Fine China

It seems like people possess one of two mindsets when it comes to their dishes.

Some invest in a glorious set of matching fine china with visions of dinner parties and holiday dinners dancing through their heads. The dishes are prized, often protected behind the glass barricade of a cabinet. Every use requires an internal debate – is the perceived benefit worth the possible breakage that could occur? Most “china” families that I have known usually ere on the side of caution. The china becomes something to admire from afar while more plain plates grace the dinner table. No event seems quite good enough to unlock the doors.

Those on the other side of the divide either fill their cabinets with accumulated ware or purchase a budget-friendly matched set. There is no debate about bringing out a certain plate. After all, plates are meant to be eaten from. Sometimes, a bowl may chip when it meets the counter’s edge or a plate may shatter if it is dropped to the floor. It is a loss, certainly. But it is understood that some loss is inherent in the use of dishes.

I see that same dichotomy in people’s mindset after heartbreak.

Some people, after experiencing the crushing blow of the end of a relationship, vow to never risk that feeling again. They work to repair their heart and then they hide it away, afraid that using it would open them up to further heartbreak. With each encounter, they carefully weigh the potential risks against the possible reward. And usually they ere on the side of caution. Nobody ever seems quite worth the risk of tearing down the barriers.

Other are less cautious. They feel the heartbreak just as intently, but they understand that some amount of loss is inherent in love. Once their hearts are repaired, they are ready to put it back on the table. Even if that means that it may break again. After all, aren’t hearts meant to love and be loved?

A note to those of you in “china” families: I don’t get y’all, but I’m jealous. My home will never look as good or as put together:) Keep rocking that china! And, on a related note, please don’t judge if you’re over for dinner. You will be eating off chipped plates. Which I happen to think are perfect.


Thank you for sharing!

15 thoughts on “Fine China

  1. Much like my 15 year old dishes, granted they are good quality plates although one actually does have a chip in it, my heart is to be used and not tucked away in a cabinet even though I know there’s the possibility of it getting smashed next time it hits the floor. Nice post.

  2. Let's CUT the Crap! – Canada – I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!
    Let's CUT the Crap! says:

    Never saw my way clear to buy g.o.o.d. china because it would always be used for special occasions and tears and angst if something gets broken.
    I own five sets of dishes, some dollar store, some thrift store, some garage sale. I rotate them to make dinners special and I love each and every one of them.

  3. I would never want to be anything other than what I’ve learned to be this year… Bring on your chipped and your cracked, your mismatched and reglued… If they’re not pristine, then they must be well used! 🙂

  4. I love this post. Never ever thought of investing in pricey china sets. I have one chipped cup in my cupboard but cant get my self drink from it I really cannot tell why. After having read your story, I couldn’t wrap myself around how quickly you managed to put your fine china (heart) out there again. I also share the same experience as yours (text message and all) about 5 years ago but still have not though of the possibility of ever falling love again.

    1. Ugh. Text, too? Sorry to hear that:( There is so timeline for healing, no button that can be pushed. It happens at different rates for different people due to the traits and experiences you have going in, the nature of the trauma and the support you have afterwards. Please just compare yourself to yourself. If you’re better today than you were last year, you’re doing awesome:)

  5. We, of course, got china as part of our wedding presents. It’s lovely stuff. Fortunately a pattern that does not harken to a particular time period. We bring it out once or twice a year. Which means at most we’ve probably used it 35 times over the years. And we’ve never had the need to use all 12 settings at once.

    Looking back, seems a bit of a waste, to be honest! But it’s what you did.

  6. candidkay – Experienced journalist, marketing exec and mother of two, I write about life as I know it. Sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes hilarious. But always interesting.
    candidkay says:

    And yet a third breed–those of us that buy the gorgeous matched set and actually USE it:). After my parents’ death and my divorce, I realized the fine crystal should be used–daily. By me, with a Monday-night dinner. And you know what? Wine DOES taste better:)

  7. elizabeth2560 – ABOUT ALMOST SPRING Two and a half years ago my 37 year marriage ended suddenly through no choice of my own. I survived the heartache. I have taken control of my present. I am planning my own destiny, which is moving onwards to a life of purpose and meaning. This is my journey.
    elizabeth2560 says:

    I have been following various blogs for up to two years now. Some people are now writing about their second or third break-up (with much pain each time) and I have wondered in those situations why they risked their heart so soon.
    I think it is important to be properly happy within oneself first.
    I am quite content being single at the moment.

    1. I think rushing in is out of fear of being alone and refusing to love again is out of fear of being hurt. There’s a balance and being happy with yourself absolutely comes first:)

      1. elizabeth2560 – ABOUT ALMOST SPRING Two and a half years ago my 37 year marriage ended suddenly through no choice of my own. I survived the heartache. I have taken control of my present. I am planning my own destiny, which is moving onwards to a life of purpose and meaning. This is my journey.
        elizabeth2560 says:

        Yes, trying to find that balance. I probably am still in the ‘fear of being hurt’ category. Mine being a late-life divorce (which I initially looked on as ‘this sucks’) I am now seeing as a blessing (as compared to younger divorces) as I have my family and had much experience of “togetherness”. I am now embracing the opportunity of living on my own and its advantages of being able to do exactly what I want. Whether that changes in the future only time will tell. Ha-ha, someone would have to tap me on the shoulder because I am definitely not looking 🙂
        I think that you did it the right way as, from reading your blog, you became your new self first before entering another long-term commitment with anyone. I wish you only happiness in your second marriage.

  8. I inherited my grandmothers ‘good’ china many years ago. I have never used it, not one single time. It is ugly. But I preserve it for some future generation who might think it is worth the preservation and think it is beautiful, there are great-grandchildren who might think this and they are welcome to it.

    My dishes are for use. I think they are fabulous but they get used.

Leave a ReplyCancel reply