Monday, December 10, 2007

Things that sound cooler than they really are

“The Autumn Dishes”.

Doesn’t that sound just ever-so Hamptons?

Ya, well.

The “Autumn Dishes” were purchased a few years ago at Linens-n-Things, because I needed more dishes.

I had twelve place settings in the blue and white not-China-but-much-nicer-than-Target-brand (also known as, ‘the winter dishes’). It’s a lovely Noritake that we got as wedding gifts, and for many years they were more than sufficient. But then, we expanded from a ‘couple’ to a ‘family’ and then continued expanding and suddenly I was having Thanksgiving at my Den with 20 (or so) people expected and I needed more dishes.

So I bought eight place settings of this brown stuff (‘The Autumn Dishes’) I liked just fine out of the 50% off bin at Linens-n-Things and said, “There. Now I have plenty of dishes.” (I had twenty place settings total , and twenty-four people coming over that Thanksgiving. Let it never be claimed that I have conquered basic mathematics.)

There were two small things wrong with my plan. One was that this set of dishes have no cereal bowls – you may think this a small thing, but in a house of four full-time children and four to six ‘part-time’ kids who drift through for stays varying from a day to a week or occasionally even more…even the twelve that we have in the blue-and-white-not-China is not enough.

Sometimes, I think twelve dozen would not be enough, but that is usually on those days when I have run the dishwasher more than three times already and find myself short on dinner plates. And also the thought general precedes a medical need for a martini of some sort, because, well. See comment regarding ‘run the dishwasher more than three times already’, above.

Anyway, the set came not with cereal bowls, but STEW BOWLS. Gigantic bowls. Lumberjacks look at these bowls and say, “Damn, girl, them’s some big bowls ya got there…”

They’re large.

As are the plates. The bread plates must be 8” around, and the dinner plates are so large that the cupboard doesn’t close properly around them.

This is a case of buyer does not have good spatial awareness.

And also buyer was looking more at the price and not really thinking through the whole ‘and then I take them home and put them in the cupboard, where?’ part of the transaction

The Christmas dishes, which are beyond cheap and have snowmen on them (I know. I cringe, too.) were purchased in a moment of extreme silliness. There are eight place settings, which is not enough to get us through even one (1) day around here.

But I’m not buying more of them because, really.

Snowmen.

Do I need to say more?

ENTER THE WHITE DISHES.

The white dishes are probably the best dishware purchase I ever made. There I was, wandering through Gottschalks after Christmas. If memory serves (which is not a given), two Denizens were attending ballet lessons in the mall and Boo Bug was snoozing in the Snugli.

And there they were, a set of twenty-four place settings, dinner and bread plates, cereal bowls, soup bowls, coffee cups and saucers, serving bowl and platter, creamer and sugar dish AND a coffee pot, for $60 – 75% off.

SOLD!!

The white set is like you’ve seen in a thousand restaurants. A basic pattern, almost not even there, standard sized plates and bowls…Basic-Basic ‘country white’ plates.

Otherwise known as, ‘the spring dishes’.

So in this manner, I have acquired ‘seasonal dishware’.

Which sounds ever-so-Hamptons, but isn’t really.

We use the blue and white set (nice soup bowls, everything else ‘normal’ sized) from January through the end of March. Then we put those away and use the white dishes exclusively (they’ve always been handy, in case of company or dishwasher-related laziness) until September, when we trot out those lumberjack-sized “Autumn Dishes” (again using the white set for our cereal bowls) (and to pad out the dinner plates and such because really, eight place settings is not enough around here, especially when the holidays begin pressing in on us).

And then, as we are cleaning up after Thanksgiving, we drag out the snowmen and the children go nuts and we listen to them shriek and giggling about them until New Years.

At which point we gratefully return them to the boxes and bring out the not-China and start the whole thing again.

But it sounds so cool, doesn’t it? “Yes, I was just saying to my husband as we were putting away the Autumn Dishes…”

“…grab me a cold one outta that cooler, will ya, babe? I’m breaking a danged sweat movin’ all these dad-gummed boxes here…”

4 comments:

Rabbitch said...

My dishes have cows on them, apart from the set that I got from London Drugs -- four place settings, all white with black rims. Mugs, side plates, dinner plates and cereal bowls, all white with a black stripe on the rim.

$10. Bought a few hours before 5 extra people came over for dinner.

Marty52 said...

That's why I go with all white dishes all the time, the moving of dad-gummed boxes gets to be a pain. I got an awesome deal at HomeGoods when Apilco discontinued one of their lines. Hopefully I can resist the Christmas dishes again this year!

Steph B said...

Okay, time for a shamefaced confession here - I happen to LIKE snowman dishes. Provided they're relatively nicely-drawn snowmen, of course. I have mostly white dishes (cheap german stuff), a completely inadequate set of taupe stoneware from IKEA, and some awesomely funky dessert plates we picked up in France. That go with nothing else I own. But they're funky!!

Yarnhog said...

Until last Thanksgiving, I had three sets of dishes, and none of them were sufficient for a full day of use. There were the first-dishes after college(8 each), the casual wedding china (6 each, because that's all we got, and even after 10 years of marriage, we never completed the set), and the fancy wedding china (ditto). They're all white, but all different shades and styles. Last year, I finally added to the casual wedding china with a trip to the Mikasa outlet. Looking back, I wish I had just bought a huge box of catering dishes years ago.