Saturday, March 21, 2009

Table war(e)s

Tomorrow I have some friends of the MIL over for lunch - six ladies in their late sixties and seventies who have been running a house (or a number of them) with a collective experience of a few centuries.

Introduce a very raw, very coordination challenged, not-quite-outgrown tomboy, (and in comparison to their offspring who all seem to be ~ 20 years older than S & me – actually some of them have grandkids who are much closer in age) very young daughter-in-law into the midst and the situation is ripe with possibilities.

But I digress.

In their honour, I have had to take out all the fancy tableware and paraphernalia. (Sidebar. Good dinnerware stuff = MIL heirloom thingummies. I wouldn’t know good china if it came and bit me. She keeps on talking about Rutherford this and Doulton that AND clucking distractedly every time I even LOOK at those dratted things. It makes me very, very nervous.). The cutlery which I have taken out for the occasion is stuff which has been carefully preserved in intact boxes (in velvet ones, mind you) by MY mother and diligently passed on to me, along with the wedding jewellery.

Which brings me to the all important question as to: is this a generational gap thing or is it me?

I cannot for the life of me understand what is all the fuss is about tableware. Yes, it’s nice. Some of it is pretty. I like having nice stuff to serve my guests as much as the next person. But it’s this whole hushed reverence which accompanies every occasion it comes out from the boxes, that leaves me completely baffled.

I cannot understand why one would pay a king’s ransom for something and then hide it in the locker because it’s so fragile. I don’t want to build a showcase in the living room to display all the various elaborate dining sets in their resplendent splendour. What is the use of serving dinner on plates that give the guests (and hosts) palpitations? And what is the use of cherishing bone china cutlery whose ivory handles are crumbling from age (how does one use them for chrisake!)

And the silver stuff. I have a silver cutlery set, and a plate and S has been given a glass and a spoon at the wedding and I have no clue what to do with it. Somehow, the mind boggles at the thought of S sprawled in front of the TV, watching Seinfeld and eating out of a silver Thali.

Ah well, I should stop ranting and go back to cooking. Hmm. For the record, I vastly prefer cooking for young men. Make good food. Make lots of food. And you can serve it in microwave containers for all the difference it makes.

Please wish me luck. If I don’t come back ever, chances are the 50 year old Rutherford china has gone to a late grave and I have been propelled to a rather early one.

P.S. Frayed-nerves rant. Pliss Excuse!


narendra shenoy said...

All the best!

Aquarius said...

Cynic yes it surely is a generation thing....just to be a bit evil, maybe you should drop a few of those things and see the reaction of everyone :)

Meena said...

Sorry, but I was laughing so much I couldn't write!! All the best, and hope you, and the cutlery, survive!

mindspace said...

i relate to you completely.. they only serve the purpose of being a good show off or a decorative stuff. not at all recommended for ppl not staying in their permanent residences as shifting them is a pain again as much as using them or cleaning them..

Parul said...

So if I say...GO CYNIC, CRACK will not really count as a best of luck sort of wish, will it?

P said...

I don't think its generation gap. I have seen girls my age getting hyper over table wares, while my Ma cannot care less. I think its just some not-so-girly girls.

All the best! Hope you and the cutlery both survive the day :)

Nandini Vishwanath said...

LOL @Parul

But ya, there's too much fuss about dinnerware. I bought one after I got married. I broke something when I was acting like I could manage serving and holding a hot plate at the same time in front of a guest. So, after that, I do not care!

Please write a post on how it went? I love the whole idea of what 60-70 year old girl-friend group eating together and chatting.

Sud said...

i cant see what's wrong with eating out of microwave containers, or pans and pots for that matter.

I had a grand total of 1 dish till my grandmom decided to visit me

Cynic in Wonderland said...

Thank you naren. Much needed.

aquarius - they you might be reading the MIL's post instead of mine. hmpf

meena - i did !!two sessions of hostgiri and i live to tell the tale. yayyyyy

mindspace - also i find i cant eat properly in the dratted thing. too much tension.

parul - i didnt crack it. but ..ahem...MIL did.

P - maybe you are right. If thats the case, i dont know any girly girls hmmm.

nandini - i shall send tweets to you . DM rather .

sud i cant either. but apparently its sacrilege

Iya said...

how did it go??

Princess Fiona said...

lol..reminds me of tat episode in friends when monica takes out her wedding china...and joey gets an ugly lookin plate cos he;s not trusted with the good stuff!

totally unrelated to yours i know..but still..i had to mention it :)

all the best with the fancy dinner...

my suggestion to you would be...gently nudge an aunty when she's holding the plate such that she drops it...(umm..u dont mind losing one plate from ur fancy set do u?)
anycase...there'll be such a stunned and horrific silence and much apologies all around...that next time one of these dreadful dinner parties take one will ever expect u to take out the good cutlery! ;)

Lash said...

