I have had a thing for china ever since I was a little girl. I remember my mother’s china set – it was nothing particularly fancy but to me, it was the most beautiful thing in the world.
I think it is my fond memories of playing with her china that influenced me when it came time to select our own dinnerware. When the CPA and I got engaged, we searched (and by “we” I mean “me”) for the right china pattern for weeks but yet nothing ever seemed to be “us.” I wanted the perfect set – the one that you could use for your fanciest meal or for your simplest affair. Something tasteful and classic and elegant; something that would never go out of style.
It was hard to find a pattern to fit all of those criteria, but I finally did. I chose the Opal Innocence line by Lenox. We put it on our wedding registry and then each time we received a wedding gift I secretly jumped for joy when we could add another plate or bowl to our growing china collection.
My goal was to have an eight-piece setting so that we could have a moderate size dinner party should we want to. At $130.00 per setting, however, this was no easy task.
But I was intent on getting those eight settings. In my mind, you had to have a set of nice china, that’s just the way it was done.
It took some time and some gift exchanges, but I can now say that I am the proud owner of eight sets of plates, soup bowls, dessert plates, salad plates, and tea saucers as well as eight tea cups.
I even own one sugar container, one vegetable serving bowl, and one large platter (excellent for serving turkey, btw). Did I mention that we also have eight crystal glasses in the matching pattern?
Beautiful, aren’t they?
And now that I have all of these pieces I use them at least once a week, twice if I’m feeling adventurous, right?
Including the Thanksgiving meal we had last week, we’ve used our china a total of two times since we’ve been married.
“Two” as in “twice.”
Instead of being used, they sit in the top of the cabinet looking pretty. As a matter of fact, most of the pieces still had their labels on them until I removed them this week.
Why don’t I use them then – especially after going through all that trouble to collect them? Simple: because of fear. I’m afraid that I’ll drop one in the sink as I’m washing it and that it will shatter into a million delicate pieces. I’m afraid that I’ll chip the handle on one of the cups and will have to replace the whole thing. I’m afraid of sitting a plate on the table only to watch it crash to the floor by accident.
So they sit there unused, just taking up space.
I’m really embarrassed to admit that actually, especially after all of the money and the effort that went into getting them. And honestly if I had to do it all over again, I’d skip right past the fancy china and I’d buy a regular set of dinnerware that was maybe a tad nicer than our everyday set but still usable.
But what’s done is done. And who knows… maybe now that I’ve used them without any mishap, I’ll be able to put my fear aside and use them on a regular basis.
And if I don’t? Well, at least they’re pretty to look at!
What about you: do you have china? Do you use it? If you have it, what pattern is it?