Chipped Plates & the Strange Reasoning of a Baby Boomer Woman

palmier on chipped plate

palmier on chipped plateI’m placing a palmier on my chipped dessert plate.  This particular individual plate is one that I use often – and it suddenly occurs to me how nuts it is that it I use it all the time while the other eleven unblemished plates sit on the shelf.

Question: Why do I use this “bad” plate all the time?

Answer: So that it gets “used up” before I risk wrecking another one.

This is a crazy thing in my brain, and it’s one of the illogical thought processes that is largely ingrained in my generation; a mixture of frugality, the idea of things for “company” versus things for “family,” and a strain of the depression-era or WWII-era morality that is woven so firmly into the fiber of our parents.  Didn’t we all, as children, hear the phrase, “Use it up, wear it out. make it do, or do without?”

collection of dishesMy mother saved and reused brown paper lunch bags until they were too softened and weak to hold a sandwich and an apple – and this was long before the term “recycling” had joined the popular vernacular.  My dad used to join up with his neighbor on the occasional Saturday to work on their cars together.   I remember the two men working with shared hammers, shovel, hose, and wheelbarrow to build a gate in the fence that separated our backyards, and a set of concrete steps so we kids could run back and forth to play.  School dresses (yes, back in the day when girls were required to wear dresses to school!) were purchased at the end of summer and expected to last through the year; same with our new pair of school shoes.  The hi-fi that my parents bought for the living room was a fixture for 20 years I’ll bet. And the “good dishes” were saved for times when company was over.

So since when did I relegate myself to not only less deserving of my own “good stuff” than my occasional guests, but obligated to use the broken, marred, crazed, or chipped dishes whenever available?  Bad thinking, I say.

So – I made and put into effect a New Year’s resolution today: I moved any and all chipped dishes to the bottom of the stack, and I will put them into service only when none others are available.  Score one for consciously choosing better treatment for myself than I’ve been in the habit of giving!

chipped plate on bottom
The one chipped plate now lives at the bottom of the stack!



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