How do you know when you’ve become an adult? Is it when you turn 18 and can legally vote? Is it when you move out of your parents’ house and start paying rent? Is it the day you earn your first pay check? Is it when you get married? Is it when you have children?
Having now accomplished most of the hallmarks of adulthood, I can say it’s none of those things—for me at least. However, I can honestly say, that I became an adult this week. For the first time since moving out of my mother’s house at 17, I actually own matching plates and matching pots and pans that did not come from Ikea. It seems like such a small, unimportant baby step, but for me it was a giant leap into adulthood. I now have “good plates” and “everyday plates” just like a real, live grown up adult. Even to this day, in my mother’s house, you can tell what level of entertaining she’s doing based on what you eat off of. If it’s the normal plates in the cupboard, you know you’re family and you may have to cook your own food, white plates are for casual entertaining and friends. The white and silver set: you’re special but possibly clumsy; the blue and white china set from my parent’s wedding: you’re very special and the occasion is pretty fancy—but my great grandmother’s gold set with the flowers, that’s how you know you’ve arrived and that you’re a pretty big deal. If she breaks out the gold cutlery to match, then you may be dining with the V.VIPs. Many people never get to this level; it’s the highest level of entertaining in The Mom’s house.
So today, I’m having my first Adult Grown Up Dinner Party, and I have to say, it’s a big step and I’m not sure I’m actually ready for the responsibility of having nice things. First of all, how do you decide in advance whether the friends you’re having over are “good plate” worthy. How do you know who is up to the challenge of being a grown up? Secondly, there is a lot more clean up required with the “good plates”, you’re not supposed to just throw them in the dishwasher… which again begs the question, how do you know if you’ll feel like washing plates after a full day of cooking and eating? And… thirdly, will guests even know that they’re eating off of the good stuff- and if they don’t know, will they care if they get the every day plates?
Being a grown up is a minefield of decisions and first world problems. I know I could ask The Runner’s advice, but he definitely won’t care or appreciate the gravity of the situation. If there’s one thing I’ve already learned about marriage, it’s that my husband’s level of interest in plates and bowls is limited to how much he can actually fit on the plate. He will have no opinion on this matter…I may have to call in the big guns for this one. I may have to call The Mom for advice…and that’s my most important life lesson about being an adult. No matter how grown up you think you are, you’re never too old to run to your mother for help!
Stay tuned for more about this Sunday’s Dinner!