Way back when, I found myself working at JC Penny’s during the summer holidays before starting my junior year at the University of Washington. I began in the sporting goods department and then moved on to housewares to work around my school schedule.
I was surrounded by coffee makers, pots and pans, dishes, and table linens. So that fall when my mom asked me what dishes I liked, I was kind of surprised, but I knew exactly which ones I wanted. The Mikasa stoneware was so pretty, and while I loved the southwest look of one set, I thought the flowered set would be more lasting. I was 20; I went for pretty.
So under the tree that year, I received place settings of “Garden Poetry”. These were followed in later years with casseroles, platters, and salad bowls. I had salt and pepper shakers, a butter dish, and a gravy boat. My mom was filling up my hope chest.
Fast forward a little further, and the MR came along. While he liked me, he wasn’t that excited about flowery dishes. But I had so many… When we registered for our wedding, it seemed wasteful to get rid of perfectly good dishes that could go in the microwave and in the oven. They were great, and have lasted more than 27 years. He could help me choose the china.
The MR is a good sport. I like color, and pattern, and texture; and he likes simple. For way too many years, we’ve been at a standstill. I was ready to replace what we have, but we couldn’t agree on anything, and so we’ve bought nothing. This Fourth of July, some dishes I’ve been eyeing and that the MR said looked interesting were on sale for 25-percent off.
Why not? Sometimes you have to say goodbye. I’ve packed them up, and they’re on their way to Goodwill. I miss my mom, I miss her generous gifts and her hopes for my future, but sometimes you have to let go. After all, she had corelle dishes with the green flower trim, heavy brown stoneware, and pastel floral dishes—and those are just those I can remember growing up.
We will now be dining on two sets of Organic Shaped Dinnerware from West Elm plus a set of four dinner plates just in case we have a crowd over. They’re plain white with a little funk for interest. No flowers in sight, so the MR is happy.
I’m hoping for happy times and celebrations in our future.
My mom died over a dozen years ago, but I think she’d approve.
Do you have trouble letting go of gifts from loved ones? Do your dishes have a story?