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. ;)