I bought something yesterday. Actually 39 somethings.
When AB and I got engaged people started asking about china patterns.
China? I would respond. Who needs china? All we need is a good set of quality dishes. And so we registered for a large set at Crate and Barrel and enjoyed seeing the components to our set roll in and donating our old mismatched sets to Goodwill. As daily dishes they are fine. The bowls have lead a hard life and out of the 12 place settings I think only three have survived. I have started augmenting with some heavy white IKEA bowls that match alright. But as the years have gone by, my blue and white dishes look less than stellar sitting next to a gorgeous holiday turkey and the fixings.
And the silver chargers I bought on clearance after Christmas a few years ago have only done so much to pick them up.
I still like those dishes for everyday use. They work great.
But a few years ago I did start longing for china. I somehow thought that I would be white haired before I got china though (not that *that* seems to be very far off, I have a few white hairs poking through at my temples), IF I ever got china. I just didn't see it ever becoming a priority on my horizon. As far as froo froo gifts I recently turned my eye towards other things, like Department 56 Christmas village components and quality stemware.
Growing up we weren't "china" type of people. And while my grandmother does have some nice crystal single pieces and fairly willingly gives me whatever out of her home that I show an interest in, obtaining hand me down china was not going to be a productive route for me. So instead I just coveted secretly since everytime I mentioned it to AB I was met with an eyeroll.
Then I happened across a set of china for sale locally online. I clicked on it and was surprised with what I saw. No excessive froo froo-ness. Just a really nice pattern with silver rims. Silver rims that would match my chargers.
The wheels started turning as I Googled the name, "Imperial China Whitney". When I saw that a 5-piece place setting was $36 I quickly dismissed the set out of my head chalking up to the fact that the owner was ridiculous to ask $60. Nevermind. I wanted to recall the e-mail I had sent inquiring about the set, but my Yahoo mail doesn't have a recall function. Oh well I thought.
A few days later I got an e-mail stating that there are two missing cups to the set, but a turkey platter is included. Was I still interested? I replied that $60/setting was out of my price range, but thanks.
I got an immediate e-mail back saying that she wasn't offering it for $60 a setting, it was $60 for the entire set.
I paused and called AB.
"China?" he replied. "Why? We won't ever use it. We can't use it with our kids."
"But I have a china cabinet," I said.
"So now it is something else to store," he said.
"Consider it an investment... the turkey platter alone is $60 online," I argued. "I want some pretties for my table!"
"Whatever," he resigned. "If you want it, get it."
I secretly wished that he was more enthusiastic. Something like, "oh it would be neat to have a set of china and of course I love the pattern, honey!". But I suppose that was asking a little much of my Alaskan husband.
Nevertheless I pushed his reluctance to the back of my head and e-mailed VargasGirl - the only person I thought might still be at work that late in the day.
Then I called my mom.
"You have to get it," she says. (I knew she would say this since she recently admitted to wanting some nicey nices too.) "The price is great and if you love the pattern than it is perfect. But don't tell AB I told you that you had to get it."
"No way," I told her. "Saying, 'my mom says I have to get it' is exactly what I need to say!"
So I told him.
"I said if you want it, get it," he replied (with no enthusiasm whatsoever).
I picked up the phone and called the woman letting her know that she had just sold her china and asked when I could pick it up - secretly hoping she wouldn't see her error in assessing its worth.
Last night I picked up my china and left three $20 bills sitting on her table. It is gorgeous. So pretty and delicate. Like nothing I ever expected I would have.
Now *I* have china. *I* have a pattern! And I can't wait till Christmas to pull it out (if not before then).
And phooey if my husband can't get excited with me.