He didn’t want anything with little fussy flowers. I was not interested in gold rims, or anything too fancy. That seemed to rule out about 95% of china patterns where we stood in Richs, in 1994, with a daunting registry list in hand.
The whole idea of registering for china and crystal is really funny. We are now as we were then, chunky pottery and big water glass people, dishwasher and microwave safe. But we were also really young, and in 1994 in the South, when you were getting married, you filled out a big list of formal things for people to buy you as wedding presents. The list seemed to promise a lifetime of dinner parties and late nights hand-washing.
We circled warily around precarious displays in our jeans and tee shirts, looking more like high school students than a couple of college graduates, one a second lieutenant, squinting down an aisle into the future.
We found this pattern and were in immediate agreement, delighted with its mosaic motiff, its rich jewel tones looking like tiny tiles. Over the weeks to come, we unwrapped plate after plate, cups and saucers, sugar and creamer. It traveled to an apartment in Virginia, Army housing in North Carolina, and finally back to the town where I was born, where we met and fell in love.
And over time, the plates met little hands, and tile floors, and the edges of the counters. As the number of pieces dwindled, I packed the Mikasa San Marco away in favor of our plain white dishes, which are plentiful and about which I am unsentimental.
During a recent attic clean out, I found the box that contained what is left of those place settings. There was more there than I imagined, and I was reminded of my fortunate choice. These dishes are still beautiful, their colors more vivid than I recalled. And I am even more deeply in love with that young man who keeps smiling at me over the rim of his cup, morning after morning.
I washed the plates and cups that remain, and stacked them in the cupboard. Once again I am filling the bowls with soup, the plates with spaghetti. Using them now is a bit like unwrapping a forgotten present, love with a little age on it.
joining, at least for today,
found via The Habit of Being