“How did you handle it with us, Mom, when we had temper tantrums?” I asked.
“You girls didn’t have a lot of tantrums, or at least I don’t remember any. . . But I do remember I was always breaking dishes and buying new sets, so one time I put the remains of a dish set in a box and told one of you, maybe you, maybe your sister, that when you get mad, just go down and break a dish.”
I remember that. I remember it all. Yes, my Mom loved dishes, and she was often getting new dishes. It’s a family thing, we all have more sets of dishes than we know what to do with. I have my first everyday china, Finnish stoneware so strong and durable that to this day, I’ve only lost a couple pieces to breakage and have one chip. I have a set of everyday Wedgewood that I bought when I got sick and tired of my durable set. I have our wedding china, and I have my (one of) my grandmother’s sets of china, and then I have the china I bought in Germany when all my other china was in storage. (I no longer have the china with the elephants and camels I bought in Doha, and it made us smile everytime we used it.) Oops. And three sets of Christmas dishes, but just the dinner dishes, not all the soups and breads and etc.
Oh wait! Where was I going? Ah yes, the set of dishes in the box in the basement.
I remember being really angry and heading for the box. I remember throwing a plate, but it didn’t break loudly enough, so I used a hammer. It made a big mess. We weren’t allowed to make a mess and not clean it up, and knowing I had to pick up all the broken pieces took a lot of fun out of being angry. It just didn’t do it for me. I never broke another dish (on purpose.)
One of the fun things about Doha and Kuwait was that you could find these cheap but fun dishes and use them for a couple years and then just walk away from them and not look back.