As the calendar of civility marches on, I can tell by the stack of invitations on my desk that we have now entered my favorite time of year . . . wedding season. But even though these once scrawny babysitters have grown into beautiful brides, something makes me fear for their futures — you see, none of them have chosen a proper china pattern.
I know! I was as shocked as you are. It seems modern brides think fine china, silver and crystal are passé and unnecessary for world peace. I beg to differ.
In the South, we’re taught the highest compliment you can give your guests is to make them feel special and loved. By using the best you have, it’s an unspoken way of saying, “Y’all are genuine quality folks, and there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.” If you want to run someone off, throw their vittles on Chinet and slosh their iced tea in a Solo Cup. (This rule doesn’t apply to Dinner on the Grounds, which is why God created Chinet and Solo Cups to start with).
Girls today would rather buy dishes that come in a big box from a big box store than actually visit a proper fine china department in their locally owned jewelry store. They would rather name their children “Waterford” or “Lenox” than put it on their tables and they’d rather spend money on camping equipment than rimmed soup bowls. Sure, it’s nice to get out in the wilderness and enjoy hot, itchy nature, but when it comes time to serve the bouillabaisse, they’ll be sorry.
The worst offense of the new casual trend that drives the older generation crazy is the new love-fest for . . .
click HERE to finish the story at al.com.
And let me know . . . do you have fine china that you use? Are you glad you have it?
So, so true. It was our mother/daughter trip to Dilliards, first thing after my daughter’s were engaged, to register thier patterns. They headed to BB and B with their fiance to scan their other household needs onto their registry there. And at showers when someone opens a persons formal china, I always ask the person next to me what is their “pattern”? I mean, really the only the proper thing to ask, am I not correct? Don’t get me started on smocked bishop dresses and John Johns for little boys! I do love that my one daughter called me and told me she uses her Waterford on evenings when she really needs a little lift and to feel special. Made this mother smile and yes, they did choose my same crystal pattern. Smart girls!
You know what we’re all thinking . . . you raised them right!
I love my china, crystal, etc. I do use it too. I have learned if you don’t use it then they will not see its purpose, so on all special occasions around here, we try to have traditions and use the special stuff. I even use it for not so special occasions as well. My daughter did enjoy picking her china out. Now, she just longs for a china cabinet to display it in, but I told her that is coming…just be patient. I remember the days of small towns displaying your china with your name on it before your wedding and Gayfers of course. With all that said, I think every wedding other than my daughter’s has been all Mason jars and the likes and the last four invites I received, only 1 had a china pattern picked out and two had plates in a box from Target or the likes. I agree with Lori too about smocked dresses. Hope we get a turn around soon.
When I see a little girl in a smocked dress, it’s an instant sign I’ll be great friends with her mama.
In my day not only did brides choose formal china, crystal, and sterling flatware, but also casual (everyday) dishes, glassware and stainless flatware! Yep! Six patterns, and all were displayed in the stores along with the bride’s and groom’s names. I love all of mine…well, would not choose the same sterling pattern today. My daughter uses hers too. Other than those items, we received lots of silver serving pieces too..trays, pitchers, etc. I also love my Lismore crystal which I see you have too. Sad that we have become too casual.
Lismore is what makes every beverage taste better at my house! I remember going to Gayfers and seeing the names on the china displays. It was my dream to have my own table there someday . . . but they stopped doing that little ritual before I was married. So sad.
Do not get me started on this. I think it is sad that brides do not want or use china, crystal, silver, and beautiful linens. I also find it sad that the old homemaking skills required to keep such are being replaced by the fast, cheap, and easy! Nobody embroiders monograms, smocks baby gowns, embroiders tea towels (yes, I call them tea towels, and I have seven flour sack ones that I use which were hand stamped and embroidered by my momma), polishes silver, or even wants homes with separate dining rooms anymore. Twenty years ago, I went to the local Dillard’s, and BC Clark Jewelers & Gifts and registered for china, crystal, and sterling. I have in use an impressive collection of antique linens to include cloth napkins instead of paper ones. And, not quite four years later, I got all of it plus the kids in the divorce! Wedding gifts from me include what I know they will need but did not register for…usually a damask table cloth and matching napkins or a pair of crystal candlesticks. If they have nothing else, at least they can put their big box plates and plastic cups on fine damask lit by candles in crystal candlesticks!
