Hi all! My name is Debbie and I am a plate addict. I used to be a relatively normal person...I used my plates for eating just like everyone else. It never occurred to me to hang them on the wall. I had no particular fascination for faience or transferware or Quimperware...I don't know if I knew what they were. Then I made a life-changing decision...I moved to France. It seemed the natural thing to do for an aging French teacher...LOL! That is where I discovered PLATES!
In France when there's company, the meals are gloriously l-o-n-g and require the changing of plates with the courses. It is necessary to have several sets of china for at least twelve or be prepared to wash dishes. Now please note that I lived in the country and NONE of my friends had dishwashers. It became part of the ritual for the women to gather in the kitchen at several points during the meal to carry out the process of changing plates.
Some of them were wonderful old dessert plates with different designs of fading flowers...those were my favorites. Some were very modern and reflected the puzzling attraction that the French had at the time for avocado green and bright orange...waaay too 70's for me...been there, done that. They reminded me too much of my harvest gold refrigerator in my first home...yikes!
Mine were white Limoges with wonderful grapevines complete with tiny grapes encircling the plates. I loved them so much that I actually enjoyed washing them by hand...the same pleasure I used to feel when folding my newborn daughter's tiny clothes fresh from the dryer. My apartment was over the auto-école (driving school) in town and I had to walk by the most fascinating little shop to go almost anywhere. Its display windows were overflowing with stacks and stacks of the most beautiful plates I had ever seen.
I could not pass by without stopping. I actually made a few purchases there, mostly gifts for friends. That was the most magnificent gift I could imagine. I bought what I wished I could have and was chided for spending too much. But I never bought anything for myself. The lady in the shop always waved and smiled. We practically became friends. Then I left when my grandson was born to be with my family. I wished I could pack up my plates and take them with me, but that was impractical. Besides, they have plates in the US, right?
But somehow it was not the same...those American plates. I have bought lots of plates trying to fill the empty spot left by my French plates but to no avail. It's kind of like that Krispy Kreme donut I had to skip when I was pregnant. We stopped by late one night when the "HOT DONUTS" sign was on and everyone got one except me. I couldn't have sugar. I don't care how many Krispy Kreme donuts I eat, I just can't make up for that time I had to do without...sigh. And so it began. I just can't make up for those plates I had to leave behind.