Whilst out and about, watching a certain Bride to Be try on beautiful wedding dresses, I have recently had occasion to peruse the bridal magazines that they have sitting around at the salons. Anyone remember these? They’re full of pictures of dresses, of course, tips on how to get in shape before the wedding, ideas for fun honeymoons, ettiquette advice, and checklists galore. Things to be done, and when (6 months before the date, pick your venue and your dress…3 months before the date, order invitations, etc.). They also have suggestions for your bridal registry. Different people register for different types of things, some for the conventional china and silver, some for kayaks and sporting equipment, and still others for vacation packages for their honeymoon. Back in the days of yore, registering used to be considered in bad taste, because it is telling your guests that you are expecting a gift from them (when of course you should be pleasantly surprised that they thought so much of you), as well as what they should purchase for you (when of course, you should be delighted with anything any of your guests picks for you, even if it’s leftover leiderhosen from Aunt Bertha’s Oktoberfest trip to Germany). Those days are long gone, and guests expect to know what you want to receive, so that you can end up with at least a matching set of dishes and some cutlery with which to eat.
Well, this took me back to our wedding, all those years ago, and our registering for china, silver, and crystal. What ever happened to these lovely dishes that we received? A few weeks ago, when we had contractors tearing apart our cabinets to get to leaky pipes, I realized what had beocme of them. They are sitting in our cabinet, gathering dust. LOTS of dust. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the wise old woman, who advises her granddaughter to ‘use the good china’, because saving it for special occasions isn’t putting it to good use, and every day is special, blah blah blah.
When we were first married, we used our good china a few times…for Thanksgiving at our house, Valentine’s Day, our Anniversary, dinners like that. It kept it special to have it out only for certain occasions, with the table cloth, candles, the whole nine yards. If you use it every day, how will you mark the days which stand out? Then there is the child factor. When you have a toddler in the house, eating every meal with you, it’s unlikely to be a good idea to put out the fancy dishes, because they could easily get broken. So the habit starts, of never using the good china, and you sort of forget about it, and it gets dusty and lonely up there in the closet.
So…now that we have an almost 11 year old, who is old enough and responsible enough that we no longer need to worry about things getting broken, we’ve decided that we are going to bring out the good china. Once a month, we’re going to have a fancy dinner, maybe rack of lamb or something, and do it up right, with candles, silver, crystal, wine, the whole nine yards. Because we don’t like to think of our dishes being lonely up there, all alone and ignored.