It surprised me one afternoon when I heard my mom say, "Hey, I could be dead tomorrow. So we're going to eat on the good plates tonight."
HOLD UP. First of all, as my mother's daughter who loves her dearly, I wish she would not refer to her impending demise. And she's been making those references more and more often. I know that day will eventually come. But I would just like to live in denial for as long as possible.
And two: I knew that "we're eating on the good plates" must mean the president was coming to dinner. I was home in Ohio that week to visit family but someone (someone reallllllly important) must also be invited. However, my mom insisted it would just be us. I put on little more make-up and a few extra squirts of perfume and anticipated that somewhere between the salad and the lasagna, the guest of honor would make their grand entrance. Yet, dessert came and went. And it truly was just us. I was so confused.
But I'm guilty of it, too. As a single lady living it up in my fuzzy bunny slippers over here, I spend many a nights hovering over my center island counter eating my dinner (which sometimes might be cereal, but let's not judge) standing up and pacing around. On the other hand, if I was hosting a party it would be an entirely different ball game. I'd have matching plates, probably some nametags for both my guests and the food, and an entire themed extravaganza. Now, make no mistake here. I'm certainly not suggesting that I should string up some streamers, pull out an old prom gown, and try to squeeze into it for a solo dinner on a random Thursday evening here at home with the felines. But simply sitting at the table and using ceramic dinnerware instead of leftover plastic bowls from college would be a step in the right direction.
I think my mom is just onto something. And hopfully, it's not because she'll "be dead tomorrow". But why do we save the good stuff for our guests? Why are we sometimes nicer to perfect strangers than we are to the people who really matter? Why not break out the good stuff for them? Why do we save and save and save for that dream thing (a car, a boat, a purse, a state-of-the-art-cat-house-climbing-thingie.... you get the picture) that we never get around to purchasing? Or if we do finally buy it, why don't we ever use the darn thing? Instead, it gets put up on a shelf to be saved for a special day, collecting dust.
Why don't we enjoy every day, treat it like a special occasion, and eat on the good plates?