I did a brave thing today.
It was a bit of a battle, but the side that is trying to change things up around here finally won.
I came home with a set of custom designed dinner plates, made for me by my friend, the talented potter Monica Johnston of Frantic Farms Clay and Glass. Her work is amazing. And she is amazing. So I’m in love with my plates for 2 good reasons.
I have wanted these plates FOR 10 YEARS.
What took me so long to order them? It was all of those typical reasons that put just about everything else in the family ahead.
It’s the mom syndrome. Because how can beautiful handmade plates be more important than paying for swimming lessons for your kids? And all the other things that kids need and want, and the countless other practical necessities that a typical suburban, mortgage-paying life demands of you. Like a million other woman, I put myself at the bottom of the list. Pretty plates for Dani just never quite seemed to be necessary.
Whenever I saw Monica, I figured I would order them “next time.” That turned into 10 years. Funny how life does that.
I am just coming out of this put-mom-at-the-bottom-of-the-list fog I have been stuck in for so long. I even noticed lately how many new things my girls have, with names like Aritzia and Lululemon, while my closet is full of OLD things. Time to change things up.
So I decided to finally order my plates, and now I have a tableful of these lovelies. And then it was decision time.
Do I throw out my old well-used-but-perfectly-serviceable plates and ACTUALLY USE THESE INSTEAD? Like for EVERY DAY?
Or do I save these for special occasions?
And then the internal battle began. Nothing wrong with a few chips and scratches. The old one’s are perfectly good. What if I break one of my new ones? I can keep the good ones for nicer dinners. Blah blah blah.
But a tiny little voice kept whispering, “But Dani, these are BEAUTIFUL. And you love them. And life is flying by. They are special. Life should be special.”
I remember a friend of ours saying something to me once that made a big impression. He was head of luxury porcelain company Nymphenburg. They were once owned by the Bavarian royal family and make dinner sets for Popes and kings and yachts – that kind of thing. A cup and saucer costs about $3000. I asked him who bought his products. He answered that regular people did, but they collected them slowly. I asked why, incredulous that anyone would spend that much money for a cup and saucer. He said to me, “Dani, why are you going to go to the trouble of cooking a beautiful meal for your family and then put it on a horrible plate?” He said this as I handed him his dinner on my $3.99 HomeSense plate. I cringed a little.
So back to my new dishes. New Dani won the battle. Old Dani argued a little, but gave in. The everyday dishes are being packed away for my daughter to use when she moves into an apartment next year at university.
And I’m using the good dishes. If they break, I’ll just call up my friend Monica and ask her to make some more.
New Dani’s thinking of ordering the matching salad plates.