In a book about Etiquette I read long ago (when I read Barbara Cartland :-)) , I learnt that one should use the best crockery for one’s own family and not store it inside for special occasions. This was an extension of using good manners within the family .
Being of and living among the great middle -class, I rarely saw both tenets being practised. I didnt either. We kept a few special clothes for ‘going-out’. And the house got specially cleaned and the best glasses kept only for ‘company.’
But then, my younger daughter, Sindhu came along and used most of my ‘ special stuff ‘ whenever she could, especially when I was not around. On one occasion, when I took out my special- party- wear- slippers from the box where they were stored very carefully, I found to my horror, they looked rather worn. And she was only five years old then. There must have been a lot of dressing up sessions. And even now, when she comes home, she will unerringly, pick my newest clothes to wear . And then I think, ‘if Sindhu is using this, then I might as well use it too’.
I can’t say I started using my ‘special stuff’ right away. Its taken a while to make that change. First, anti-consumerism, frugality and making do is built into the genes of my generation . Our parents bought little and held on to what they bought. And we followed all that unconsciously. Its taking us some effort to accept the idea of use and throw. We don’t throw so we use as sparingly as possible. But in this age of abundance, we have to learn to think a little differently.
So, Ive learnt to use all the stuff that comes in as much as I can and not put things away in store for a ‘ special day. ‘
And it can make a quiet day feel extra special. Like today. I used the new glasses that came as a gift y’day. And I did feel a little more nice.
Someone who is so cheery even with 6 kids! and thinks her life is special can be found here at Life as Mom