I have a lot of teacups…I call them teacups but they are the cups that come with my sets of china. (Yes, I said sets.) The cups were made to hold coffee or tea. They are generally small, even dainty, certainly smaller than most of us that order venti want to use. I marvel at them, and curse them, mostly because they are a bother to be stored. I have little space and certainly no good display for them either. Right now, I keep only one set in my kitchen, the set that matches my current everyday china. It’s a shame they aren’t used for coffee or tea since they are engineered so perfectly for hot beverages. The saucers are actually designed so that the center that the cup sits on is raised and does not come in contact with the table or surface below. This saves fine wood from heat damage, but also keeps the china from cooling the beverage faster. I have no other set designed like this. The fact that someone thought of this makes me love them more.
I never registered for wedding china. I didn’t know a thing about china and thought we’d probably own handmade pottery instead way back in 1973 when we got married. We actually have gone through several sets of dishes since way back when. Our current set of china was accumulated in the last 10 years or so. I loved it for several reasons but thought it was antique or at least early 1900’s. Recently I found out it most likely dates from the 1970’s! I think that rocks. I picked it rather than it picking me, like my auntie’s china did, and the china my mother is collecting for me, or the pieces that came to me from my grandmothers. I love those pieces too.
I’ve been reaching for my teacups more these days. I decided not to hold back on using them. Everyday use means everyday for all of the pieces. So I pull a teacup out to plop my morning yogurt in from the larger container. It measures exactly the right amount, or for cottage cheese, or a serving of fruit. In fact, paying attention to portion size is a little easier with a teacup and more charming than a plastic measuring cup.
We sometimes go through life thinking we belong a certain way, with a particular group or purpose. I think we should feel lucky if we find a new way to serve and be useful, even acquiring a new talent no matter how out of our ordinary routine it puts us. I don’t want to be treasured china saved for just the right display or just the right event. I want to be useful, and useful every day.