The parenting forum (the only big one I’m still on, God permitting) had a poll about your family’s dishes. The excitement never ends!
I answered the questions, then read through the thread. And then I had the shock of my life: was the presupposition that we were supposed to have dishes that match?
Let’s just glance at my cabinet, shall we? From where I’m sitting, I can see four different kinds of cereal bowl. There’s one other bowl not visible from here. I own five different kinds of lunch dishes. Dinner dishes? Three different kinds. And they all go onto the table simultaneously.
When we got married, my Patient Husband had a set of four, and I had a set of four. We visited an estate sale and found service for 8 for $20. I bought them because they were brown and I’d never seen brown dishes before. (I’m SO sheltered.) Most of those are still in service.
My set of four went to my brother-in-law when he moved out on his own. My Patient Husband’s set of Correlleware has one at a time been reduced to shrapnel (which we did not, you will be relieved to note, try to glue back togetherleaving us with only three.) Due to attrition, I recently purchased four tan dishes from the grocery store for a dollar apiece. These, the children squabble over. It is an honor, you understand, to eat from those.
Growing up in a blended household, we too had mismatched dishes. I can’t even remember what they looked like (Mom? Help?). We had dishes from us, dishes from my stepfather’s household, dishes from random places. When we went to Grandma’s house, I believe her dishes matched, but we kids drank out of those tough margarine cups with handles and ridged sides. In fact, I acquired those from the house when my grandmother died, and my children were using them for a while! Back in the days when we didn’t have wimpy #2 plastic, and our wretched refuse was being stored in the dumps for humanity to excavate in order to survive after World War III knocked us back into the stone age.
We shall not discuss the mug situation, only that even my sixteen month old knows that if Mommy comes home from The Salvage Store with even one more piece of glassware, Daddy’s head will explode. My 12 year old tells everyone he knows about the box in the attic labeled “Wine Glasses: Enough For Wedding At Cana.”
Him: Mom, when you die, who inherits all those wine glasses?
Me: Whichever one of you visited me least in the nursing home.
I’ll have three visitors a day, guaranteed, even if it requires international travel. Don’t think I won’t do it.
At any rate, I asked the board if I were some kind of mutant because our table setting is a rainbow of straggling loners who’ve managed to find homes in my cabinet. Other moms reassured me it was okay. Dishes only need to hold food.