I hate this flatware.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that there’s anything really wrong with this flatware. It’s a good weight, with a modern design. But I’ve been using it for three meals a day for over twenty years now. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, then familiarity breeds contempt.
For at least three years, I’ve thought about replacing the flatware. I even mentioned it to my husband. No help there. “What’s wrong with the flatware? We’ve had it forever.”
I feel intense guilt at the thought of replacing it. More than the cost or the time and hassle of seeking a new pattern, I worry about betraying this hard-working stainless steel. I worry it will learn I covet something lighter, shinier. Yes, the silver-plated flatware I got as a wedding gift.
Ironic, isn’t it? I want to replace the boring stainless steel flatware with silver-plate I already own. So, why haven’t I done it?
Tradition. It was drummed into me as a child that you only used the silver for holidays or special guests. It’s not for every day. It’s special. I have lots of this kind of stuff around my house. I got married at a time when it was still traditional to fill out a gift registry with a china pattern, stemware and silver. I have Danskk lead crystal wine glasses packed in tissue. The silver is stored in special bags and boxes to keep from tarnishing. I have holiday plates I use only at Christmas stored away in a cabinet.
Of course, while writing this blog, it occurs to me that my concerns go far deeper than knives, forks and champagne flutes. If I’ve packed away the silver and stemware for twenty years, barely ever taking it out to acknowledge it, have I done the same with people I love?
Our adult lives are filled with activity, responsibilities at work and at home. Too often, families (okay, my family) tend to gather and focus on each other only at the holidays and special occasions. It makes me wonder what life would be like if we all treated every day as if it were a special holiday.
Is it just me? Or are there special things in your world that you lock away, protect, and only allow yourself occasional indulgences? Is there a special person you may have neglected in your busy life? Feel free to give a shout out.
I’ll select one commenter at random (thank you, Random.org) to receive a $15 gift certificate to your choice: Amazon, Barnes & Noble or iTunes. Comments taken through midnight Pacific Time tonight. Winner posted tomorrow. (Bear with me–I’m traveling again this week. I’ll check in on comments as I can from the road!)