You know you’re an adult when you have matching crockery.
Over the years, I’ve managed to accumulate a lot of different pieces of crockery. When S and I moved in together, we simply put our collections together and continued to add to them on an ad hoc basis, as and when was necessary. Consequently our crockery drawer resembles a table at a jumble sale, with a huge variety of sizes, shapes and colours.
We’ve spent the past few months Sorting Out Our Lives. We’ve combed through old files and papers, eliminating about a ton of paper from the house. I’ve gone through boxes of stuff stored in the loft, mostly things that came direct from my parents’ loft and that I haven’t looked at properly in years. It’s true; if you put something in a box and can’t remember six months later what is in there, then you should get rid of it. I’ve mentioned before that I’m a hoarder, and getting rid of things is incredibly difficult. Usually I have to have what S describes as a “period of mourning”, where the items sit in a bag in the spare room, looking all forlorn. After a week or two, I am then ready to take them to the charity shop (although a few items inevitably end up being put back). This time, however, I was a lot more ruthless, and have purged with a viciousness that surprised me. The feeling from this, though, is fantastic; the house feels lighter, more streamlined – and there is now longer the fear that the loft floor will cave through under strain from so much junk.
So with our improved, no-added-sugar house, we decided that it was time to complete the transformation into fully functioning adults and buy some matching crockery. You know, the sort that actually stacks up neatly in the drawer and doesn’t topple over due to being a different size to the plate underneath it. A friend who recently stayed with us was quite surprised by how piecemeal our plates were. Mix and match is all the rage in vintage crockery, but I don’t think an assortment of market stall plates, leftovers from my nan’s collection and random ones from student houses really count as the same thing. When we recently found ourselves in Ikea, we decided that it was time, and are now the proud owners of six matching dinner plates, side plates and bowls.
The other thing that made us feel grown up was finding ourselves last weekend in Curry’s, buying a new fridge. The old one had started dribbling oily fluid on the floor, and some quick Google research revealed that the motor had gone and the fridge was sadly destined for the scrap heap. I have to admit that it’s not my favourite way to pass a Sunday, standing in a white goods aisle and debating the merits of an integral egg rack versus two salad drawers. In fact, it was incredibly boring and something we regarded as a necessary evil, to be got out of the way as quickly as possible so we could go back to our usual Sunday pastimes of lounging, newspaper reading, coffee drinking and pub quizzing. But there’s no denying that buying your first ever brand new fridge makes you feel like a proper grown up, even if it’s £250 you’d rather be spending on something more fun.
Of course, this being me, there is a little pang of regret for the old days of secondhand appliances and mismatched crockery. Many of the plates and bowls in the drawer had a history; the bright yellow with blue trim was my old housemate’s, and many a time I saw her slurp up a culinary delight of Super Noodles and soy sauce from it. The white plate with “Lunch Dinner Supper” round the rim was the one I bought from Woolworths (so retro now!) when I first went to university. I do feel a little sad as these make their way to the charity shop – via the period of mourning, of course – as it marks the end of an era. The end of scruffy studenthood and the subsequent attempt to cling onto studenthood.
But usher in the era of adulthood and being married and all grown up, I say! Bring it on!
(As long as there is not too much time spent appliance shopping).