Wednesday, February 27, 2008


We went to an auction once with a couple of women I work with. I like auctions. Tim does too. There was lots of antique furniture there, and people, it was going for a song. We had gotten there too late to actually take a look at the items being auctioned off, so as they were bringing stuff up, I was seeing it for the first time, and by the time that I made up my mind that I'd really like to have that particular piece, they were yelling "SOLD!" up front. Those auctioneers talk fast, don't they? I mean, I talk a lot. Endlessly, even, but I don't talk fast. Unless I'm really fired up about something. But that is a story for another day.
Anyways, I'm visiting with my friends. We'd bought a drill, for Tim. And we'd bought two boxes of Civil War books for Cara, the budding history teacher. My friend had bought me a tin advertising sign. She's the nicest person that you'd ever want to meet and always pulling crap like that. I am blabbing away to Laura and Heather when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see an arm going up and down at a very rapid clip. I stopped talking to look at Tim and then do a double take at what was being auctioned off. It was a silver tea service. It was very pretty, but badly tarnished. Coffee pot, tea pot, sugar bowl, creamer, and tray. I was aghast, but before I could say, "What in the world are you doing?!" the auctioneer was again yelling "SOLD!" and we were the owners of a silver tea service.
I'm an ordinary person. A blue jeans and sweatshirt person. If it is summer time, you can change that to blue jeans and tee shirt. I have lots of wool blazers that go nicely with tee shirts and blue jeans for the times that I need to dress up some, but not so much that I have to resort to my dress up clothes, my little black dress, or my navy blue dress that has matching shoes with little rhinestone buckles. My favorite car is always the oldest car. I like a car that the dog can ride in. I am not the kind who gets excited about jewelry. I don't have a diamond. When Tim and I got married 10 years ago, there was no money for things like that. We had 5 children to raise. He's often asked, in the intervening years, whether I would like one, but the thing is, now I've seen "Blood Diamond". His brother has told stories about his years repairing the heavy equipment in African gold mines. Now it's become a matter of conscience. I really don't want one. Besides, it would clash with the stainless steel rings that my husband machined for us. That idea was mine. I thought it symbolized what we were. Strong, enduring, carving a new life for ourselves and our children. The steel came from the scrap bin of the factory we met in. I'm big on symbolism.
So now I have a silver tea service. Tim is so proud that he's given me this fine thing. I'd never tell him, but it is a pain. I polish it every couple weeks. What I have learned about non-abrasive silver polishes is that there is a direct correlation between how bad the stuff smells to how well it works. The stuff I use works really, really well. The tea set is lovely, and it looks nice displayed on my buffet, gleaming in the sunlight. But that doesn't change the fact that I'm not a woman who spends a lot of time longing for these sorts of things. But, what I do love is that I'm married to a man who believes that I deserve these things. All of them. To him, that tea set symbolizes who I am. And I'm big on symbolism.


BB said...

Debby - you are married to a beautiful man! Love that symbolism... and that he wants so much to buy you beautiful things. That's the real treasure haul from this story. He;s a keeper.

Debby said...

That actually IS the 'precious' thing. Far more precious than the tea service. I remind myself of how precious that is each and every time that I polish the silver.

jeanie said...

ha ha - I was just thinking it is a pity your "budding history teacher" wasn't a little younger.

See, our mother used convict labour to do things like polish the brass and silver.

Often the crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time - and maybe uttering the wrong words.

I am with you on the fumes!

Alison said...

Great symbolism, I love it!
Love the rings, too.

Debby said...

Oh, Jeanie. The Amish having a saying...I guess that it appears that I am too late smart!

I realize that I have something very precious, way more precious than silver. I wish it could be this way for everyone out there thinking that it just isn't going to happen for them.