Mystery of the White Plate

Posted by on July 8, 2008 in life in klaskyville, uncategorized | 15 comments

I have always enjoyed a style of home decor that some might call … eclectic.  For years, I had a “set” of plates and bowls that were each-different-from-the-other, individuals that I’d bought at Pier One or other places because I liked the shape and/or the color.  Mark, however, is a normal person, who enjoys eating in a kitchen that doesn’t resemble a jumble shop.  Our compromise, one that has worked perfectly?  We got Fiestaware – a dozen place settings, two each of six different colors, with a few singletons thrown in.  I make a point of never using the same color at the same meal.

Now, one of those place settings is white.  There isn’t anything wrong with white – it looks clean and neat and simple.  But it’s boring.  Even Mark believes that it’s boring.

And somehow, mysteriously, the white dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl get to the bottom of their respective stacks, so that they’re the least used.

I’ve wondered about this for ages.  What is it about the patterns of use that lead to white always getting to the bottom?  Is it the way we load the dishwasher?  The way we stack the dishes in the cabinet?  Do we shuffle past the white, without realizing it, the way that the too-small dress or the too-tight pants get edged to the back of the closet?

I mentioned this perplexing problem to Mark the other day.  He said, “I put the white on the bottom, each time that it gets used and washed.”

Huh.  Mystery solved.  No mysterious powers of the universe to report, here in Klaskyville.

Mindy, who is starting to feel sorry for the white plate and will use it more often, so that its feelings don’t get hurt


  1. Why don’t you use some safe paints and go wild on it?

    • You’ve obviously never seen my lack of visual arts non-skills, eh? Seriously – the plate could become the “diet special” because it would be so unappetizing! πŸ™‚

  2. Mindy, who is starting to feel sorry for the white plate and will use it more often, so that its feelings don’t get hurt

    Oh my goodness…I do that, too! I will sometimes reach for a coffee cup, change my mind and take a different one, then worry that the first cup is unhappy.

    • I *do* try to balance my use of all our “stuff” so that no one feels left out. I wonder if this has to do with being a Libra…

  3. I have 14 place settings of Fiestaware, each a different color. None are white or black. I love the bright colors too much. We have my hubby’s grandmother’s white china. That is enough white for me. πŸ™‚

    • Our china is very simple – off white with a “laurel” border. I have a thing about designs in the center of plates – I really don’t like eating off of them, digging through mashed potatoes to find the pattern! (My mother has a lovely set of woodland plates, with animals in the center. I can appreciate the artistry, but I only like to eat “solid” food on them πŸ™‚ )

      Yeah. I’m strange.

      • I love dishes. Few people realize this about me, but I’m a nearly obsessive collector of fun and kitchy/antique dishes. That’s why I gravitated to the Fiestaware — it looks like the 50s version and it is bright and happy. I’ve run out of space to store all of my crazy dishes, so I haven’t been able to add to the collection, although I am inheriting some fabulous stuff from my grandmother later this summer.

        • Kitschy *clothes*, I think of you. Jewelry made out of countertops, I think of you. Crazy dishes? I didn’t realize! πŸ™‚

          • It’s true. My collection is part kitsch and part nostalgia. Family heirloom stuff and a lot of whimsy. Exactly what you’d imagine, knowing me. πŸ™‚

  4. When we were first engaged and thinking about china I wanted to do just that, all different settings but my then fiance was totally against it. Now, some years later he is almost to the point where he would think that is cool.

    Don’t feel sorry for the white plate, somewhere out there is someone who is the total opposite. She has all white dishes and one lone colored one. She doesn’t use the colored one much and feels sorry for it. See, cosmic balance? LOL.

    • I proposed the same thing, even arguing that registering for one place setting of a dozen patterns would give guests the cahnge to buy in their price range.

      Um, I lost that argument πŸ™‚

  5. Snort! That’s pretty funny. He really is considerate—he’s trying to spare you from the dreaded (by you, anyway) white plate syndrome!

    • Yep – you know Mark. He’s *always* considerate. (I’m thinking that we need to donate the white place setting and buy whatever this year’s color is.)

  6. Sounds like the vanilla ice cream conundrum in our house. I rarely buy vanilla ice cream because I find it boring. Steve and Erica buy it and use it with chocolate sauce on top. But…now and again, I have some plain vanilla ice cream just to…wait for it…have something different.

    • ::grin::

      Mark is a big fan of vanilla. Me, I like it as a vehicle for something else, but I find it a bit lacking on its own. But if it’s performing the role of “a la mode”? Then I’m *totally* happy! πŸ™‚