Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Seventeen Year Itch

Perhaps you've heard of the seven year itch (not to be confused with the 7th inning stretch).  From Wikipedia:

The seven-year itch is a psychological term that suggests that happiness in a relationship declines after around year seven of a marriage.

The urban legend goes that if your marriage can survive seven years, you're set.  Not true, of course, but people who know about these things have done studies and they've concluded that it does seem like a lot of divorces happen after about 7 years.  I've heard that these days, it's more like a four-year itch, and I would not be a bit surprised to learn that it's even earlier than four, what with our nation's consumerist, me-first, everything's disposable mentality.

I don't know about happiness declining after seven years, but I gotta tell you, when you've been married 17 years, like I have, things just start to fall apart.  We need a new mattress, new headboard (seriously, how can it not bother Hubby that our headboard covers up about 1/3 each of two windows?!), just bought new living room furniture because the old stuff was getting a bit worse (read: a lot worse) for wear, our non-stick pans are no longer non-sticky, we've lost or broken several of our knives, and our flatware keeps disappearing.  We started, 17 years ago, with 16 place settings of dinnerware.  Now, we are down to 12 plates, 10 salad plates, 9 bowls.   In two different, non-coordinating patterns.  Teacups, though?  Still have 16 of those. 

I know it's not just me, because my sis, who also has been married for 17 years (that was a busy couple of weeks for my parents), has the same problem.

It bothers me that we only have enough matching dishes to serve our family plus just one guest, a meal at our home.  Now some people don't care about such things.  They think, well, as long as we have one plate per person, who cares if they match?  Boys! 

But me?  I have always longed for matching dishes.  *Sigh*  Pretty much whenever we have guests, we serve 11 people, and it's getting a little old not having enough for everyone.  Like the time I served soup.  Nine bowls.  We had to eat in shifts. And I'm not even kidding about that.

Oh, but I've done something about it, finally. (Surprise, Hubby!  Happy 17th!)


Look at my shiny new dishes.  These are not the ones I fell in love with, not by a long shot, but at least now we can set a matching, possibly even beautiful, table for meals with extended family.  And other guests, if we ever have any.  Plus, I won't be nearly as upset when these break as I would be if I bought the ones I love.

Now, however, I find myself in a rather Laura Numeroffian situation.  Now I "need" new kitchen towels, new serving pieces and utensils, and wouldn't it look nice to have some new placemats and napkins (never mind the fact that trying to keep those things in place and looking pretty with those 4 boys running around, always wanting to eat and stuff, drives me insane). 

Isn't it interesting how, when you have one new thing, one nice thing, it makes everything else that you have, that was just fine two seconds ago, seem shabby and not good enough? 

Oh, yes, and if we really want to have matching place settings we'll have to get new flatware as well.  I'm pretty sure I "need" some new baking dishes, from someone like Rachel Ray or Paula Deen, because the casseroles have to look pretty on the table, too.  Oh, and some lovely mosaic napkin rings would be just the thing to "make" the place settings.

Oy.  Head. Spinning.

Maybe I don't need want shiny new matching dishes, after all...

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