Boxes of Memories Part Two
On the back of one of the boxes that we needed to sort through were the words, “Biggest Regret,” written on it. Many of the boxes had been reused for several moves, so I had no idea what was in it. Asking my husband, I received the response that it was his biggest regret. Curious, I opened the box and found the china set that had been in my family. I looked to my husband to explain and he said that in all of his life, the one thing he regretted was when he told me that he thought the china pattern was ugly. He said if he had said nothing, we probably would have used the china, but instead it was packed away.
The back story is that the china pattern had been one that was selected by my grandmother (my mom’s mother). The china was designed by a Japanese company. She originally purchased 24 place settings and planned to give a set of 8 to each of her daughter’s when they married. So when my mom and dad married, my mom received a set of 8. I am not sure if my aunt’s ever received theirs. I don’t think so because somehow, my mom ended up with a set that served 18. (That isn’t my china in the picture).
The china was only used on the major holidays, so that was Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can remember being afraid that I would break a piece and suffer the wrath of grandma, which was never a good thing to witness. A gravy boat ended up broken one year and you would have thought that it was the end of the world. I remember wishing that more people would be invited so that she would run out of settings and we could have paper plates. That never really seemed to happen. I remember that holidays at my grandparent’s house meant that my grandfather would sit in the living room, watching the football game on television, usually the Bears and the Packers, and it would take him hours to eat his meal. The rest of us would have finished eating the main course and moved on to dessert and get ready to go home and my grandfather would just be ready for dessert. He would load this tiny little china dessert plate with pie and cookies. It always looked out of place in his hands.
After moving away and starting my own family, we couldn’t afford china and that was okay with me. My mom used to tell me that one day I would get her set and I never really thought much about it. One time, when we went up home, my mom decided to serve dinner on the china, and it wasn’t even a holiday. Once seated, my husband whispered that the china was “ugly.” Of course, he didn’t know that he would be lugging that ugly china back home with us because it was being gifted to us. Ever since that day, the china has sat in a box in the basement of whatever home we lived in.
So that is my husband’s biggest regret. He regrets calling my family’s china ugly and causing it to be stored away. Honestly, I haven’t given it much thought, but now that I know that he has regretted it, I might start using it on special days…or not.