Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Beverly and I shared a great love of all things other folks might consider “prissy.” And we were proud of it.

Beverly and I stood strong in our opposition to paper plates and paper napkins. I understand that there is a time and a place for paper goods, but my dinner table (or Beverly’s) is not that place. Beverly backed me on this. I’m not going to refuse to eat if you give me a paper plate, and I won’t condemn you for it, but don’t look for one at my house.

It was a bit easier for Beverly, because she had a china collection that anyone with a love of dishes would just turn pea-green with envy over, but she appreciated my attempts with stoneware and a random collection of cloth napkins. (Beverly could host the HOD Christmas party and actually set tables for 40 with matching china and coordinating glassware and linen. I couldn’t do that, but everyone had a real plate and actual napkin at the 2010 HOD party. Beverly was quite pleased with me.)

But I did join the Playfriends in horror that weekend we spent at Beverly’s a couple of years ago. Beverly cooked chili for lunch and set a lovely table complete with white cloth napkins. Now the white-cloth-and-chili-combo had us all looking at each other worriedly. White cloth napkins stain (which is why I only have a few light-colored cloth napkins and AC knows they’re not for use with red sauce of any sort). But these napkins also had a delicate lace trim. After you read Instigator’s story on Thursday, you’ll understand a little better why we were feeling a bit like barbarians anyway, and the last thing we wanted to do was add chili-stained white lace napkins to our sins.

The others asked for paper towels (which I knew weren’t coming because hell hadn’t frozen over yet), but I got Beverly to compromise with some red gingham napkins. They didn’t match the china, but at least we were able to eat. Thank dog it was only lunch, so there wasn’t a tablecloth to worry about!

I will miss having Beverly in my corner on this, but I know Jean and Lynn will help me hold the line here and advocate for all things prissy. Beverly would like that.

Beverly, I hope all the tables in heaven are set with real china, crystal, silver, and white napkins with lace trim.


PC's Mom said...

I remember a conversation I had with Beverly and we laughed about having "the dish gene." We both believed you could never have too many sets of dishes because a variety of dishes means you can set the table according to your mood or the occasion. Additionally, table clothes and napkins are great accessories for dressing the table up or down.

Having a Maven and a mother with "prissy" genes, PC didn't stand a chance to not be prissy.

PC's Mom

Cheryl said...

Gentility - that best describes Beverly's outlook on life. She was a lady! Love the chile story!

Angel said...

I'll never forget our worried glances at each other as Beverly did something else in the kitchen that day!!! Looking back it is so funny, but that day we were so afraid of messing up those napkins!

Beverly's response? "That's what they're for!" :)


Maven Linda said...

If heaven didn't already have complete sets of china, good silverware, and high-quality napkins, I'm sure Beverly has already taken care of that problem.

Smarty Pants said...

I guess I'm just too practical to be prissy. But I love pretty, practical dishes. Beverly never came to my house, but if she did, I think she'd be pleased to see my china cabinet and breakfront filled with china, silver and stemware. I even have two full drawers of cloth napkins. I just never really see the need to drag that stuff out for day to day. I should.

Rhonda Nelson said...

I, too, have the "dish" gene and have many sets of clothe napkins, but don't bring them out as often as I should. I'm changing that and have been combing Etsy looking for more.

You know what struck me more than all the china and napkins at Beverly's for the Christmas party? The scent of gardenias and those scrunchie cord covers. I remember thinking that all my cords were bare and it had never occurred to me to cover them up. Now I don't ever look at a naked chord and not think of Beverly's pretty ones. :-)

Lynn Raye Harris said...

I have the dish gene in abundance. :) I was just looking at china the other day at the antique store. I told my husband I should look at that section more often. His reply? "Not with me, you don't!" Because he knew I could be picking up pieces for hours. *g*

I got rid of the Corelle years ago. Hubby and I eat on the Villeroy & Boch every night. It's meant to be used, and I'm not waiting for a special occasion. I couldn't have matching tableware for 40 like Beverly did, but I could come pretty close to it.

I admit to possessing paper napkins, though I have plenty of cloth ones. Oh, the shame! Clearly, I have to do better in the napkin department. Though if Beverly had ever come to my house, I'd have been prepared. :)

Playground Monitor said...

I remember the scent of gardenias too. I asked what it was and she used candle warmers. They look like those plug-in things that keep a cup of coffee warm. It melts the wax and releases the scent without having an open flame. I own several of them now. I remember the cord covers too and every now and then I think maybe I should make them for my cords. They look so much nicer than bare cord.

I don't have the dish gene, but I love cloth napkins. Bought four more a couple weeks ago when I went to World Market in Birmingham. I use them every day with my one set of dishes. I'm surprised I don't have the dish gene because my mother does.

Jean Hovey said...

I don't have matching dishes for 40 but I can feed 40 on real plates--more if it's Christmas. Quite a while back, I stopped protecting the Waterford. I get it out and send people right out on the porch with with it. What good is it, if it's not enjoyed? It's just stuff.

I've been known to eat nectarines for lunch hanging over the sink, but I've never let anyone see me do it, so it can't be proven. Not even with this post. I could be lying.

Beverly liked things nice and I'm with her. Once, when we were planning that never happened because of a flood in Nashville, I said, "I hate tacky."

She waved her hand in the air and said, "Hello! Right here."

Instigator said...

Sadly, I don't have the dish gene. I have china I got at my wedding that has never been used. I probably should take it out...but that would require me to clean off the dust and I just don't have the time or energy for that.

Apparently, I wasn't always this way though. When I was five and learned to tie my shoes my mom asked me what I wanted as a reward. My answer was hot dogs for dinner...on the good china. And that's what we had.

I won't even go into napkins. We don't even bother with the cloth ones at my house. We use folded paper towels.

Beverly loved me anyway though. And I envied her the dish gene and her ability to make anyone who entered her home feel welcomed and special.


robertsonreads said...

Occassionally I will use china that was given to me just because I can.