I have been obsessing about dishes lately.
It started when I decided that it was time to buy some new flatware. The silverware I have is something I bought years ago, when I got out of law school and set up my first grown-up home in Concord, New Hampshire. That was (yikes!) over 30 years ago. And while I still like the pattern, they're pretty thrashed. They've gone through over 30,000 meals, moves to 3 different homes, a lot of dropping and banging and scratching, and the occasional unintended tangle with the garbage disposal. I thought it was time to get something new and shiny.
After a whole lot of perusing of flatware and reading of reviews, I settled on something that looks simple, classic, but lovely -- and different from what I have, for sheer excitement. It's a pattern called Merlemont by Villeroy & Boch. It should be here any day and I can hardly wait.
Hey. You might not think they're exciting. But I do. And I might even go hog-wild and buy a new silverware organizer for the drawer. Be still my heart!
But, as these things go, anticipating new silverware made me look at my dishes. Three years ago, when marital changes happened and a lot of kitchen stuff got divided, I bought some simple white plates from TJ Maxx or HomeGoods or somewhere like that. They were from the Hotel Collection brand, and they had a pretty but not complicated scalloped edge, and they were cheap. So Miss C and I have used them daily since then. But wow, what a mess they are. They are covered with gray lines and scratches from basic daily use. I've researched, I've bought special products, I've scrubbed with cleaners "guaranteed" to remove those marks, I've applied a whole lot of elbow grease -- and they're still horrid-looking.
So, to celebrate the impending final conclusion of the previously mentioned marital changes, I decided I'd get some different daily dishes. And I started looking. There are so many gorgeous patterns out there -- and somehow, in my mind each one promises a different life if I just had those dishes to eat off of.
I love the effect of mismatched vintage dishes, I really do. But let's get real. I'm going to put them in the dishwasher. They're going to get banged around occasionally on the granite counter. So for every day, that's not going to work. (Although looking at so many beautiful vintage dishes has me thinking that I need to have a weekly tea party to use pretty pastel floral cups and saucers and dainty little plates. Care to join me?)
I love this set of dishes, Petit Fleur by Villeroy & Boch, I always have. I even have 2 complete place settings, bought at a bargain price at a V&B outlet store back in Maine years ago. They're in perfect shape and they don't have a grey mark on them. They're fun to use when I feel springy. But too ... well, cutesy for every day. I'm just not in that sort of mood every day.
I'm always drawn to blue and white dishes when I see them. There is something so homey and comfortable about them.
Oh dear, those swallows! I think I'm swooning. But no, not for every day.
And these pretty Spode fleur-de-lis dishes. Instant transportation to a farmhouse kitchen. Perfect for a slice of blueberry pie, yes?
And then there's that mix and match possibility again. Aren't these bowls beautiful? I want all of them.
But then I'd be locked into blue and white. And what if I get tired of blue and white in a year? or in 3 days? I like to keep my options open, you know.
I could do what a certain person I know does (I'm waiving at YOU, sister!) and have one or two or more of a whole bunch of different patterns, so I can choose to suit my mood. But what about when I have 12 people over for dinner? Hey, it COULD happen, you know.
Is it just me? I want to LOVE the dishes I use every day. And while I like having odds and ends of other sets, I want to have one foundation set of dishes that will allow me to mix and match other stuff in. So, generally, that means white. I love white dishes. But that's a whole different online hunt.
I *did* choose something! But you have to stay tuned to find out what! Meanwhile, tell me what your dishes are! Or what you'd choose if you could. I could always add a few more plates...