The couple had been married more than 50 years. After lunch, she wouldn't let us help with the dishes. He cleared the table and got to work at the sink. I was impressed with this liberated couple and said so. He laughed and she explained:
"Our first night as husband and wife, I cooked a nice dinner. He ate, went into the front parlour, lit up his pipe, and opened the newspaper. So, I threw everything, even our new wedding China, out the kitchen window into the driveway."
"I've done the dishes ever since," he laughed.
|PART OF A WEDDING GIFT TO MY PARENTS, 1947.|
The Dowager Duchess
The night before my mother's apartment was emptied in late August, San Geraldo cooked our "last supper." My parents had received a set of pots and pans as a wedding gift. Over the years, most of them developed bell-shaped bottoms that did not sit flat on any surface. Last year, my mother told me she hated those pots and pans.
"They were cheap and I never liked them," she said.
"So, why didn't you just replace them?" I asked.
"I didn't want to insult [the person who gave them to her] and by the time she died [only a few years ago], I thought, 'What's the point? I never cook anymore anyway.' "
A Dream Come True
My fantasy ever since I met my friend's aunt and uncle has been to finish a meal and simply throw everything away instead of washing up.
So, after our last supper, I cleared the table and washed the dishes (they were part of a very nice set, after all). However, I took the three dirty pans (and only those three pans) and threw them down the compactor chute. (Throwing them out the 16th-floor kitchen window could have been deadly.)
The Dowager Duchess would have liked that.
|LENOX CHINA DISH GIVEN BY THE SAME PERSON IN THE EARLY '70s.|
THE DUCHESS REGULARLY COMPLAINED, "I HATE LENOX!" BUT DISPLAYED IT FOR 40+ YEARS.
(IT WAS ONLY MEANT TO SERVE CORN AND COULD HAVE BEEN PUT AWAY SOMEWHERE.)