One of the funny things about life is that items which are completely practical at one point can become completely impractical over time. Take, for example, my everyday dishes. When Joey and I got engaged, we were both still in college, but we knew we’d be heading off to go to grad school/seminary, so there wasn’t much point in registering for lots of fancy things as we knew we weren’t going to be putting down roots for awhile. I also knew that my grandma had promised me her fine china, so there was no need for me to register for two separate sets of dishes. I settled on Pfaltzgraff’s Ocean Breeze pattern for our everyday dishes. They were simple, neutral and inexpensive….so inexpensive that we actually ended up with eighteen place settings once all was said and done (we returned 8 and kept service for 10).
They’ve served us well over the last twelve years…they moved with us from our tiny studio apartment in Monroe, NC to Waco, TX, and back to NC. They’ve entertained quite a few people and held countless tasty wins and dismal fails. But here’s the thing….they just don’t “fit” us anymore. They’re heavy and clunky and, quite honestly, I’m tired of anything that can/will shatter when dropped. A couple of years ago, my mother-in-law gifted me (after I may have HEAVILY hinted that I wanted them) with her old everyday dishes (Corelle’s original Crazy Daisy pattern from the 60’s), and the durable, break-resistant vintage dishes fit my tastes and life now.
We’ve been talking for years about getting rid of those Pfaltzgraff dishes…I was going to list them on Craigslist or put them out for sale on Facebook, but we just never got around to it. No more. Joey emailed Replacements, Ltd this past week and they are buying our pattern (it’s discontinued), so today, he packed up all of our dishes and we’re going to drive up to Greensboro, NC on Monday to see how much they’ll give us for them.
I thought I’d be sadder about parting with them, but I’m not. Just like so many other aspects of life, things that used to be a “perfect fit” don’t always remain that way, and things that were reasonable and practical sometimes become irrelevant or cumbersome. The real challenge lies in being able to emotionally detach oneself enough to recognize the things that don’t “fit” anymore and to let them go. And it’s a challenge I fail more often that not…I’m far more sentimental than I’d like to be, which sometimes leaves me hoarding stuff out of some irrational emotional attachment. But I also understand that de-cluttering doesn’t happen without a few goodbyes, and the dishes had to go.
Here’s the real kicker, though; even after a full set of dishes to serve ten, the cabinets are still full of crap:
Go through one of your cabinets/drawers/whatever this week. Chuck what’s trash, and sell or donate what you don’t need. Maybe we can all cut back on the things that don’t “fit” in our lives.