On the Weather and the China, Pragmatically

Winter is coming.

(God, can you tell that I’m impatient for new Game of Thrones? I’m about to dive into the books, so wish me luck. I’m usually a book-before-television kind of girl, but when they’re as complicated as this story, it’s usually a good idea to be able to visualize characters and general plot trajectories.)

But seriously, winter is coming. The cat is eager to snuggle against me, stealing my warmth and reminding me that I’m only good as a food provider and occasional attention-giver. The windows have been closed, but if you aren’t quick enough to grab a towel when you step out of the shower, the air feels crisp and cold through the windows. The plus side to all this unease about winter is that there will be snow for potential snowboarding (I still haven’t figured out about that this year) and that I will be able to drink hot tea without feeling silly. During the winter, I order tea by the case and drink it all day.

The thought of hot baths is a welcome one, but it’s also interspersed with images of standing on the busy street next to my house trying to scrape off my car in between spurts of traffic. It’s interspersed with ice chipping and sliding and being late because I forget that you have to warm up your car before you can command it to warm you. I’m excited, I swear. I love hot cider (with rum!) and crunching leaves and snowboarding, but I hate being cold. Unfortunately, those things are a package deal.

Colorado is one of those magical places where it can be like 40 degrees in the morning and then 85 in the afternoon, so there are at least two months a year where I’m just plain uncomfortable. I’m cold or I’m too hot, overdressed because I was concerned about being too cold. It’s terrible. And while the answer is layers, layers, layers!, I still haven’t found tearaway pants that don’t make me look like I’m about to play basketball or a stripper. (That’s a joke – I don’t want to own tearaway pants.)

(Hilarious [to me] story about my brother: When he was in 8th grade, he was at the high school to play basketball, and in front of the entire girls’ team, he ripped off his snap-away warm up pants only to realize that he hadn’t put on shorts.)

Yesterday was one of those days. I knew that it was going to warm up, but I was cold. So I wore jeans and a t-shirt and managed to nearly melt into the pavement a short time later. I hung out with a friend that I’ve not seen in a long time, and after grabbing lunch on Saturday, we headed to the local farmer’s market on Sunday and then off to the flea market.

I had never been to Denver’s flea market before yesterday. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I found that it was a lot like the Maxwell Street market in Chicago and the Muizenberg market in Cape Town: lots of pure junk and then some awesome stuff. My friend was looking for furniture for her house – she has lots of space and a small budget. And of course, Pinterest has made us all believe that we are DIY-masters. (We’re not.)

I wasn’t looking for anything specific, but since I love shiny things, I knew I’d want to buy something. As we wound through the aisles – just like Muizenberg – clothes, and tires, and clothes, and auto parts, and clothes, etc. – I spotted them. Dishes, laying in a pile on a blanket.

Salem China Company English Village Flea Market

I knew I wanted them. I have loved the blue/white china patterns since I was a little girl (thank you, Grandma, for always having blue dishes – I think your taste in plates led to a subconscious love of blue that I will carry with me forever. You’re not wrong to love the color combination).

I failed miserably at bargaining – something I’m usually really proud of. Africa taught me a lot of things, and one of them is the art of negotiation. The approach, the feigned disinterest after initial interest, the offer, the rejection, the walking-away, the wait!, the agreement, the deal. Yesterday went like this:  $50, they’re worth a lot more. Will you take $40? No. I’ll be back. $45? No. Fine, I’ll take them. Do you have a box?

My friend, on the other hand, had someone much more willing to negotiate and ended up with a record player/cabinet thing (I’m sure it has a name) for well under the initial asking price.

Both of us walked away satisfied. I got home and Googled the dishes. They’re antiques, made by a china company that stopped making stuff in the early 60s. They’re worth a lot more than $50 – replacement pieces start at $5 each and go up to $25 for a teacup and saucer and much higher for the plates, so I’m thinking that even though there was a breakdown in bargaining, I made out all right.

All in all, I got more than 25 pieces: 6 dinner plates, 6 teacups and 7 saucers, 6 fruit bowls (dessert bowls?), a serving platter, and a large(ish) bowl. Somehow that counted out to 29 last night as I was washing them, but now it doesn’t seem to add up. 27? Whatever. I’m pleased as punch about the whole set, even if I’m now going to have to start taking my tea and coffee in delicate cups instead of massive mugs. (When did I start “taking” tea?)

Now, I’m on the hunt for mismatched bowls. Instead of trying to find a cohesive set of dishes, I’m just going to find ones I like and end up with an eclectic array. We have more plates than we know what to do with and like 2 bowls. So Goodwill and Target, I’m coming for you!

Release notes:

Totally cried about this new Google Chrome commercial called “Jess Time.” Growing up is really painful sometimes, and I love how the Google people manage to capture so much human emotion in their ad spots.  The Love Story one gets me every time. 


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s