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Bugger the Belleek?

Howard Carter and team break open the tomb of TuthankhamenThings have been too deep for blogging lately.

On September 2, we "celebrated" the twenty-fifth anniversary of closing on the Crazy Stable. Things are not, alas, much advanced beyond the last big anniversary.  The next landmark looms on October 1: A quarter-century of living under this roof. (Well, okay, under the roof we had torn off and replaced with this roof.)


Overwhelmed by the enormity of it all, I chose my time-honored head-clearer: Throwing stuff out. And what stuff! I have lately cracked open several Rubbermaid storage bins that lay virtually untouched since my mother moved in circa 1987. The trigger was getting a big Ikea cabinet in the pantry--a job we'd postponed for, um, 25 years.

Brooklyn Museum, Luce Center for American ArtSomehow, the interior dimensions of this cabinet had expanded in my mind. Like a Tardis, it was vastly bigger on the inside. Like the Luce Center at the Brooklyn Museum, it would hold and display the accumulated petty-bourgeois treasures of two lifetimes, mine and my mother's. The cut glass, the silver, the ceramics that would be unearthed from their attic exile and displayed!

Instead, the longed-for cabinet filled up instantly with a few big pieces and a lot of pseudo-Tupperware. (I spent weeks rearranging the canned goods, however.) This left tons of stuff with no home except our already tchotchke-crammed surfaces. Frankly, much of the stuff was Mommy's taste, not mine, and bags of it will be on sale this Saturday for the World's Craziest Porch Sale here. Mom's been gone a decade now--it's time.

But other stuff...ah, ouch, agony of decision. Help me out here. What do I do with:

* The glass strawberry we bought on one of our rainy-day gift shop excursions in the Poconos when I was little?

* Two antique crucifixes, both broken beyond repair? (Note to crucifix-makers: The arms are clearly a weak spot.)

* An assortment of silver serving pieces, when I hate to polish silver--and hear my mom's harsh judgment about my polishing neglect every time I take them out of storage?

* Several pickle dishes, when we never really serve pickles? (They do, however, work for Mallomars.)

* Half-a-dozen demitasse cups, when we don't drink espresso?

Except for the Mallomar dish and the strawberry (which brings back the smell of deerskin moccasins and cedar trinket boxes), all of the above may be available on Saturday at shockingly low prices. But I'm especially conflicted about this Belleek sugar-creamer set. 

Not only do we have 3 other sugar-creamer sets...this one brings back Irish Mother Belleek-o-phobia. That's a syndrome triggered by seeing the feather-light, translucent, pricey porcelain, marked by trembling, flushing, and barking loudly, "WATCH OUT for the Belleek! Do you know how delicate that is? That belonged to your grandmother, don't you be the one to break it!" I love this set, really; but if I screech at my family about breaking Belleek, it will have turned into the Horcrux and I into Voldemom.

Maybe I will put it back into its bubble-wrap and just take it out for St. Paddy's Day, with soda bread and Irish tea. Maybe I will toss it, Zorba-like, in a declaration of independence from maternal/material things. Maybe you can pick it up on Saturday...carefully, dammit!

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Reader Comments (1)

Save the Belleek and I'll make the soda bread for the Good Saint's Day - although I never liked the shamrocks. And use the silver serving pieces, like every day. I once bought a great quilt, probably never had another owner than the first woman who made it or received it as a wedding quilt - well, other than the picker who found it. The dealer looked at me and said, use this don't fold it up and put it away. And while I might have failed her standard for use, I do use it in the summer or for a guest. Stuff is no good wrapped up for its lifetime. Excuse me while I open the armoire and start unstuffing it! But seriously, keep the Belleek and we'll use it.
September 19, 2011 at 03:14PM | Unregistered CommenterMBF

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