Use the good silver

We recently decided to use the good silver every day. It feels great.

Years ago, my wife received monogrammed silver flatware from her mother, who is now sadly gone. (Her mother had had her own silver, which was stolen; she used the insurance money to replace it with silver monogrammed with her daughters’ initials.)

For decades, we’d been eating with stainless steel cutlery bought at Macy’s. It was fine. The good silver only came out on special occasions, like Thanksgiving.

After we moved to our new home, we made the decision to take the silver out of its case and use it every day.

The good silver feels good in your hand. It looks great. It’s perfectly balanced. And it makes every meal feel like a little celebration, even a simple bowl of cereal. I wish we’d done this long ago.

What are you saving that you should be using?

This is not my grandmother and that’s not her couch. But that’s pretty much what it looked like.

When I was a child, my grandmother had plastic slipcovers on the furniture. We kids always thought it was a bit silly. Why are we sitting on uncomfortable plastic? What was she saving the couches for?

We and our kids beat the crap out of our furniture. We used it; we used it up. Lots of that stuff never made the move — it was just too worn out to bring to our new home.

I don’t regret those decisions at all. It is better to enjoy your belongings than to preserve them.

What are you “saving for a special occasion?” The nice dress? The fancy jewelry? Champagne? Vacation time?

If you use them, you might ruin them. You might not have them for later.

But if you don’t use them, you won’t get the joy of experiencing them.

Life is short. Special things are meant to be enjoyed. Use them up.

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  1. As a full-time proofreader, I got a kick out of your two typos in this sentence. I’d like to have some mongorammed silver too, lol. (Her mother had had her own silver, which was stolen; she use the insurance money to replace it with silver mongorammed with her daughters’ initials.) That aside, love your commentary on this topic. I am positive that belief comes with age as we realize that time is running out and we might as well use everything we have. That’s also why when you divorce, you get rid of stuff like fancy silverware and china that you seldom used but that you thought in your mid-20s that it was absolutely necessary to have.

  2. I enjoy all your blogs. The photo in this blog reminded me of car seat covers, especially the clear plastic ones. I still wonder what the seats were being saved for! Thank you for sharing your ‘silver’ experience and for asking the question “what are you saving…”? Also thank you for reposting the Josh Friedman blog – a beautiful story and a heartwarming tribute to dear friend. Maybe both posts have particular meaning for this fan who is in his late 70’s!

  3. I still have most all of my Hot Wheels from 1968-1970. I’ve given a few away but I don’t know what I’m saving them for, except that if I’ve had them all these years, what’s the rush of being rid of them? I show them to folks every so often. On the other hand, I am taking a critical look at everything else I own as I discover it somewhere, and if I can’t project ever using it, am getting rid of it.

  4. Every tomorrow is a “special occasion”. An other day to live.

    My silver is old. At least three generations. The forks are thin, sharp and near dangerous. Well used, well lived.

  5. Amen! My parents said they kept no toys in the attic to pass on to their grand kids, because we wore them out with play. No bucket lists here either. Write on, Josh, you put out fun reads.

  6. I have a corollary to that thought. If you have an heirloom that you don’t like, that doesn’t make you happy every time you see it, you can give it away to someone who will love it. It’s better off loved than taking up space. Children of a certain age are old enough to decide if they want it now or later; you don’t have to save it until you die just in case a future grandchild wants it. Take pictures if you are feeling guilty. Then let it go and imagine the joy someone else will have in it. If it’s so awful that no one wants it, but still has value (i.e. not torn, worn, broken), give it to a charity and even if they sell it for ten cents it’s done some good. And if a future grandchild finds out about something and says “I can’t believe you got rid of that” you can say “someone loved it for all those years and I’m sure you can find another one if you look hard enough.”