When I first went away to college, I picked out a small 16-piece set of dishes. I was moving to the coast, so appropriately, I chose pieces that were white and had seashells embossed around the rims.
I had that set of dishes for almost eleven years. Piece by piece, most of them chipped, cracked, or broke altogether.
During the course of those eleven years, I picked up a dish here and there from antique stores, Goodwill, garage sales. I had a couple of thick green plates, some of those clear glass patterned plates, and a few pieces of mismatched china.
Shortly before the boy turned three, I decided for some reason that it was time for my dishes to actually reflect the fact that I was a married woman with a child and a successful career. The hodge podge, college dorm kitchen look just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore.
I did have (and still do) a full 60- piece set of china that I pulled together on my own. Nothing fancy–just some inexpensive Gibson china pieces Target was discontinuing right before my husband and I got married,
but these really weren’t workable for daily dishes.
We also had inherited some Noritake china from a friend a couple of years before we were married.
However, we have only a few serving pieces and a couple of plates.
The pattern is absolutely beautiful, and it’s the only one I’ve ever seen that I have truly fallen in love with.
I hope that one day we’ll be able to complete the set, and I’ll be able to use it for holiday dinners.
Anyway, as I was saying before, I got the idea that my daily dishes should be a little more uniform.
When boy was little, to escape the hectic craziness of life, once a week I’d wake up at 5 am on Saturday morning, and I’d drive to the little Walmart down the road. It wasn’t a super center. It was the only tiny Walmart left in our area. In fact, it doesn’t even exist anymore. They built a giant one a couple of miles down the street, and this one has currently been vacant for more than four years now.
As I was saying, I’d go shopping for a couple of hours on Saturday mornings. I never usually bought much. It was more an exercise of wandering up and down the aisles in the almost empty store, looking at things and pondering whether or not I’d actually need them, or even want them. In most cases, I didn’t. One day, however, they had a 16-piece set of dishes on sale for only fifteen dollars. And those dishes were adorable: “Farm Fresh” by Home Trends.
I bought two boxes.
You must understand that, for me, this was a major commitment. I just don’t do that. I’m not an impulse shopper by any stretch of the imagination. I search, research, compare, and think about almost every purchase I make–especially if it’s something that I think I’ll have to live with for a while. Oh, and I don’t like to spend money on myself. I’ll buy for another person until the cows come home, but if it’s for me, nope. The only exception is my camera.
In this case, I just picked them up, put them in the cart, and didn’t look back.
And much to my husband’s amusement, those dishes stayed in their boxes in our tiny little kitchen. When I say tiny–I mean really, really little. We had, I kid you not, three upper kitchen cabinets and two lower ones, all circa 1950. Our stove was an original built-in, and the refrigerate was tee-niny. My husband and I couldn’t even fit in the kitchen at the same time. I’m not kidding either.
When we moved to our townhouse less than a year later, the kitchen was a dream. We all fit in there, we had 8 sets of upper and lower cabinetry. Space! Before our move, to the delight of the garbage collectors, I threw out the hodge-podge collection of dishes–all but the one seashell bowl and three ugly mismatched china plates. All that was left were our casual China from Target, the China from our neighbor, and my Walmart dishes.
I finally got to use them, and I still use them today.And, remarkably enough, I still love them.
The coffee cups hold just the right about of coffee– two giant cups worth.
The bowls are good for cereal, pasta, and even ice cream.
The salad plates rock for quick breakfasts or a slice of pie,
(Eeek! Pardon my toes in that picture!)
and the dinner plates have what I imagine to be a bistro feel for a casual dinner.
Unfortunately, they’ve been discontinued. I know I’ll be devastated one day when one breaks–some already have some chips in them. I occasionally see them on E-bay every once in a blue moon.
I love my dishes. Sometimes impulse buys can be okay. Sometimes.