Do you watch football? Atlanta's been abuzz today over the National Championship game being played at the shiny new stadium down the street and the various celebrities making appearances around the event. I gotta come clean though — I never went to a single UGA football game in my four years in attendance there. In fact, the first — and only — college football game I've gone to was an Alabama one. So I was at least vaguely interested in the spectacle of the two southern teams duking it out on a corporate stage of sorts.
It was barely into the first quarter when I was over it. It's just incredible to me the amount of money and fervor in college football specifically but also football as a profession in general. What a bizarre, warlike sport. And people just go NUTS over it.
I'm no heathen. I finally figured out the basics of how the sport works after living deep in Alabama territory for 18 months and watching game after game — perhaps most charmingly, projected on a barn at someone's fall wedding; in a smokey, booze-drenched bar at noon; on a big screen in someone's crowded Tuscaloosa living room / people are passing around a bottle of Old Crow / this is 2011, and the last time I ever drink whiskey to speak of. I'll even admit that one time in a rental cabin somewhere in Douglasville, Georgia, I watched a game where it got kind of exciting?
So I get it! It's fun or whatever, if you're into it.
Buuuut the shear scale of spectacle at this game is really disorienting. Like, flames and fog blasters and even the big gold coin emblazoned with the sponsor's big fat logo. These are college kids who aren't even paid for this work. Something like 2% of college football players go on to play professionally. Capitalism, ugh. Thinking about the higher education system in general and wondering if there is a better way. But also just sensory overload.
So I retreated to the kitchen to put a kettle of water on, and used the excuse to make some tea and recuse myself to the bedroom to write.
While the water warmed up I put away the dishes from the dishwasher. Lots of china in this load. It's my mom and dad's wedding china — I took about half of the set home with me the last time I saw my dad. Every time I see him I try and take something with me, so it's one less thing for him to worry about in that big old house.
My mom went through an eBay phase where she bought her wedding china pattern in bulk to get like, a single gravy boat, and then she'd resell the rest a la carte at a higher rate. She was basically an eBay china mogul. But along the way she filled out the rest of the collection beyond her original intention, so there's probably 16 of everything. Like I said, I took almost half with me and even I got service for 8!
I like these dishes because, as my mom always reminded me, they don't have any gold or platinum foil, which means you can put them in the microwave and the dishwasher. Well, we don't even own a microwave, but we DO run these babies through the dishwasher without worry because they are just plain china. The pattern is all in the cabbage leaf texture around the edges.
Kind of my whole life I thought these plates were pretty weird. Every thanksgiving and christmas holiday they'd emerge from the hulking dining room cabinet to be dined upon, then stacked neatly in a dishwasher before ultimately getting filed away for the next year. I would have never chosen them myself, but over the intervening years a switch somewhere flipped and I fell in love with the silly monochrome cabbage leaf texture and decided I would make them our everyday plates. Life has a way of making you nostalgic (which, tangentially, explains completely the resurgence of 90s fashion) and also of giving you time for your tastes to evolve.
We've been eating off each of our mismatched leftover plates literally from college up until now. It's such a joy to have these thin stacks of matching plates to put away in the cabinet. I still kept the old plates because we can use them for plant saucers in a pinch. But I love the opportunity to use these dishes. I wonder at the idea of all the people getting married who register for gifts and pick out their china patterns. But what then of their parent's china patterns? It's happening already, all the baby boomers offloading their china and their parent's china onto the kids but the kids have THEIR own china and no one wants to china and the china is fussy anyway, and now we're in sea of china, what are we going to do with all this china?
Thankfully for my mental china anxiety spiral, my husband and I did not register for china when we got married (we didn't register for anything; it was a weird concept to us) and that means we have room — nay, need! — for my mom's old set. At first my husband was wary of using these more delicate plates, but my reasoning is that they are meant to be enjoyed. It's like wearing your favorite blouse — yeah, it's light colored rayon and you'd better not soil it, but damn if you aren't gonna to wear it! The lack of overly fussy styling (re: gold foil) adds to the case for everyday use.
So use them we will. Here are some plates, and also a bonus coffee cup that was my moms from I'm guessing the 70s? One of my faves for tea. I'm drinking lemon chamomile.
I've set my workout clothes on the corner of the bed as representative of my intention to workout in the morning. I like to make it as easy as possible for myself to do things that have high motivation entry levels — like setting out my activewear the night before so it's one less thing to do when you wake up. Set the single banana on the kitchen table. Cue the workout video. Prep the yoga mat and the weights. Don't allow yourself the excuses to delay.
But that's tomorrow. Tonight I'll go floss and brush — and see how the game is going I guess — and get ready for bed. Goodnight!