DH = Dear Husband
Dave Ramsey’s Jag Story
When Dave Ramsey went bankrupt and lost everything as a young husband and father in his twenties, he found it especially painful to surrender his beloved Jaguar. The day his prized possession was towed away, he cried. In his book, The Total Money Makeover, he tells the story with a good dose of sarcasm and mortification about his younger self.
Fast forward years later, a much wiser Ramsey – out of debt, diligently investing, and mindfully spending – was on the lookout for a used car. And at that time there happened to be a great deal on a used . . . You guessed it! Jag! So years after surrendering his over-the-top desire for the car, he got to enjoy ownership of it.
Bridal China vs. Pool Table
As DH and I planned our wedding in the early 90s, we had to decide what would be on our gift registry. I was thinking of the typical china set, but DH had a less conventional idea: He proposed a pool table. Our guests would buy gift cards for the amount of their choice, all to be used for a pool table that he said would be a lot more fun than a china set. I ended up agreeing to his plan with the understanding that for our 10th wedding anniversary, we’d buy my choice of china.
Our matrimonial pool table
What’s so great about china dishes?
Logically, I understood DH’s indifference to fancy dishware. But I’d grown up with a cabinet full of my mother’s mother’s china – and we used it often. (That’s the gravy boat featured above.) Whenever there was company and whenever we celebrated a holiday, the special dishes would come out. I associated them with feasts of celebration and with bonds of generations of family.
10 years later . . .
DH and I celebrated our 10th anniversary at the lowest point of his career. He’d gone through five years of a work roller-coaster as a result of the high tech bust – with one company after another failing – and he’d had enough of it. Without knowing what his next step would be, he left the high tech industry. We didn’t know it at the time, but six years of under/unemployment were to follow. The purchase of a china dish set was out of the question.
And soon after things did turn around – when it was clear that the business DH had started was going to be successful – we woke up to our financial mess. Years of high spending had left us with both a big mortgage and significant consumer debt. Years of employment stress and some poor financial decisions had led to the growth of our debts. DH’s entrepreneurial venture had meant we added a significant business loan to our grand total. Our wake-up was followed by the start of our journey out of debt – which meant that buying china dishware was still just not going to happen.
In praise of Correlle
Just over a month ago, Mrs. Picky Pincher wrote a post in praise of her Correlle dishes. Durable, cheap, functional . . . What’s not to love about Correlle? Here’s what I wrote in the comments section:
“When my husband and I married, we bought Corelle dishes – with the idea that we’d get a nice china set at our 10-year mark. That time has come and gone – and we still manage to get by with our Corelle dishes – no china. It doesn’t even occur to me to feel deprived. They do the trick : )”
I had completely surrendered my desire for fancy china. I had thoroughly learned the truth that “feasts of celebration and bonds of generations of family” could flourish over cheap dishes just as well as they did over the antique china of my childhood.
Our faithful Correlle dishes
My grandmother’s china
My mother moved to a retirement home last month. She left her condo and most of her possessions behind her, and her five children are now sorting through her stuff – giving most of it away – to get her place ready to sell. Of course there are some things that we’ve decided to keep.
And since everyone else already has nice dishes, I have been free to choose my grandmother’s china.
Mom has said she’ll be glad to see her things in use in her children’s homes. You can bet that the next time I have her over for dinner, we’ll be getting out the fancy dishes.
Have you ever had the experience of surrendering a desire for something? Has that surrender ever been followed by your receiving it? Your comments are welcome.