Having moved a few months ago, I am still in the process of unpacking boxes and getting settled in. In the process of such, I came across a tote of many individually-wrapped items. Unwrapping the first unveiled a treasure that I hadn’t seen for a number of years: A Mikasa teacup. It had been buried in storage, but it was my “good china”! Immediately my memory was catapulted back to when I had acquired it: At a yard sale. I found the set and fell in love, and the seller had been ecstatic to find a loving home for their grandmother’s set. And yet I have never used it. Reminded of when I wrote about using my favorite tea set, I decided that living here would be the time to change its unused status. I am in the process of unpacking and cleaning them, and they will have a place of honor within the cupboards in order to use them.
Why do we “save” the “good china”? Somehow, I learned growing up that there were some things that were used very sparingly in order to keep them in the best possible condition. I have applied that philosophy to everything from china to linens to clothing. And yet, such things as a result often end up never used at all! As I have learned from reading Marie Kondo’s writings, these belongings are meant to be enjoyed. Otherwise, why keep them? Personally, I have worked to not “save” the good items for the possibly-never and instead enjoy them. If they end up damaged or broken or lost, at least they were serving their purpose.
In a similar vein, I am reminded of a birthday party I once threw myself. My idea was to assemble a collection of teaware all gathered individually from thrift stores. The intent was that after the party was over, my guests would take their individual cups and saucers home as party favors to enjoy. This plan backfired completely when my guests refused to take them home, telling me that they would, “hate to break up the set.” While they had all admired the “Mad Hatter’s Tea Set” (the moniker they applied to the mismatched set), I was left uncertain what to do with it since my plan had included not owning them!
Truthfully, I recently (this year) started to use some of the pieces from that “set.” I have even gained a certain amount of affection for my mismatched set over the years. Still, I do not wish to continue to hold onto things that do not serve me, so there is a good chance I will find creative ways to gift some of them to others. Perhaps I will bake holiday cookies and use the teacup/saucers as decorative containers. Or follow Ifang’s example and use them for plants.
Really, what matters most is that we should use and appreciate our belongings or we should find new homes for them. My home is not a storage place for teaware, especially those that never hold tea! If I won’t drink tea from it, I will find someone else who will. It deserves to be someone’s regularly-used and well-loved “good china.”
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