Tuesday, January 29, 2008

If Only I Had a Hope Chest to Bust Open*

Apparently my friends Amy and Joe own china. I have not noticed this because although I eat dinner at their house at least twice a month I am lucky if they so much as provide me with a spork. I am also lucky if I do not physically have to cook the meal myself but I can’t really complain about this since cooking meals for other people and basking in the “you’re such a talented chef!” accolades is what nearly 20% of my self esteem is based on (25% my job, 10% feeling superior to former high school classmates, 15% cute outfits, 20% people commenting on my blog, 10% boys smiling at me on the subway). Despite my paper plate meals I never should have questioned the thoroughness of Amy and Joe’s wedding registry, of course they have china! Married couples are required to own china because it is very likely that once you achieve matrimonial status you will be asked to host a state dinner. Many couples leave the chapel only to find that the president himself will be escorting them from the ceremony to the reception and he demands a nice plate.

I am single and therefore have never experienced the joy of forcing all of my friends to purchase overpriced kitchenware however I am constantly feeding people due not only to ego related needs but also because of an unrestrained mothering gene and the desire to eat really fattening food that I would never be able to justify were I supping alone. Sadly, my dishes are crap. All of my "silver"ware was purchased at a thrift store which I know sounds pretty sketchy but seriously it was $.10/piece and the frugal grandma who lives in my soul just could not resist. My collection of mismatched plates comes to us via Target the bowls are from Ikea and the large majority of my glassware was procured from an establishment in Tijuana Mexico that I will refer to as a market mostly because using a more accurate term may implicate me in a variety of cross border crimes.

Despite my inability to land a man I have still been forced to start referring to myself as an adult. This is unfortunate for a number of reasons (full price movie tickets, expectation that I purchase my own toilet paper, denied access to ball pits) but one of the most trying is that people will soon start expecting me to have things like matching towels and different glasses for red and white wine. Since I see no registry related opportunities on the horizon it seems possible that I may be forced to use up valuable space on my Christmas list for this kind of crap. Somehow I doubt that a 600 thread count sheet set will bring me much comfort when I’m jonesing for a round of Mario Kart. As a society can we establish some sort of “I ain’t getting married soon enough to meet the material qualifications of adult hood” buy out rule? I propose that under this rule everyone who is single at age 30 gets to register as if he or she were getting married and all of their friends and acquaintances have to buy them shit no questions asked. In return singles will forgo gifts should we ever decide to cross over to the world of joint tax returns.

I received $150 in Crate and Barrel gift cards for Christmas and since I don’t foresee my friends and family stepping up with a “Congratz on being single!” gift of plates I should probably use these to outfit my cupboards (and ultimately the top of my coffee table where all guests are forced to eat while sitting on the floor because I don’t really have any place to keep a dinning room table but that’s a whole different set of complaints) with adult-like plates. In an effort to be practical about my dish ware choices I have been trying to convince myself to purchase plain white plates and bowls but I haven’t yet done this because it smack of boredom. Much as I have a hard time purchasing a plain black sweater (New Yorker or not) when a bright pink version is available I feel completely broken by the idea of white plates. If I buy the boringest of dinner ware in the universe can a willingness to wear khakis be far behind? I have even tried to bribe myself with permission to purchase a fun set of salad/dessert plates to go with my boring white dishes but I’m still hesitantly poking around the Crate and Barrel website cursing the overpriced offerings and hoping that a more interesting plain white option might suddenly appear (and, ideally not cost $8000 which seems wholly unlikely given C&Bs inflated sense of self worth).

Here’s a related conundrum: Why do all dish ware sets come with mugs? I have no need for matching mugs. Do married people drink a lot more hot beverages? Is this preparation for the coffee drinking required by being a new parent?

* Does anyone else find the term "Hope Chest" decidedly hopeless? Why not just call it a "Good Luck Miss Ugly Pants Chest"?


B2G said...


Haha, your captcha this time says "jugs."

Now I sound totally creepy, don't I?

The Mike Stand said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Mike Stande said...

You should not feel pressured to have matching sets, unless of course you actually foresee yourself throwing extravagant parties. Nobody really expects single people to shell out for the stuff that married people get given to them for free (well, after the $10-$50k they have dropped on the wedding). That said, there is a whole lot of quite presentable "everyday china" and [gasp] Corelle that could help you pass for a put-together entertainer. And you don't' have to worry about your pattern being discontinued. (I am still hunting down our "sales associate" who pointed out our pattern.)

As for the white vs. red wine glasses, again you should reconsider your friends if they're expecting "proper" glassware. Our last set cost $15 for 10. TEN. At the rate we break them (aside: Coffee mugs don't break because after one-too-many, you're too wired to let go. The opposite is true for stemware.) we'll probably wish we bought two sets. I hope the hardware store still has some in stock.

Sky said...

YES! Why the heck do married people deserve fancy sheets and china anyhow??? I think the registry should come when things you do that deserve a reward occur, like, say, when you graduate from college, get promoted, manage to refuse to marry the first idiot that asks...

amy said...

I'm pretty fond of the classic century set from crate and barrel- white and classic but has some interesting embellishments. If i didn't have to share dish-choosing privileges, I would have chosen that or Audrey, which has apparently become discontinued (damn you Crate and Barrel).

And we only own white wine glasses- NYC apartments have space constraints!

Yesterday I declared that my favorite XKCD of all time, and begged joe to make our apartment a ball pit. That suggestion was summarily rejected. Meanine. Maybe when he comes home from SF, he'll be in for a surprise. Not that he'd know, not reading your blog and all.

You can buy the dish sets a la carte- and ignore the mugs. Joe and I got mugs but didn't get tea cups. We figured we ought to have something to serve hot beverages in.

And our dishes aren't *china* per say... they're Kita, which is porcelain, just like you were looking at. China is way pricer. Bah.

Anonymous said...

Well look on the bright side you don't have to go through the divorce and decided who gets the fancy china. I left all that stuff behind didn't want to be lugging it around with me any way he picked out the pattern it was nice and all but so very English. Think I did better the second time smaller wedding didn't pick out any silly patterns.