I even polished stuff
I got out the china for Thanksgiving dinner. The special occasion, been passed down in the family china. The china that takes up kitchen cabinet space, staking its hereditary territory. Be careful, I warned others right before I almost broke a dish myself.
I polished the silver. For the first time ever. My mom found a set of real silverware for me years ago, and it has sat in its box waiting for me to polish it year after year. Its time had come. This would be the Thanksgiving I’d go all out on the table. I’m getting out the china, might as well polish the silver. Polishing silver is a pain. It’s dirty. It used muscles in my back and arms I didn’t even know I had. I paused for a moment in thankfulness that I did not have to polish, but chose to polish. I decided that polishing counted as my exercise for the evening, and I would not be riding the darn exercise bike.
I’ll concede it was rather satisfying seeing all the shiny silverware when it was done. The china was washed again, as it stays in the cabinet most of the time. It’s a pink floral pattern that was my grandparents’ set. My parents have some, I have some and my sister has some, so my grandparents apparently had enough to serve the entire Army post in style. I even used salad plates and bread plates. Serving dishes. A few pieces of other grandparent china from a different pattern. Might as well wash the nice cut water glasses, too. I was on a roll. And let’s get out the antique candlesticks that were a wedding present. And then the napkins … the napkins. I do not own a set of cloth napkins, much less napkin rings. Uh-oh. Would we have to use the Bounty paper napkins of daily dining? No! I purchased turkey napkins somewhere, paper napkins, but nice paper napkins at least. Now where were they? If I hadn’t cleaned the house in anticipation of visitors, I’d know where they were. A messy house is an organized house. A clean house is a house with stuffed closets. I found them in a closet. Let’s go ahead and plate the salads, I said, slipping into restaurant speak from a type of job I haven’t had in 15 years. Yes, plate can be a verb.
My lunch at work on Friday was fancy compared to my usual sandwich fare. I heated up turkey and stuffing leftovers on a turkey paper plate and used one of the turkey napkins. I’ve decided I like setting the table way more than cooking and definitely way more than cleaning. Almost forgot to mention one more table staple, not fancy but still awesome. A set of chipmunk pilgrim salt and pepper shakers. You know the ones: plastic from the 1970s or 80s. My mom still uses hers. I found ours at the flea market. They’re more decorative than functional, but so cute. A holiday table can be fancy and quaint, don’t you think?
Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-419-6563.