gratitude-a-thon day 893: use the bowls


I’m using the bowls.

About 10 years ago, my husband had a couple talks to give in Switzerland, so we made a family trip out of it. We went to Paris and Venice, and Switzerland and Sweden. It was absolutely amazing, except for the night we were on a bus to get to  a hotel up in the alps, which required said bus to do hairpin turns in the black of night, IN THE RAIN. I was absolutely positive that we were going to die. POSITIVELY SURE. Not even a question in my mind. Every time the bus was heading for the turn, it looked like we were driving straight off the mountain to our fiery deaths. I would hold my breath and literally clutch the sides of the bus until I couldn’t feel my hands. And then somehow, we’d make the turn. This happened like, eight times. I was sweating with fear, but trying to look calm for my kids. Of course, I wasn’t fooling anybody. I looked like The Scream.

Me on the bus.

But I digress.

The trip was really, really fantastic, and we got to see our very good friends in Sweden who live on a fairy tale island and …..

Uh oh, digressing again.

The last day we were there, my husband had to give a talk in Stockholm, so the kids and I, Jake about 10, and Ally about 7, walked around seeing sites and popping in and out of shops (because what is a trip if there is no popping and SHOPPING)?

We went into a store that seemed a cross between Anthropologie and say, Urban Outfitters, and I found these oversized mugs and bowls that I wanted to marry on the spot. Just like, get a Justice of the Peace and have a wedding ceremony, with those mugs and bowls, and my kids as best man and maid of honor. Love at first sight. And they were very inexpensive to boot, like maybe $5.oo a piece. I asked if they shipped, but got a big fat no, but they suggested I see if the post office would send them. So I dragged the kids to the Post Office to see how much it might be for me to ship them, because our suitcases were already full, and we’d been traveling weeks, and I knew that I couldn’t shove one more thing ANYWHERE, even these mugs and bowls which I couldn’t now imagine my life without. But the post office did not ship anything fragile to the States. Fuck me! And my mugs and bowls.


I considered for a moment just relocating the fam to Stockholm, so that I could have the mugs and bowls. It hardly seemed that much of an inconvenience…..

I was so conflicted about not buying the mugs and bowls, I couldn’t really stop talking about what I should do. I mean, could we possibly carry one more thing with us? I knew we were full-up. I would have to live without the purchase. I would have to go home mug and bowl-less. I was despondent, until Jake, looked up at me with his bowl-sized green eyes and said, “Mommy, I’ll carry them for you.” I told him, no of course not, but then both Ally and Jake said, “Mommy, you love them so much, we want you to have them. We’ll help carry them.”


I really couldn’t believe the empathy my kids had for my somewhat silly predicament.  I am as moved now as I was then, and to this day, I think it’s probably one of the most generous and thoughtful things anybody has ever done for me.

So there was my little 10 year old and seven year old schlepping the mugs and bowls with their mom in tow, smiley like I had just bought the city of Stockholm for a $1.

Anyway, I have had those bowls and mugs for 10 years. I began using the mugs right away, but not the bowls. Somehow I got it into my head that I should “save” the bowls. I don’t have any idea why I thought this. I guess I just thought they were so beautiful and I loved them so much, I didn’t want them to break. I wanted to have them forever. I wanted to use them for company. I had no such delusions with the mugs, however, and allowed myself and others to enjoy them freely. I drink my coffee out of them every single day, and in 10 years, have only had two unfortunate deaths (I considered burying the broken glass in the backyard with a gravestone, but I must have gotten busy). Anyway, the other day, all my regular, everyday bowls were in the dishwasher and I had to use one of “the” bowls. It was a pleasure. A TOTAL PLEASURE. When I took it out of the dishwasher all clean and fresh, I went to put it back up into the high shelf that it’s spent the last decade living on, but things had shifted and without a chair, I couldn’t get it into its place (and I was too lazy to get a chair, THIS IS HOW I AM). So, I stacked it with my regular bowls (who were all like, “Oh, fancy pantsy down here slumming, huh?”). And I have been using it, and feeling a little sassy and happy every time I do.

Which brings me to the point of the story to begin with. I have decided it’s time to remove the sanction from the bowls.


Seriously, who knows what the hell tomorrow is going to be about, I’m using the bowls NOW. It makes less sense than anything that comes out of Donald Trump’s mouth that I am not using the bowls. I am getting them down today, and putting them in the rotation. Using them for cereal, using them for soup. I am using the bowls. I’m not saving anything anymore. I could be in a movie theater or a school or a bar, or the fucking grocery store and get shot tomorrow, so obviously it’s time to use bowls. Who knows what the is going to happen.

I don’t know.

I only know it’s time to use the bowls.

2 thoughts on “gratitude-a-thon day 893: use the bowls

  1. Love, love, love this post! I too have trouble resisting pretty things that I don’t need. I have a collection of china teacups and pots that are displayed in 3 corner shelves in my dining room. I only use them occasionally for the same reasons you described. I think your post has changed my mind. Life is too short, use the f***ing cups! So what if one breaks; I have more. Also, you must’ve done some good job raising those kids for them to want to offer carrying them on the trip home for you. Kudos!

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