I mentioned that the lovely china I had purchased didn’t fare too well with children and daily use. As pieces broke, I supplemented my dishes with inexpensive additions as needed. I ended up with a patchwork collection. While nothing was wrong with this motley assortment, it did lack any sense of being “company ready” when necessary. I didn’t have any friends who would be bothered by this, but I did feel at times as if I were back in my post college days with my ragtag place settings.
A few years ago, I settled on the very simple, very sturdy French dinnerware pictured above. Its stark simplicity certainly contrasts with the Noritake china, but it perhaps better reflects this more centered, less showy time of my life. At any rate, we have accumulated enough dishes to serve my family and a guest or two.
Preparing to write about these dishes reminded me of the “blue plate special” of my childhood. The working man’s equivalent of the upscale “prix fixe,” the special had a set meat, starch and vegetable with the strict admonishment of “no substitutions.” This same idea was promoted in a book I read as a single mother wanting to marry again. It suggested that I could pick three characteristics I thought essential in a husband. (Violence, addiction and general boorishness were seen as non-negotiable and didn’t count as part of the three!) After identifying the three, I had to ignore any other characteristics and focus on the three–no substitutions. I chose intelligence, kindness and a sense of humor. That meant I couldn’t exclude a man with these three qualities who also happened to snore, have contentious family members or was a Republican. (Fortunately I didn’t know any Republicans at the time!)
This process worked, eliminating the kind of second guessing I had been prone to before. Did I like his car?(Not one of the three.) Was he deadly serious? (Instant elimination.) I have been happily married for 31 years to an intelligent, kind, humorous man. Who snores!