A spirit of frugality is a wonderful thing. Most of the frugal who I am lucky to know are creative, resourceful, thoughtful souls.
There does seem to be a hidden danger to frugality, though; a subtle trap that many of us seem to give in to. Come closer and I’ll whisper it in your ear.
Perhaps it’s because we truly appreciate the value of our dollar. Maybe we’ve had a few too many years of a few too few of those dollars to ever be loose and careless with them. Or perhaps it’s a simple matter of our being so good at saving and waiting that we simply forget that it’s good to use…in fact, it’s good to enjoy the things we have so carefully earned, saved and treasure.
One example of this is the concept of having “everyday dishes” and “Good China”…I’m guessing you know what I mean. There are the simple, indestructible, sturdy dishes that we use three meals a day, 364 days a year — and there are the lovely, beautiful, delicate dishes that we bring out on holidays.
Isn’t it ironic that it’s the bland, everyday dishes that our families will really remember? What messages do we send when we rarely bring out the “special” dishes? Isn’t the fact that we’re sitting down to eat together special?
Life is short. My kids will be grown and gone before I’ve managed to figure out a meal that they’ll all actually eat.
So I’m going to use the good dishes. In fact, I’ve repurposed a dish-drainer and put out a family-sized place setting of the good china on top of the dining room cabinet. Instead of being hidden away safely (and forgotten), we are going to use the good stuff.
When I’m gone and the kids are sorting through my “treasures”, I want them to say, “Remember these? They were the dishes we used at supper time. Remember when we…” and not, “Hey, aren’t those the dishes mom wouldn’t let us touch?”
That’s mine. What’s yours? Are you knitting though the bland yarn in your stash, refusing to touch the “good” stuff? Are your most luxurious sheets hiding in the linen closet? The best wine never opened?
Go for it. Use the good stuff.
It’s just stuff.