Getting through the day, one cup at a time.

The Good Dishes

on April 15, 2012

When I was a kid, my parents had “good dishes” and they were the china dishes with the blue flowers around the border. A wedding present from my mother’s mother I believe. At some point we were allowed to use these dishes, until I dropped a full plate of spaghetti flat on the basement floor and the plate snapped in half beneath the noodle-y weight.

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From that day forward my brother and I were banned to the Corelle dishes, the ones that were cheaper and more difficult to break. The china set became the “good dishes”, only to be used when we had company over.

As an adult now, I have began to segregate my dishes into “good” and “bad” not for the children (their dishes are still all plastic) but for our own clumsiness.

Phil and I had an agreement that whoever broke the fifth last glass of the set we had, was responsible for purchasing new glasses. Fifth last? Why, you ask? Once a month my parents come over for dinner and that requires FOUR glasses for dinner. Once the fifth last glass was gone, in my mind, we could no longer afford to break any without having backups.

Well, didn’t the fifth last glass get a huge crack in the side, but not break.

A couple of weeks later a different glass broke and it was Phil’s responsibility to purchase a new set. (Win! Win for me!) We decided, purchased, transported and then washed our new glasses; then I put them in the cupboard with specific instructions. “Don’t use these. Use the old ones first. These are for when we have company over so we can have a nice set. Use the old, junky ones when you’re having a drink any other time.”

Yes, I’m that bossy. We were also gifted a new wine glass set for Christmas, and I received a lovely mug set for my birthday prior to that. These items now fill an entire cupboard and they are to be used for COMPANY ONLY! We have three water glasses for us, three wine glasses for us, and five old mugs that can be used in everyday living, by us.

Can I be honest? I love it. I love using the junk on a day-to-day basis because it allows me to feel special when we have guests over. Within the next two years I plan on purchasing a new dish set. Dinner plates, dessert plates, bowls…it’s going to be great. I don’t think I have the cupboard space to keep the rest though…we’ll have to see how strong my pack-ratting gene is when the time comes!

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If only I had that much cupboard space, I’d be golden…

So tell me, do you have “good dishes”?


6 responses to “The Good Dishes

  1. JM Randolph says:

    I have an entire china cabinet full of good china, mostly inherited pieces from my husband’s side of the family- you know, from that era where people had good china and silver, etc. We do have 8 place settings of our wedding china and I love it more than I should. We can serve our family plus one guest. The bummer is that I am the only one I trust to wash it; it’s not a kid-delagatable chore.

    Sometimes when I make myself a meal when no one is here, I use the good china just for me.

    • I think it’s interesting that they sell dish sets in 8, as if that’s the perfect number. Our table, even extended, is built for six. We had nine people for Easter Dinner recently, and that left quite the juggling act for chairs. Our new cup set includes 6 tall glasses and 6 short glasses, so one of the adults in our party of 9 (7 adults, 2 children) was forced to use a short glass.
      Even our wine glasses came in a set of 8.

  2. lorajbanks says:

    My aunt has nine kids (God bless her…like seriously, bless her, God) and the age gap between the oldest and the youngest is about 20 years. One day, my aunt was getting ready for her oldest to come over for dinner, so she asked her youngest to set the table. She used the “good dishes.” So my aunt asked her why, and she replied, “Because we’re having a guest.” To which my aunt said, “It’s just your sister, get the normal plates.” Then her youngest said, “Wait, she’s my sister?”

    THAT, is a big family.

    Oh, the things the good dishes will reveal.

    • Hahaha! I love that your aunt was like “It’s just your sister, get the normal plates.” No special treatment there!
      My dad was the youngest of five and the only girl was the oldest. I wasn’t even aware I HAD an aunt until I was 12.

  3. Aunt Jodi says:

    My whole life, the dishes at home and at the cottage have been a mishmash of whatever we had. There were usually two different sets all mixed up at home, and at the cottage it was whatever we don’t use anymore. I’m from a family of six (plus 3 siblings-in-law, plus 1 niece, plus 2 nephews) so the standard set of 8 has NEVER been enough for us… unless we wanted to wash dishes after EVERY meal.

    Two years ago, mom finally got a new set of plates- plain white square ones…. Mom recently bought a set of “Christmas” dishes, covered with red and green holley leaves/berries. Even now that we have all “good” dishes, there are still two sets. And about 6 intermixed sets of cutlery.

    My boyfriend and I have recently decided to move in together, and one of the things that I asked him for was a matching set of cutlery for our new place. This is the first matching set of cutlery that I have ever had, and I’m STOKED. It is sitting in a box in the closet, just waiting for us to find a place. *beams with excitement*

    • I love matching items, like cutlery! I’m excited to eat with your new cutlery when you invite me over to your new place to play with your new dog. Oh, and talk to your boyfriend I guess, hahaha.

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