Polishing Aside…Thanksgiving Here I Come!
As I am watching a wicked northeaster blow through southern Ohio, I am in “Countdown to Thanksgiving” mode. Operation Thanksgiving is underway … and for some unknown reason I decided to start by polishing the silver.
I have been struggling with this ridiculous silver tray for an hour in a sink that is inadequate for such a chore. This tray cannot possibly be used for Thanksgiving. I mean, it’s beyond tarnished. It's some sort of shade of dark coppery black. It’s very bad. Troubling in fact.
Better I walk away and tap some computer keys and ponder about the notion of polishing silver rather than actually doing it.
For whom am I doing this anyway? Or, better question … why is this a ritual? Where is this written? How did I receive this curse? Crazy as it seems, it’s as though my mom, or god forbid her mom, my Mama Horte, knows her silver tray is extremely tarnished right now. “Polish the silver,” I hear them saying.
Wait … why am I polishing the silver?
Clearly this is not to impress our millennial children and various millennial boyfriends who will be around the table. They will hardly notice that the silver isn’t shiny. It’s all about what's in the wine glass. I’m guessing that the infant and toddler grandchildren won’t take note either.
Clearly Old Spice (who didn't even notice that I recently got bangs and a short haircut) won't discern that the silver might be a little tarnished.
Clearly my mom can't be watching over me that carefully. She has too many other people to instruct from the heavens on how to make her famous stuffing. Seems as though she never wrote down the recipe.
The point is … no one else wants the silver or the polish that is now splattered in white dots across the kitchen counter. My black turtleneck might also be ruined.
It’s a new day. The new adult registry does not include silver.
I am pretty certain my daughters will not have 70 dollar silver teaspoons on their wedding registries … ever! My semi-grown up children now will gladly trade in a pricey 70 dollar spoon (that needs to be polished) for “an experience.” Do you know how many wine tastings I have sent newly married couples on this year? It’s a lot about the “experience,” and usually not one that makes you work this hard.
I am afraid gone are the days of sterling silver place settings for 12. And also gone is my elbow strength for this nonsense. Perhaps it all started a long, long, long time ago in castles where there were queens and kings and butlers. But I am not a queen and Old Spice is somewhere between a king and a butler ... leaning more toward the king side.
So I have decided to leave my half-polished, mostly crappy polishing chore behind.
To the rest of Thanksgiving … Here I come!
Instead I have moved on to the table settings. I like this part. I need to get moving and finish a task at hand. Even the New York Times gave me a timeline. According to it, I should be making cranberries today.
However, I have not even ventured toward the grocery store.
A beautiful new three month old granddaughter will be the most welcomed addition this year. The diaper aisle has me somewhat petrified. There are so many … too many choices. Are hypo-allergenic diapers really a thing? This truly is a new day.
My focus has switched to a more attractive task: imagining the table. I love a beautiful table. Flowers, linens, dishes, the whole creating the table thing. I am in my groove. We have a full table this year. I am beyond thankful. However, this of course requires more matching napkins than I have stored away.
Just today I picked up brand new monogrammed Pottery Barn Flax Linen napkins with a hemstitch, and they all match. Nothing special but somehow they seem just perfect … perfectly suited for a three year old with greasy gravy fingers. And perfectly suited for Old Spice and me and a whole bunch of potentially “over-served” 20-something year olds.
I actually think even Old Spice will notice the new “LMJ” monogram. For some reason it didn't feel right last year. We had been married only three weeks. What if Old Spice changed his mind and I was stranded with more unused monograms? What if nobody ever came home and I never got to use them?
It’s all coming together.
But this year it feels right. It looks really pretty. It makes me happy to see the letters in a monogram. It makes me even happier to see the letters and the people all put together.
And my tray? It is currently half shiny … sort of. The other half? Let's just say it looks very antique. Let’s also say … just maybe, oh just maybe, happiness and love with family is really possible. And it’s silver polish that is really just impossible.
To everyone, Happy Thanksgiving. To our children and grandchildren, and to those who are missing from our table this year, may you find the good in the tarnish and may this holiday you find peace and pleasure in the chaos and mess and noise.
I'll let you know if the kids notice the milky looking silver. But I guarantee they will be more about the wine. You know, the experience.
Cheers to all.
Reprinted with permission from Stuff of Life Blog. See original post here: http://stuffoflifeblog.com/2017/11/16/polishing-asidethanksgiving-come/.
Lauren Chesley is a contributor to LEAD Cincinnati, Venue Magazine and Make it Better, is writing her first book and blogging along the way about the journey of being "unapologetically you" post-50 at www.stuffoflifeblog.com.