Yesterday's post on Fussy.org made me realize that I have a ridiculous number of dishes. In fact, I have nearly three complete sets.
It all started with the set of cheap, clear glass Corning dishes I bought when I first moved out on my own. They are as close to indestructible as dishes can be. I've dropped them in the sink and frisbee'd them across the counter to no effect. I think our cat managed to knock one of the bowls onto the slate floor of the kitchen hard enough to break it, but otherwise the set remains intact. The plates are scratched and ugly now, but how can you throw away perfectly serviceable dishes?
When I got married, my mother insisted that I register for nicer dishes. I didn't want china, but I registered for a stoneware pattern that probably seemed like a great idea at that very moment, but is now as dated as a pair of stirrup pants layered with a shoulder-padded sweater. It's Noritake Sand 'n Sky, if you feel like looking up a photo of it on Ebay to confirm my assertion. The very fact that I would select something that had 'n in its name tells you how compromised my taste was at the time.
Thanks to my Vegas wedding and at-home reception, the wedding gifts didn't exactly come rolling in. Thus, I didn't get a full set of the Sand 'n Sky (urgh!) until quite a few years later when my grandmother noticed the oversight and insisted on buying the rest. By then I already knew I wasn't exactly in love with them, but the cereal bowls are nice and large and I have the matching chip and dip set and gravy boat, so it seemed reasonable not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
I'm sure you're thinking that's all the dishes anyone could possibly need - and you'd be correct. However, that didn't stop me from buying another set of dishes a few years ago. I was on a garage sale shopping roll one day when I spotted a nearly complete set of Vitromaster Jazz china for $25. I was contemplating turning my guest room into a dining room (and, in fact, the contemplation continues) and I thought the colors in the Jazz dishes might be a good starting point for the decor. The Jazz dishes have a little bit of an Art Deco feel, but they're really the Madonna lace gloves and rubber bracelets that would nicely accessorize the aforementioned stirrup pants and linebacker sweater. In other words, I don't know what I was thinking.
So here I am with three sets of dishes hogging an entire kitchen cabinet. We use the old glass dishes every day, move on to the stoneware ones when all of the glass dishes are dirty, and almost never use the china. Yes, that was money well spent.
It's all a symptom of my compulsive collecting of kitchen items. But that's a story for another time...