Imaginary Dinner Parties


[Image: An opulently set table, ready for a dinner party.]

Hope Chest: also called dowry chest, cedar chest or glory box is a chest used to collect items such as clothing and household linen, by unmarried young women in anticipation of married life.

I have always wanted to get married. When I was 18 I took much-needed break between high school and college and started working retail. I worked at Tuesday Morning and Waterford Wedgwood outlet, of note. While I was there, I bought things. Lots of things. I bought practical items for my future house; I bought a set of towels for the guest bathroom, and I bought china, Wedgwood china, for dinner parties that I would imagine myself throwing with my husband and our friends.

Fast forward 12 years and, although I’ve used some of the items in this chest, the Wedgwood, the Waterford, the fine silverware remains untouched. I’ve literally had a full tea and coffee service set in Amesbury sitting in my closet for over a decade, waiting for the chance to throw a dinner party and use it.

Now, I come to find out that financial aid does not issue loans for summer semesters, instead it comes out of spring aid. I don’t get enough spring aid to throw down another 1.5k on the class I need to earn my degree. Although I’ve always held onto a secret hope that I would use this fine china and crystal one day, I think the time has come, I think it’s time to sell it.

It’s true, I will never be able to get what I got again and not at the prices that I got it for, but in the end, I feel like keeping it around it trying to avoid the reality that I’m not anywhere near a position where I am going to be hosting dinner parties with fine bone china and hand-cut crystal. It’s really just a fantasy. It was a nice fancy, let me assure you. And I held onto it out of stubbornness like I did with my birthday dress. But the time has finally come. No more imaginary dinner parties.

It’s strange to think back on the person you thought you’d become when you were too young to understand how the world works. I bought these treasures before my bipolar diagnosis (which might have had something to do with purchasing wildly inappropriate household items). Before so many things happened to me, both wonderful and terrible.

I still hope to get married some day. I still want the stability of a lasting relationship and the chance to love someone as passionately as I can. But none of those things require a Chatsworth oval platter or a matching set of Great Room goblets. Maybe I’ll never been the person in the position I thought I was going to be as a teenager. But that’s okay.

Life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would by any stretch of the imagination. However, that’s just what life is. And that’s fine.