I consider myself a fairly careful person, but, you know... accidents happen.
In 1982 I acquired a set of cups and plates and bowls and saucers that I've been using almost every day ever since. I started off with 8 of everything but somehow lost or broke 3 of the smaller plates. No matter how many times I've told myself that losing an average of 1 piece of dinnerware every 10 years is a pretty good record, it's still a situation that's annoyed me - especially on those days when I'm really in the mood to serve myself 8 cookies on 8 matching plates.
Well, I'm happy to report that I'm annoyed no more. My S.O. recently found an online store that sells individual pieces of long-discontinued dinnerware sets for a fraction of what it would cost to construct a factory and make them myself.
The 3 replacement plates came on Thursday.
Being the sunny and optimistic person that I am, I fully expected them to arrive broken or at least badly chipped - if they arrived at all.
And if they weren't broken or chipped, I was pretty sure that they'd be the wrong pattern, or a strange variation of the right pattern, or so new and shiny that they'd make the old plates I've been using almost every day for decades look shoddy in comparison.
Instead, I found the replacements to be not only intact but a perfect match for the plates I already had. Now that they're all mixed up together in my cupboard, I don't know of any way I might tell whether any given plate is old or new.
I'm still stunned.
I can think of few other things that I bought in 1982 that I can still buy today. (It's hard enough to go out and find the same socks I bought last month!)
And I can think of few other things that I bought in 1982 that still remain in virtually pristine condition today despite regular use. Except for silverware and maybe a screwdriver or two, almost everything else seems to have worn out and been disposed of long ago.
Somehow my dinnerware seems to have transcended the passage of time.
Unlike Ronald Reagan, the space shuttle, and Men At Work.
Or any of the people I saw at my 10-year high school reunion.
And all it cost me was $10 a plate to find this out. (Or $4.56 a plate in 1982 dollars.)
Do you suppose there's an online store out there somewhere in cyberspace that might also be able to sell me the pain-free spine I had in 1982?