When my grandmother died, I was too young to be hosting any dinners, and until fairly recently, I wasn't much of a cook. The china was packed and stored in my basement in various apartments until I bought my house. "OK. Now I get to use the china!"
Except I didn't. We kept the good silverware, china, and special glasses put away for just the right occasion. For the fifteen years that I lived in that house, I never used it once.
Peter came in to my life at the end of my divorce. I was sorting out my house, and I had a big job of downsizing from a four bedroom house to a two bedroom loft. He helped me go through everything and helped me with some difficult decisions about what to keep. So, one night, going through boxes, we came across the china. After ten minutes of me rambling on about how much I loved it and what it meant to me, Peter said, "lets use this tonight for dinner."
It was like being set free! Out came the crystal glasses, the amazing silverware. A hand-painted water pitcher and glasses from Italy. Flowers and candles on the table. I don't remember what we ate that night, but I remember sitting there thinking, "all of these years. These exquisite things sat in boxes in the dark. "
We pledged there and then that we would use all of the beautiful things, all of the time. Every day. We make a simple meal beautiful. We don't have to wait for a special Veuve Cliquot night to use the good champagne glasses. Korbel Brut Rose tastes just lovely out of the same glass. We don't wait for lobster or caviar to use the dishes. A nice veggie stir-fry looks and tastes fantastic with the dishes and silver.
The day that my mother told us that all of these things could go in the dishwasher was like icing on the cake! And you know what, if something breaks, so what. At least it will have been used and loved. And not wrapped in a box in the dark.
So wear that special dress, carry that special handbag. Even if its just to the movies. Or make an occasion, go to the Giacomo , and order a special glass of wine and look at the spectacular view of the falls. Or take those special plates and a lovely tablecloth and have a beautiful dessert picnic at the park by the water.
We dont know how many years that we have on this earth,but I can assure you, we will spend them making each day as special as possible. We use the good china.