Barbara: Maybe it’s the weird energy Deb noted the other day. Maybe it’s the sad state of my kitchen cupboards that we’ve been meaning to renovate for 13 years and have yet to do. But lately our dishes have shown an unusual propensity for jumping out of fingers, from dishwashers, and off tables. And dying. Smashing to the floor and lying there, just pieces of their former selves. Dead. Morte. Tot. Finito.
Twenty-two years ago, we got a lovely set of “casual dining” dishes from my mother as a wedding present. The dishes have done their duty, without question. But I always assumed they were in it for the long haul. You know, serving us lunch and everyday dinners until we were old and shriveled.
Over the years, we even augmented the original set to accommodate our bigger dinner parties and holiday brunches. We didn’t exactly coddle the dishes, but we certainly respected them. Loved them even. They have meaning, after all. Not just the wedding-gift-from-my-mom part, but the fact that they are older than our children and have offered up countless family meals and survived endless childhood shenanigans.
But I ignored all the warning signs. The chip here, the hairline fracture there. I brushed those off as normal wear-and-tear. If only I’d known they were a cry for help! Because now the mass suicide, the lemming-jump so to speak, seems to have begun and will not abate. Every few days, another crash can be heard echoing through our house, another cry of despair, another dish gone from this earth—or at least from this kitchen.
I can no longer turn a blind eye to the rampant platericide. I must accept the fact that my dishes are unhappy for some inexplicable reason and have made the choice one dare not name. I must finally face the awful truth that I live in a dish-functional household.
What shall I do?!
Deb: Buy new ones! I think your dishes are telling you that they are “bone china tired” and that they have “served” their purpose.
Do not despair, Barb. They have served you well and have been hearty and faithful china. They have been exemplary place settings! An idea might be to make something wonderful, lasting, and meaningful out of the chips and have it be art, which would be a fine tribute to your amazing artist Mum who gave you the china in the first place. In fact, your Mum might be totally into creating something fitting out of the dishes for you. Something that would always remind you of homemade meals and family gatherings of yore.
But make no mistake, your dishes are asking you, begging you, to change place settings. Maybe you have not been listening, and as a result, they had to resort to drastic measures. It is hard I know. I would not have seen the signs either. But they have resorted to “place setting suicide” to tell you how they feel. They have gone to pieces over loving you and yours. Let them rest in pieces.