Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dinnerware Redux

I can feel the anticipation hovering in the air, all of you waiting impatiently to hear the outcome of the great Dinnerware Philosophy question. Can I come wait with you? Do you have Cheese Doodles? Because I could seriously go for some Cheese Doodles right now.

First of all, thank you very much for all the input and suggestions! They truly are helpful, but also interesting from a psychological standpoint. Some of you are more opinionated about your table settings than I expected. I am tempted to invite all the commenters over for dinner and create a mixed table setting by giving each of you the exact opposite of your ideal dinner plates. Because I'm cruel like that.

I printed out all the comments (yes, I do know how to cut and paste) and I'm scanning them to find any common themes. Three of you thought it was acceptable to mix up patterns and colors. Several of you said, essentially, that it might look nicer to have things match but that non-matching or non-traditional dishes shouldn't stop a family from having friends over. One person said it was okay for me to do that as long as his plate was the same as mine. :) Do you remember how we used to fight over the "special spoon" when we were kids, Jim?

A couple of you thought small plates might be a problem, but some of you wouldn't be offended by having to refill your plate if it was too small to hold all you wanted to eat. This was an interesting point to me because when I've shopped for plates I've noticed they seem to be getting bigger and bigger all the time. Many dinner plates for sale right now are 11 or 12 inches in diameter. My blue transferware dinner plates (from the late 1970s) are 9.75 inches. I have some china that was my grandmother's and when I first saw it I thought there were no dinner plates at all in the set. It's in the attic right now so I can't measure, but I think the plates are no larger than 9 inches and might be as small as 8.50 inches.

We do have a practical issue in regard to the size of plates. Our dishwasher will only hold plates that are 10.75 inches or smaller. So 12 inch plates are out of the question unless I want to wash them by hand.

Some of you really don't like paper plates, and some of you don't really care one way or another. I don't think any of you preferred paper plates over other options. I'm in the "don't like 'em" camp, BTW, but I would never, ever, ever be offended to eat off of paper plates at someone else's house. Well, unless I found out that they had plenty of other dishes and thought I was a slob who would break the plates or something. Those of you who are related to me have eaten plenty of meals here off of paper plates when I just couldn't face loading the dishwasher one more time. I appreciate your forbearance!

So, what did I learn? I learned that my readers are a varied lot, but I knew that already. :) I learned that I'm going to have to make this decision knowing that I will not please everybody. I'm hoping that if I feed people well those who don't like my dishes will get over it. I learned that it is possible to overthink dishes...well, I think I knew that already, too.

So, thank you again to all of you who commented. I haven't bought any more dishes yet. I will let you know when/if I do (who me, pass up an easy blog post?!). But...guess what else I learned? My husband has a Dinnerware Philosophy! Yes, we've been married 20 years and I did not know he had a DP. Neither did he, actually, it just appeared out of the blue.

But that's another post. ;)

6 comments:

Rebecca said...

Haha, we had a "special spoon" too! And one day it mysteriously disappeared...

Oh, and if I sounded snobby about the paper plates, I didn't mean to...we use paper around here most of the time. So while that wouldn't be my first choice in my own house (unless I was really tired of washing dishes), it doesn't bother me at someone else's :)

Jim said...

I think I stumbled upon your husband's Dinnerware Philosophy whilst strolling about Mr. Gore's creation...

Beth said...

Ha! That's funny, and that's an old picture, isn't it?

When are you going to tell me what kind of washing machine you just killed? You know, so I don't do something stupid like buy that same kind...

Yeah, we might fix this one. I don't know. It eats clothes, the agitator is TOO thorough.

Jim said...

The picture is from 2000.

The washer that died recently is a Kenmore (I'm not sure who supplies Sears with OEM stuff these days). The old one we're using for the moment is a mechanical Whirlpool, but I discovered this morning that it's only agitating the wash cycle for about 3-4 minutes. Not long enough to really clean things, that is...

The Kenmore got stuck in the fill cycle - it "filled" for over two hours. It filled the lower level of the house with two inches of water. It drowned everything under my bed (which was up on concrete blocks for additional storage room), everything on the floor around my bed, everything in my closet, and it also caused damage to my bedroom furniture.

Cap that off with the fact that it soaked the carpet with a dirty mixture of water and laundry detergent, and that we were trying to *move* at the time (I was coming back from the new place after delivering a load when I got the emergency call). Trying to dry out expensive equipment, soaked carpet, and soaked furniture was not what I needed to be wasting my time on.

I'm not sure what's broken on it. I couldn't get it to pump the tub empty, so a switch may be fried somewhere. It could be the fill sensor, as that would keep the water flowing, but it also wouldn't mess with the pump. I wound up using the wet/dry vac to pump it out (most of it).

I'm not a happy camper... I'm doing laundry today and I'm going to have to babysit the washer in the basement and reset the wash cycle for each load so I can add some extra agitation time.

Argh.

Beth said...

Yikes! Kenmore is really a mixed bag. My Kenmore stove was made by Frigidaire and it has worked out really well. Other things we've had have not been so successful. There's a website somewhere where you can look up your Kenmore appliance by its serial number to find out who made it. Not that that will help fix your washer...

mandolinartist said...

You do realize that if you invite over anyone who has read or is aware of your current dinnerware dilemma that the total conversation will be about... DINNERWARE!