by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett
Several times a month, I get an announcement from Replacements Ltd. telling me they have GREAT PRICES on my good china.
The only problem is, we have different definitions on what's a great price. Great price for me is CHEAP. Great price for them is "your order could buy me a new Mercedes!"
My china is Royal Albert's Silver Maple design, which has been discontinued for years. Many years ago, my grandmother gave my mother a tea set of the pattern and the truth is my mother wasn't exactly thrilled, but I loved it from the day I saw it and I was thrilled when Mum gave it to me after I got married.
But it was only a tea set. Cups, saucers, cake plates. So one year, with my work bonus, I bought eight place settings. Not the additional serving pieces, just the dinner plates, cups saucers and yet again cake plates. Since then I've bought a few odd pieces--and I do mean odd. I now have a bon-bon dish, a sugar and creamer, 1 salt shaker, 1 egg cup, and 2 small platters.
For all the years I have been receiving those emails, I've longed to get a teapot that would go with my good dishes. The fact that I only use the dishes once a year (because I'm not putting them in the dishwasher, and during a big family dinner, I don't have the time or room (in my tiny kitchen) to stack and hand wash them. So once a year it is on Valentine's Day.
And no teapot.
Oh, but I want that teapot. I dream about it. I visualize how I would rearrange my entire china cabinet just to accommodate it.
Then I look at the price list and say: "$189 (plus shipping) for a teapot you will never use?"
Get real, girl!
Somewhere there's a spendthrift inside me just aching to bust loose. But until that teapot comes down in price (or hell freezes over), that isn't going to happen.
What frivolous thing have you been denying yourself?