:) lost soul in a fish bowl, this post tells me why :)

I have a problem with people gifting Bed Wraps/ Covers whatever, never understood why they are so important.

In love with my life said...

Hmmm..i'd rather buy glasses. Old fashioned/ shot glasses/ wine glasses and such kind that we would use more often AND does not have to be preserved.
We own a grand total of two sets at home- one of which is a daily use corelle.
Hope it was not as bad as it sounded:-)

Adi said...

err ... ummm ... what is bone china??? dang it, I dint even know china had bones ... I thought it was a country

Thanatos said...

Haha. Reminds me of an aunt who has all her china in a showcase. I guess I'm not special enough to be served in them :(

Arch said...

Brilliant post - the microwave bowls part is so true :) but there are people who really make a big fuss...all the best and hope it went off well...

sra said...

"Somehow, the mind boggles at the thought of S sprawled in front of the TV, watching Seinfeld and eating out of a silver Thali." LOL!

My parents gave us a silver dinner set and it's still lying in its traditional pink wrapping paper somewhere in my wardrobe! It's not MW-compatible!

Cynic in Wonderland said...

iya - survived

fiona - i dont have a fancy set. i have cheap tea mugs which i keep on hoping will break and damn it nothing happens to them. and yes, i remember that episode

lash - its the gifts of choice for unimaginative people. what can be easier?

in love with my life - well they stayed for eight hours and checked the bathrooms.

adi - i dont know too but its very expensive!

thanatos - hell my MOTHER doesnt serve it to me heheh.

arch - it went relatively ok. didnt break anything at any rate. so can chill out for a while. i might buy paper plates for my next dinner tho.

sra - yes. those damn silver utterly useless it is no? my mother had quietly brought the stuff without telling me about it. else a grand fuss would have happened.

Epiphany said...

So how did it go?? BTW do you break a coconut and do a pooja before taking out the revered china? :D

roop said...


how'd it go?

just reading of food is making me hungry!!! and i just had waffles.

for some reason, i just cannot picture you cooking! :D

gauri said...

//Which brings me to the all important question as to: is this a generational gap thing or is it me?//

Of course it's you :P The rest of us all have 20 sets of exquisite China - why, I even have mine in hierarchy - the most delicate set for the most obnoxious specimens.

*sigh* alright, reality check - my bindhaast best-buddies and nervousness-inducing guests, all get food in the same (and only) Corell set. Thinking about it, that's the luxury of living so far away - you don't have to invite people you don't want to ;)

Good to see you survived. While you're at it, how about a part 2 describing the crowd? C'mon people who eat out of China are begging to be blogged about :P

Humor me :)


AmitL said...

Hi,Cyn-all the best,indeed!I see that you survived,so,good luck for the next round...
Let me assure you- each generation wonders the same way,i.e. 'is this a generational gap thing or is it me?'-I know,coz I've asked this question to my next gen and their next..each one has some stuff to be cranky (for want of a better word) about,and,expensive tableware is just one of them.
Imagines: Year 2050: Cyn's next genern-been told to set the table for Cyn's friend's circle. Out come the 18-in-1 microwave containers.Cyn clucks away-'handle with care'-you don't get these things in the market any longer,you know. Plastic was banned ten years each of the containers is worth ten times it's weight in gold.:):)
So,there-I bet you'll also have something to cluck about,at the next generation!It's heredity at it's best..The passing on of certain characteristics from parent to offspring by means of genes.hehehe!Have a great day..I certainly will,after reading this post in the early morning.Tks!

AmitL said...

Hi,Cyn-I just noticed-S watches Seinfeld?(With or without a silver thali..haha)..nice,nice-that's one of my favourite shows,too.

Pinku said...

cynic!!!! hellllllooooooooooooooooooo!!!! u ok!!!!

and the china????

please come back and tell us how it all went....

as for the reverence....guess just the fact that they are not made like that anymore and once broken wont be replaced added to our reverence to all things european is the key.

Cynic in Wonderland said...

epiphany - survived to tell the tale!

rimize - no one can for some reason. i think i give out bad-cook vibes or something.

g- i would if i could. but then the MIL might divorce me no. :D. I need to have a anon. and before anyone asks NO the MIL and other sundry in laws do not read this. heck my MA doesnt know about it.

amit - i really doubt that my microwave containers will last that long. two years and they show signs of wear and tear. and if they did i dont think i would be particularly sentimental about it. books yes, cooking stuff. nope. ( unless i have a personality change or something hmmm)

pinku - do u revere the china? tell tell tell

Pinku said...

Ok secret out I do.....there are some pieces that my granddad got from england (I am talking some 70 years ago) we have just a few pieces left and to me they are memories of people I never saw...yes they are precious.

Pinku said...

Ok secret out I do.....there are some pieces that my granddad got from england (I am talking some 70 years ago) we have just a few pieces left and to me they are memories of people I never saw...yes they are precious.