Friday, December 01, 2006

Setting the Table

Somehow or another, we volunteered to host the Christmas Party for the cath lab this year. We have plenty of space, and we offered to bring the wine, so the unanimous decision to hold the annual potlock hangout party in our kitchen (and, I think, in our movie theater) was made.

Great! I actually love to have parties. Despite the fact that I suffer seriously from itsuparok (the act of going outside often to check if guests are coming) and get all freaky-stressed. We're going to pick up a honey-baked ham and plates and cups with the allotted budget for the party and everyone will bring stuff. The Adorable husband has already started the Christmas Baking Frenzy. I think he's got four batches of cookies done already.

At any rate, we were sitting in the kitchen discussing plates and utensils and such for the party. The usual thought is to get plastic forks and spoons, buy heavy paper plates, and go for it. We already picked up a box of cheap wine glasses from the local Costco, and were laughing that we had almost enough china to have 20 people sit down to dinner. We'd be short a few forks and such, but we could manage in a pinch.

(This is all because we a) have 8 place settings of china from grandma as a wedding gift, b) my MIL has found plates here and there and given them to use to round out the collection, and c) I discovered a few years ago some poor, ignorant person on eBay selling 8 more place settings of our china pattern (Noritake Eminence) for about 300 bucks, including shipping. They didn't know that it's a fairly rare pattern and that Replacements (which stocks old china, silver, etc) usually prices each dinner plate at about $30 and those platters and such upwards of a hundred. We scored 8 place settingsk, a few extra bowls, a sugar and creamer, and another platter. I felt quite guilty about it for awhile. Should I have told them the "street value" of the china? I resisted.)

On a whim, I decide to check out eBay again to see if someone has any stray pieces. They show up once in a while, usually in ones and twos, and we always need a few extra bowls. We have at least 16 of all the plates and saucers, but we have 6 each of three different kinds of bowls. ANd I think a few of the teacups have met a bad end, but we even have a gravy boat -- I've only see one on Replacements before. Anyway...

What do I discover on the marvelous tagsale that is eBay? Eight place settings (dinner plate, salad plate, bread and butter plate, saucer, cup) and serving pieces....for 225 plus shipping. New. In the box. Unused. Stored in the closet for 40 years. I'll probably bid on them before too long.

We don't really need more china, but it's always good to have extra pieces. Besides, as the Adorable Husband pointed out, it means that in a dozen years or so, we can pass on a set of 'great-grandmas china' to one (or more!) of the nieces. Any collection will contain at least some of the pieces that the Adorable Husband's grandma used, even if some of the other pieces are just the same pattern and found from other places. The idea is a nice one.

Off to bid on eBay. Wish me luck!

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