>Pearls and Fine China might seem like odd advice for today’s military spouse. But it’s the core of the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
During ArmyMan’s first company command, we had a wonderful Battalion Coffee Group. Everyone was welcome at these very casual gatherings, sometimes lunches and sometimes dinners. Usually around food, women gathered to share stories, laugh and do a little venting. There was a fabulous variety in backgrounds and perspectives. A couple ladies worked outside the home, some were stay at home moms and a few were students. We were all dealing with the Army.
At one lunch, sitting around the table after eating, we were talking about the upcoming Easter holiday. As the youngest (and most recently married) spouse, I was looking forward to hosting my family for a holiday for the first time. I was especially excited to use the various wedding gifts of fine china, serving dishes and gorgeous Vera Wang silver.
One of the ladies turned to me and told me to “use that silver and china whenever you feel like it, and sometimes when you don’t”. She went on to explain that the one aspect of military life that you can count on is that you never know for sure what’s around the corner. For the first several years of her marriage, her fine china and “sexy, night out clothes” were put away for a time when they had a chance to go out or have a big dinner party. Finding herself in a funk, she threw herself a dinner party while her soldier was away training. She made her favorite dinner, got dressed up, put on her favorite jewelry, and ate dinner by herself with her fine china and a favorite wine. As much as she laughed about it, she said it got her out of her funk. The other ladies smiled and laughed and agreed.
I didn’t think much about it at the time. It was a fun afternoon and a lovely lunch. I didn’t appreciate at the the time the value of the lesson those Army-wise ladies shared. There is so much uncertainty in our lives. Why wait for a special occasion to enjoy the things that make us feel good? For me, it’s wearing the pearls my mom gave me. It’s sitting down to a dinner served family style- even if it’s just me and my toddler eating. It’s candles around my home, even if they have to be strategically placed out of Monkey hands.
What gets put away for a special day in your home?