“Flight of Fancy”


When I had my first apartment I had no furniture, so I went to Cohn Brothers to buy a couch. This store gave credit to anyone who could make monthly payments, and I needed to establish a credit history. I picked out a lovely blue/green Swedish looking long couch, put down my first $25 and promised to return each month with any additional $25 until the $250 was paid in full. Once I had the habit of paying $25 a month for home furnishings, I continued this approach for many years. In those days, interest on installments was either nonexistent(as at Cohn Brothers) or very low.

Somewhere in the mid-1980’s I suddenly wanted to own real china. I chose the pattern above, Nanking by Noritke, and began buying it one piece at a time until I had acquired several settings. However, since I had a young child and the young child had many young friends, this was not a particularly wise move. I did love the pattern, and a few pieces of it still remain. My favorite platter, rarely used when I was younger, now comes out every Thanksgiving.

Looking at the plate now, I remember how much I longed for the kind of stability that owning china represented to me. I was a single mother, no longer waiting for another bridal registry to provide me with what I wanted. I decided to buy my own dishes, this time acknowledging a love for the traditional which had eluded me years before. One lovely piece at a time.


21 thoughts on ““Flight of Fancy”

  1. I can see exactly why you focused on collecting the porcelain. It must have been lovely to get that complete set.
    That payment system was known as ‘Hire Purchase’ here. My parents bought everything that way, from a television, to the house carpets.
    Best wishes, Pete.


  2. Here in South India most people use stainless steel vessels,plates etc for regular use. We drink coffee or tea in stainless steel glasses. People do use China or other crockery but not for regular use.


      1. I don’t know, we have always used them. My husband used to say when he was small banana leaves were used instead of plates in the village. But one year all banana plants died due to some disease. Then stainless steel plates were purchased.


  3. Elizabeth, I love reading about how you developed the “slow, but steady” practice of putting money toward home furnishings, one piece at a time. There is something beautiful about that to me.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s