Dishes, 2007-2013

Nearly six years ago - the day after I found out I was pregnant with Juliette - I blogged about our inexpensive new dishes. We had been meaning to buy some for over a year. I joked that their shelf life would be roughly equivalent to my desire to eat on paisley. I was wrong. As it turns out, my desire to eat on paisley has outlasted their shelf life. We are down to four salad plates, three dinner plates, and one lonely chipped bowl. And the mugs, which hardly count, as they are bereft of decoration.

We lost the dinner plate last night. It had a hairline crack for months, but while he was doing the dishes Ben realized it had gotten worse and threw it away. I have known the time for new dishes was coming. I was a little bit embarrassed last week when we had friends over for dinner and served the food on mismatched dinnerware (not artfully mismatched; more like college mismatched). I don't know what our next dishes will be. We almost bought a set of plain brown stoneware from Ikea yesterday, but decided to wait and see what turns up at the church rummage sale next month. Whatever we end up getting, I can't imagine loving them quite as much as these.

I'm unexpectedly grieving the cheap black paisley Target dishes, and the era they represent. As I said, we got these while I was pregnant. Back then I didn't cook very often or very well; I honestly can't remember many meals we ate at home together, and can only vaguely recall the cheap glass plates we used in seminary. Since we were moving across the country immediately following our wedding, we hadn't registered for dishes. Aside from my grandmother's Desert Rose plates that only get pulled out for special occasions, these were our first matching set for everyday. Service for four. I wish they had lasted long enough for the four of us to share a meal on them. But they broke, one by one, casualties of granite countertops and slippery dishwater.

One bowl was a casualty of my rage, years ago. Of course I can't remember what Ben had said or done to anger me, but I remember all too well the split second it seemed like a good idea to fling something on the parsonage linoleum and the immediate regret when I saw that all my temper tantrum had accomplished was breaking something. Something ordinary, beautiful, irreplaceable, and irreparable.

I can't find these anywhere; I've trolled ebay and craiglist and there just isn't a big market for used Target dishes. I'm going to have to be content with the four salad plates. They will be reborn as dessert dishes, for I want to serve food on them that tastes as sweet as the gift of our family: ordinary, beautiful, irreplaceable, and - thank God - reparable.

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