Maybe She Is Right

by Mary O'Bryan on October 16, 2011

Had 14 for dinner the other night. Used my bone china, sterling silver, Irish crystal, and white linen napkins. My china seems to be slowly cracking. It’s Wedgewood. I have about 6 plates that I am no longer using. I don’t want to replace them because I would rather buy something new if they all break. As I was setting the table I noticed that the forks had tarnish at the ends so I got out the silver polish and gave them a quick rub down. Took about 15 minutes. Of course, after I polished them, I had to wash and dry them by hand before I could put them on the table.

Then I pulled the chair up to the cabinet that holds the crystal water glasses. I carefully carried the glasses two at a time into the dining room. Some had been broken in previous years and had to be replaced by a different pattern because my original is not longer available.

Next was finding enough white napkins for 14 people. I usually put my napkins up ironed and folded so when I need them they are ready to go.

After the party I felt myself resenting anyone that actually USED the napkin. I spent about 45 minutes spraying Oxyclean on lipstick, red wine, and spaghetti stains. I rubbed each place mat and napkin vigorously until the stain was gone, put them in the washing machine, hung them on hangers to dry, and someday soon I will iron them, fold them, and place them back in the cabinet ready for the next time.

The silver went straight into the dishwasher, except the antique knives with ivory handles. They need special care so they are washed and dried by hand. All the silver is then stored in a large wardrobe that is lined with a cheaper version of Pacific Cloth that prevents tarnish. I guess it doesn’t totally prevent tarnish but most things in there don’t have to be polished very often. The last time it was all polished was the summer that Bride worked for me. She spent 8 hours a day doing what needed to be done around the house. It was our worst summer together‚Ķever. Lots of tension. She swore that NO ONE works 8 hours a day anymore‚ĶThat was in her teenage years before she had a real job.

The crystal was left for the next day. Washed and dried by hand. Stood on the chair as I put them up two at a time so as not to break them.

A lot of trouble. Yes. The table looked nice. But, maybe Bride is right. Bride has not selected bone china, sterling silver, crystal, or table linens. She is much more practical in her selections. Yes, maybe she is right.

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