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!