Why I Bought New Dishes When My Friends Got Married

by C.C.

table with dishes being set by woman

When I was in my twenties a few months couldn’t go by without a wedding invitation showing up in my mailbox. Unlike me, most of my friends found their special someone at an early age. Month after month they got engaged, planned their weddings, and registered at stores like Target, Macy’s, and my personal favorite, Crate and Barrel.
 
What that meant for me was a lot of shopping that resulted in a long, mental list of everything I wanted to register for when my time came. Only it didn’t. After a few years of buying champagne glasses and garlic presses for my friends, with no potential suitors in sight, I was ready to outfit my own kitchen.
 
I moved into my first apartment during my senior year of college. It was a small, one bedroom in the basement of a house. Moving directly from campus housing, I was short on furniture, decor, and just about everything I needed for a functioning kitchen. Shortly after moving in I went to a local store and stocked up on the cheapest set of knives, forks, and spoons I could find. I bought Corelle plates similar to my mother’s and a skillet I found on the bottom shelf.
 
Over time the allure of having my own apartment wore off. As I moved into my mid-twenties, the practicalities and realities of life started to weigh on me. My apartment was missing key furniture pieces (like a couch) and other staples of adulthood I expected to have by 25.
 
By this time my silverware was either bent or no longer silver. I realized I hadn’t done research on brands or quality when I first bought a few items for my kitchen all those years ago. Plus, I hadn’t even thought about my own preferences when it came to the style and function of my kitchen. I bought what I knew and I bought what was cheap.
 
So, if I wasn’t getting married anytime soon, did that mean I should only have three forks, a few mismatched bowls, and old non-silver silverware? No. I deserved the same nice household items my married friends had, even if I had to buy them for myself. It wasn’t until I spent months scouring online registries and gift wrapping place settings for other people, that I truly realized I hadn’t made the best selections for me.
 
white tablecloth and napkin
One day, while talking to my newly engaged friend about the items on her registry, fatigue started to set in. I was frustrated and confused. I was watching my friends move forward and reach milestones, while I was holding back. I felt like I was waiting to build my life until I had someone else in it. How long was I going to wait? It was time to craft a life for me and buying dishes was going to be my first step.
 
It took time. I shopped carefully, picking out glasses and plates, visualizing my kitchen and the life I wanted. I asked myself questions along the way. Did I like it? Was it me? Would it last? Finally, I settled on dishes, (these, if you’re curious) and silverware (this set!) that I’m happy to say I still like to this day.
 
A wedding registry is a rite of passage, albeit a small one, I missed out on as a young woman. There were moments it didn’t feel small, like when I was wrapping my third set of salt and pepper shakers in as many days. In those moments, it felt as big as the smile on my face the day I bought myself a salad spinner.
 

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6 Comments

  1. Laura on 09/17/2018 at 3:27 PM

    Good for you. Society leaves behind those who don’t get married, it seems. I’m not married (although I have lived with my boyfriend for 7 years) and we’ve had to start from scratch with the kitchen items. I do get jealous that others have all these nice things given to them. Almost every time we cook we talk about how we need to get a new set of pots and pans. We’ll get them someday.

  2. Deanna Stilwell on 09/22/2018 at 12:19 PM

    This was a great story! I loved it, so personal yet so simple with a great lesson you learned. You should do what makes you happy always and think of yourself first! Glad you bought yourself some dishes and silverware. Onto bigger and better things now!

    Deanna from Deannastilwell.com

  3. Elisabeth Straw on 09/22/2018 at 4:23 PM

    This is such a lovely idea. I fully agree that you should do what makes you happy.

  4. Elysia on 09/22/2018 at 5:13 PM

    I love this! It’s great that you’re doing something that makes you happy – good on you! I’ve never thought about doing this, it’s something I’m going to think about that!

  5. Sarah on 09/23/2018 at 12:04 PM

    I love this! It can be so hard when everyone around you is going through a certain stage in life and you seem to be missing out. I love that you made the decision to just do it yourself. (And your plates are so nice!)

  6. Janja on 09/24/2018 at 3:29 PM

    Such great post. We moved into apartment few months ago and only bought pretty little coffee cups and glasses. Everything else we brought from home so it is all mismatched. For now it is fine, because we can’t really afford to buy everything new but slowly I would love to have nice plates and pots&pans.

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