd be coming for a visit, my grandparents promptly invited us to stay for dinner. Which brings me to the point of this post: Because we were there, they broke out the china. Fancy plates with real silver utensils, no less. You'd have thought we were royalty.
It was so sweet of them. We knew they would have to wash it all by hand, and we knew they wouldn't allow us to help. They weren't trying to show off some kind of wealth or parade some high-class lifestyle. In a simple place setting, they were simply saying, "You are special to us."
And we did feel special. And then a little guilty. Because, you see, we had just returned the china we had purchased when we were newlyweds. The whole set. Because we never used it. Now before I incite some sort of riot, you ought to know that we did purchase another set of dishes, still very nice, but much simpler in design (see above). They remind me of something a potter might throw, and I love them. As in "I couldn't stop thinking about them after I saw them in Macy's and after months of dreaming, Ryan caved and I finally bought them" kind of love. The "I want to eat on them every day, so I do" kind of love.
Just about every day, I still tell Ryan how much I like our new dishes. But after that dinner with my grandparents, I wonder. Maybe we do need china to celebrate special occasions, like anniversaries or birthdays or special guests (like grandparents, or someday grandkids). Or maybe it's enough to eat on something that makes you feel special every day, even if it doesn't have the same effect on your guests.
What are your thoughts on the china dilemma?