Some of the wedding stuff that I remember being used was a set of plates that commemorated mom and dad’s wedding, which were to me at least, a little strange. My guess is that the relative who made them is no longer around so I feel confident of describing these things without hurting anybody’s feelings.
Imagine two white plates and pasted on each plate is a figure obviously representing a man and a woman. The man had a stove top hat, a mustache, a pipe and what looks to be OshKosh B’Gosh work clothes. The woman obviously look like a woman with long hair put up in a bun, a bonnet and other things that look womanly. In other words, in this world they are wildly politically incorrect. Underneath them was my father’s name, my mothers name, and the date of the marriage. Apart from the fact that the caricatures look nothing like my mother and father anymore than the symbols on men’s and women’s bathrooms did, back in the day when we had man and woman symbols on bathrooms, my objections to them even as a young child was, what do you do with them? My first conscience memory of them was hanging on the wall above the stove in our house in Leadville, Colorado. I remember thinking they were kind of silly since you really couldn’t eat off of them, and they were dust catchers. The reason I thought they were dust catchers is that my mother had put clear plastic over them like saran wrap. My mother was good at wrapping things. Every car we had had to have bubble wrap plastic over the upholstery, but I digress. These plates were something I saw every day. And they obviously meant something to my mother and my father. The house we lived in Leadville was considered to be haunted, and I remember coming home one night with my mother slightly upset. My brother and I were off at school my dad was at work and when she came home that evening those two plates were all the way across the kitchen on the other end from the oven and we’re lying facedown, arranged as they would have been over the stove, but on the floor. She never quite figured that one out and neither did the rest of us . Mom and dad cared enough about those plates to drag them all the way back to North Dakota, where they once again hung over the stove in the kitchen.
I don’t really know why am telling the story except for the question I keep asking myself. Does a gift certificate to Bed, Bath, and Beyond merit hanging on your wall in the bath, and being carried from one place to the other as we move through life? Is whatever is bought with the gift card from Bed, Bath, and Beyond worthy of being dragged all over the country to new homes and new destinations? Is the registry certificate from William Sonoma going to be covered up with plastic so it doesn’t get dusty and prominently placed on someone’s wall? Is whatever was purchased with that certificate going to receive that kind of treatment? I guess I’ll never know, but it is something to think about. What really are the things we value And why do we value them? Why is it that when people have fires or hurricanes or tornadoes and are trying to figure out what to carry out of the house, or sifting through what was left out of their house they always mention the same things that they’re looking for – Heirlooms and pictures.
Breaking news – I just found out on the trip that the plates were not made by some relative but by my mom and her sister, who I guess needed some arts and crafts time.