Even including being a kid when you’d think breakage would be high, given all those things I’ve handled – from everyday dishes to friends’ good tableware to porcelain ornaments and china knickknacks – I’ve actually dropped and broken very few things. When my aunt (my mother’s sister) got an automatic dish washer, Mom bragged that she already had a dish washer that she could count on. I was the only grandchild or visitor that my grandmother would trust enough to wash her wedding gift china she used for Sunday dinners and other special occasions. Indeed, I had a reputation that preceded me. But I really didn’t mind; it was like this weird little gift I had.
Until recently, I was able to claim that I could count on one pair of hands the number of china pieces I have broken throughout the years. Sadly that claim no longer holds water. The first casualty, a cereal bowl with a floral theme given to me as a Christmas present by the mother of one of my friends, happened around the middle of September. The pot I filled with water to soak while dish washing dipped enough to ding the rim and I guess it made contact at such an angle that the cereal bowl broke into three parts while still in the dish pan.
The second casualty was the green breakfast plate I bought during my very first visit to Ikea shortly after moving to Vancouver. Technically, I should have thrown it out long ago when it started to become crazed. The next soldier to take one for the team was a juice glass from a set my mother gave me. I was getting up from the table and my hand swung close enough to tip it over.
But the one whose loss I feel the most – probably because it just occurred this morning on my way out to do errands – was the coloured glass vase that once belonged to my grandmother. Passing by the hall table where it sat, I shifted the carryall bag that was hooked over my right shoulder and the next thing I know, the vase went flying into the partially opened bathroom door and hit the tile floor with a thud before breaking.
I didn’t realize at the time the cereal bowl would mark the beginning of a pattern – I know I said that I wanted to get rid of things but does it have to be things I want to keep?