My husband and I have been living together as a married couple in the same house we currently reside in for over 13 years. And when we first came together, like many families starting their first home together, we brought forth a shit load of hand-me-downs. And I mean a shit load! I’m thinking back to everything we owned. There was an old TV which Doug acquired on his own after moving out of his home town and into the big city. And with it came some really cheap furniture – a TV stand, a cabinet, an old box spring and mattress. Most have been tossed now.
Minus the lovely crystal wine glass set and some silverware we received as wedding presents, everything else was a hand-me down.
We finally had to buy a new dining table set. Only because our cheap kitchen table, which was starting to wobble, had to go. And the then dining room table was the hand-me down of my parents’ kitchen table. It’s now where it belongs, in our kitchen. It is also peach. An ugly peach. PEACH!!! Can you imagine? For several years that was our dining table. Where we would host dinner parties. We used a peach kitchen table for our dinner parties! I pathetically tried to cover it with a table cloth but there was no way to hide the matching peach chairs.
These past two to three years, we’ve been bad hostesses to our friends. We’ve hosted my family over a fair bit. But family is different. They, especially my parents, are nothing but thrilled to see their hand-me-downs put to good use. And if you have a typical Asian mother like I do, it avoids any argument of, “What was wrong with your old table and chair? Why spend money? That table and chair was still working!” That’s what we had to go through the first day they came over to have Easter dinner with our new dining set.
This past Saturday, we had a couple of our best friends over for dinner. And I was just mortified with the dishes we had available. I’m not exaggerating when I say that we had very ugly collections (that’s plural) of dishes. One was this ‘Asian’ set I bought to use as our temporary ‘good dishes’ to replace the embarrassing hand-me-downs – which were a mix-match of incomplete sets because over the years, our families had broken a plate here or a bowl there. Of course, these ‘temporary’ dishes lasted the next decade.
The hand-me-downs were something. One set, from my husband’s side, were brown plates. Brown. Not cool, earthy brown. But like a very, very off-white sort of brown. Imagine serving food to guests on very, very off-white sort of brown plates? And the other full set was from my aunt. They are white with flowers. Not pretty at all but what was worse, the side looked like it got burnt some how. I don’t know if she had a pile of it stacked near an open flame but that’s the best way I can describe it. Burnt. Though Doug says it might be stained with rust. Which is even worse. Serving food to guests on plates that have rust stains on the side. How appetizing.
Anyway – the whole point of this post was just a chance to show-off our new Ikea dinnerware. I decided to purchase from Ikea because I have come to realize I do not have the energy to go looking for clean designs where I can create that purposely matched eclectic look without trying too hard. Ikea has it planned already for me to do just that.
And yes, just like that Easter dinner we had several years ago where we unveiled our new dining table to my family, the first time my mom will see these dishes is at this year’s Easter dinner we are yet again hosting.
No doubt there will be a comment or two typically pointing out how we spend our money. After all, the rust stain from my aunt’s old set was on the side of the plate, no where near touching any food. Believe me, I am grateful for all the help our families gave us to start out when we were making less money and our focus then was to save and save and save.
I hope for her sake, she will one day understand her daughter has worked very hard and deserves some nice things.
As for me, I am happy with my new plates! It’s the little things that help me move from day to day. But the new plates signifies something greater than just having new, pretty things. It’s not in spite of my mom, either. I mean, I like to poke fun at my mom since I can not change her attitude, I can certainly be entertained by her attitude. It shows how I’m letting go of some of my fears and worries. I think part of the real reason why I hadn’t replaced those dishes in all these years was simply because I felt I didn’t deserve it. I didn’t deserve good things.