If you made off with the monogramed linens in the divorce, you had a good lawyer . . . or else an ex who didn’t value such things, which in that case, you’re better off without the scoundrel.
My favorite sentence in this whole piece — “The long-ago ladies in my family saved their S&H Green Stamps to be able to purchase proper glassware and would have croaked before they ever set a lowly mason jar on their table.” Having grown up in a very modest home, this really resonated with me. My silver pattern was registered long before a serious suitor ever appeared on the horizon, and I was getting sterling teaspoons for birthdays, etc., not to mention a ton of them for high school graduation. I hear ladies all the time at estate sales lamenting that their granddaughters and even great-grands don’t want “nice things” — if it doesn’t go in the dishwasher or the trash can, don’t bother. You know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t be caught dead drinking out of an old “fruit jar” as we used to call them, let alone serving my dessert and salad that way. My mother and grandmothers would have died laughing at the whole trend of “shabby chic” and “peely-flaky” paint on furniture. Using old wood crates as decor? Farm implements on the walls? Not on your life. However, I find it all rather amusing. I think another generation or two will look back at the yellowing old family photos and think, “Hey let’s go collect some of this stuff!” So maybe if the world hasn’t been obliterated by crazy people by then, maybe my china and crystal and silver will make some girl very happy one day.
One of my first stories I ever wrote was about how Annie Sloan is taking over the world and how horrified our ancestors would be if they saw us moving all this beat-up furniture into our homes. I’ve been thinking of doing a follow up story since now, I’m ready to paint an old piece that I swore I never would! What goes around, comes around.
My daughter only received 2 pieces of silver when she married 5 years ago, I was shocked! Things have changed, but she does serve wine in Kate Spade glasses not mason jars thank goodness! I keep trying to comment on al.com but it won’t work, so sorry 🙁
For some reason, people think they have to give the entire place setting of china or silver, but when I got married, one friend would give you a fork, another a water goblet, and so on. Whenever I use my slotted serving spoon to this day, I still think of my Phi Mu sorority sister Sue, who gave it to me! That’s probably why your daughter only received to of the pieces. Oh well, cake for two.
I love going to weddings and I always give gifts of china or crystal if the bride has registered. Lately, brides are not, opting for a more casual selection. I don’t have a problem with mason jars but here you will find them in the pantry not on my table…………
I’ve used Mason Jars a few times for a picnic salad or dessert, but something about drinking out of them gives me the shivers!
Leslie Anne, I am laughing out loud as I am typing this for the 6th time, 4 times yesterday and twice today. My IPad and your blog have issues! I wasn’t stressed at all when I started reading your very entertaining post, but after four tries at commenting yesterday, I was stressed to the max! Hopefully today it works!!’
Oh no! I wonder what is going on! Keep laughing and don’t get stressed. I hope we can figure out what the deal is. In the meantime, thanks for reading and being a determined commenter!
My MIL has saved and hoarded gorgeous china, (some of it passed down from a well to do great aunt!), for years, for her two granddaughter’s weddings. My daughter being one of them. She says she’ll sell or give it away after they’re married, cause no one cares about that sort of thing anymore. But she is determined they’ll have the finest for their reception! 🙂 Luckily, they’re both prisses and will gladly oblige their grandmother! I’d forgotten about going to the local jewelry store to register for my fine and everyday china when I got married! Fond memories! ~Rhonda
Oh, what a nice gift of inheriting china. Tell your daughter to hold on to it for a while because I think the tide may turn and all of these old chippy things will be out of style. (hope, hope, hope).