Monday, October 12, 2009

China people.

I started unwrapping my mom's bone china today, to ascertain its condition.  Sell it, I will.  As I'd hoped, every piece was still intact.  I hadn't unwrapped it since the day the movers wrapped it after she died in 1998.  It's been moved five times since then.

We lived in Japan for a couple years when I was a kid and my mother dragged me along when she bought this set of eight, five-piece place settings with completer pieces directly from the Mikasa factory.  At the same time, she bought my sister a similar set of bone china, except that my sister's china is a conservative white-on-white design with a platinum band around the edge.

I asked her why *I* didn't get my own pattern--the proper thing for a young southern lady--and mother looked at me.

I don't think you're going to be a china kind of person. 

I didn't understand that then.  But I do now.

My sister was a cheerleader, and then a cheerleader mom.  Her china, rarely used, sits behind sparkling glass doors in a beautiful, cherry-wood china cabinet, which is in a formal dining room with a sparkling chandelier, a room also rarely used.  Her tasteful home is full of matching cherry furniture.  It looks to be right out of Southern Living magazine. It's beautiful to look at. 
My sister sings in the church choir, and goes for walks.  She has a nice life.  A china kind of life.  My sister is a china kind of person. 

FiestaWare is in our kitchen cabinet; it is both our everyday and special occasion dishes.  We bought it in as many different colors as they had that day.  I don't have a formal dining room I do have some matching mexican talavera pottery, though, that includes a giant talavera lizard that Sweet Baboo carried over the border when we walked over, bought it, and walked back.  It's very cool. 
Our home is filled with the things that came from our life.  Everything has a story. Walk in our home, and you'll notice that our life, like our dishes, is not something we just look at and never use.  Step through our back door, and you step between two racks full of trail running shoes, hiking shoes, running shoes, and gardening shoes.

I repacked the china carefully.  It will go to a consignment shop. Hopefully a china kind of person will treasure it. It has no meaning for me.  Throughout my childhood, it sat in a beautiful cabinet and behind glass doors and was rarely used. Always waiting for the right, special moment, until there were no more moments to wait for. 

That's not how I live my life.  That's not how I want my life to be.

Because, I'm not a china kind of person.



  1. Anonymous3:13 PM

    Me neither!

  2. You are the kind of person that is going to send me to the unemployment line. I design china for a living.

    So what do I have in my kitchen cabinets? Plain white. Well, they are square shaped, so that makes them semi interesting. Oh, and the free stuff I found on the street-very retro. I guess I'll be sending myself to the unemployment line.

    PS- I love Fiestaware.

  3. I need some of what you have because I treasure everything I've ever owned and everything I have that was my mother's and everything I have that was my grandmother's. I've kept most of my kids' toys because I can't bear to part with them. I love all of these 'things' and I use them all the time (except for the toys I'm saving for my grandchildren) and could never let them go. I'm the kind of person who would be both crushed and liberated if my house burned to the ground.

  4. ps - if you care about getting fair value you might want to check out this site to see if they have that pattern and what they sell it for if they do.

  5. Call you sister. She'll probably want the china for one of her girls. I've got my grandmother's pink lacey china, my own chine too, and use it all for every occasion. I don't lock mine away but use it whenever I want to.

  6. This post...freaking amazing. Well-written, thoughtful, and beautifully poignant. Some people are, some people aren't.

    My mother's china has knicks and there are pieces missing (but we have the gravy boat). We are not china people, but we have china. We just tend to get a bit rough with it when we have Thanksgiving dinners that involve wine, beer and other necessities (greenbean casserole).
    We are the un-china, with flouncy, flittery, girly china, that we put in the dishwasher.

    I miss my family.

  7. I love this post! I used to want to be the china person when I was younger, getting married and starting a family. Now I'm divorced kids are older and I know I'm not that person. I wonder if at some point I will again become the china person? Thanks for getting me thinking!

  8. I'm not a china person either. My sister definitely is. Our grandma bought all her granddaughters fine china that we received when we were 18. I'm now 33 and mine still sits boxed in my parent's garage. We move a lot and I really don't know what to do with it. I like picturing your house with all of its shoes. It sounds very comfortable - just the kind of home we're trying to establish.

  9. Love this. A good reminder to use our china, wear our good perfume and put on the pearls just to go to the supermarket.


Comments containing links to commercial websites from people with invisible profiles are deleted immediately. Spammers are immediately deleted.


 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...