The China (as in plate) Debate


I used to be a reluctant military wife.  I had to be pulled, kicking and screaming, to my first coffee and then didn’t attend another for four years.  Prior to marriage, I was not only reluctant, but clueless, about all things military and didn't know what would/would not be expected of me.

While my soon-to-be husband and I were choosing a china pattern, we really questioned the need for fancy dinnerware...we would much rather have money, or even furniture,  than pretty plates.   My mother, with a straight face,  informed us that we would need the china for all the dinner parties we would  host as a military family.  After we picked ourselves off the floor from laughing, we informed my mom that any “dinner party” we would host would involve a grill and Chinet.  China?  Not so much. With that frame of mind, we settled on the most expensive place setting in hopes of scaring our guests into generously giving us things we wanted and needed.  Like a toaster.  Or towels.  Or money.

We received eight full place settings and all the accompanying pieces.

After marriage, I learned the military culture had changed from “pinkies up” to a much more relaxed setting and better yet... nothing was expected of me.  Oh, there are still things that are “mandatory fun” and occasionally I drink my beer from a glass rather than straight from the bottle to look more like an adult, but I was pleased to know that I was not expected to be a master of etiquette.   I have also gleefully learned that if we ever get to the point where dinner parties are an expected part of our lives, someone will educate me on the finer points of hosting.  I wish them luck in advance.

We have hosted a slew of cook-outs and barbeques the past thirteen years.  Our china?  It finally made an appearance after six years of marriage.  In the seven years since, we have used it for one Christmas dinner, one Easter dinner, and one Murder Mystery Dinner, but never for a military dinner party.  I am honestly just too lazy to bring it down just to put it away again.  But I do like to look it up online to see how much we could get for it.

What were you pleasantly surprised to learn was a misconception about being a military spouse???


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