Sunday, June 12, 2005

But They're So Durable !

This entry takes us back to approximately the year 1980. My mother, always exceptional at finding a great deal and new ways to economize, noticed that a local gas station was having a very special promotion. With every fill-up, and an additional $2, customers were entitled to one full place setting of dishes. A dinner plate, a salad plate, a bowl and a mug, all for a mere $2 and gas. What an irresistable offer !

For the next several weeks, my mom faithfully visited this gas station on every fill-up, bringing home a big, square box each time. By the time the promotion ended, she had amassed at least 12 place settings. A great score at the time.

The problem ? These dishes were butt ugly. Tan-colored, speckled, ribbed in dark brown, they were as generic and unappealing as one could get. Granted, they were well-made, but downright painful to the eyes.

Fast-forward to today, the year 2005, and these monstrosities still remain as the primary food serving apparatus for my parents' spacious, well-decorated abode.

What is wrong with this picture ?

The inside of their house was recently repainted with a collection of modern, pastel shades. The kitchen is a muted but tasteful yellow. There is a cheery picture of some grapes and other fruit hanging on one wall. A nice gold-colored tablecloth adorns the eating surface. And on top of it, my parents place these 25-year-old gas station dishes, still as awful as they were in 1980, for the viewing enjoyment of the family and its guests.

This is just so not cool.

So this year, for my mom's birthday, I decided to do something about it. With the cooperation of my sisters and father, I rounded up a complete redesign of the kitchen's accoutrements, keeping true to the new indoor color scheme. Not being the most creative type, this was quite a challenge, but I believe I came up with something a little more esthetically pleasing. The result:

Aw yeah ! Now that's what I'm talking about !!!

When presented with this modern, colorful design, my father could not help but remark, "Those old dishes are still nice. They're so durable !" This is the same father who resisted replacing the tired, aging microwave with a new one, even when it took twice as long to heat something up as it should.

Yes, Dad, the old dishes are durable. They're also hideous.

Quarter-century-old gas station dishes BEGONE ! Go quietly into the night, taking your inherent uncoolness and ugly-ass color scheme with you ! Avaunt ! Return not until the next family barbecue, to be slaves to the concrete patio and butter-fingered guests !

Mark my words. If I see those old dishes in the upstairs cupboards the next time I visit my parents, there will be trouble.

The most glaring kitchen issue is out of the way, however more work is needed to be done. Perhaps this Christmas, Mom and I will sit down and have a little chat about the mismatched, dollar-store cutlery collection. Not now, though. Baby steps. One at a time. :)


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