Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Graduation gift

When Ron and I were engaged nearly four years ago (this week! insanity!), I was convinced that I would NEVER put china on my wedding registry. To say that I was conflicted about this is an understatement.  First of all, I have been OBSESSED with china for many years. I blame my mother for this.  Very quickly: during the summer I was headed into 9th grade, my parents took me and my sister to Washington, D.C. for a short vacation. We toured a number of historic houses, and one of them was rather large and included a china room in addition to the dining room and kitchen.  (After rereading that last sentence, no--I am not referring to the White House ... although we tried to get in but missed out on tickets. This was a pre-9/11 world, so normal civilians could actually get FREE tickets and tour the White House on an ordinary day.  They could tour it without getting molested by a security guard OR with cancer-inducing full-body x-ray scans. I don't think Bill Clinton had even started--or maybe he had just started--his second term at this time. This was PRE MONICA-GATE.  ok, I've given you a sense of time and place--I need to get back on track.)


The china room in the house made a lasting impression on me.  It wasn't a particularly GRANDE room. The only people who really frequented it back in the day were The Help and those who would set the tables and get the place ready for a party.  But, man. There was a TON OF CHINA. And I loved it! Every color! Every pattern!  Some were especially "American" or "patriotic" (whatever the hell that means anymore) with large bald eagles in the center, etc.  My little 12 year old mind decided right then and there: "One day, I will own a lot of china. It will have its own room. And I will use ALL OF IT."

Speed forward 11 years, and I became a bride-to-be.  B-to-Bs are supposed to crave china like oxygen. But, I wasn't having any of it.  I had learned in the past decade that china is (GOD FORBID) high maintenance.  If there's a metallic rim on it, you can't put it in the microwave (something that the original owner of that historic house never had to worry about).  And, many sets are not DISHWASHER SAFE. Well then, I had decided with some finality: "Screw that."  (Sorry, but that's how I felt.)

UNTIL, that is, my mom found this on the Macy's website:

Image via here

I nearly died.  Birds? Turquoise? Dishwasher and Microwave Safe Birds and Turquoise? Sign Me Up.  And Sign Up I did.

But I didn't stop there. I also signed up for this:

Image and item via here
Because EVERYBODY needs white dishes too? Right?  Well, if your mom took you on a trip to a fancy house with a china room and this made a tremendous impression on your 12 year old mind, then yes: Right.

I use all of these dishes EVERYDAY. I love them. I will never get sick of them. But then something happened. I found something else.  Something so remarkable that Ron nearly had to pick me up, swing me over his shoulder and carry me out of the Macy's last December before I embarrassed myself.  I found this:

Image via here
YES! It's the CHRISTMAS version of my china!  omg, I nearly died when I saw it.  DIED.  But, I immediately decided this: "ok: I have a whole set of white French dishes that I usually use for our big Christmas Eve dinner.  And I have ANOTHER whole set of dinner plates, mugs, bowls, etc. in  the Chirp collection ... do I really need another 10-12 mugs and cereal bowls? ... No. Even I can admit that." The more I looked at the display, the more it appeared that pieces could be purchased separately.  What I decided to do was purchase 10 or 12 dinner plates plus accent plates: