First Person: Bride ditches ugly dishes after friends sharp remark

For weeks before our wedding 43 years ago, my mother-in-law to be kept telling me not to buy dishes. Her cousin was giving us dishes as a wedding gift. Dishes are a very nice wedding gift.

I never did meet this cousin. However, I did see him at the wedding. Him, his wife and a very large box of dishes.

From the wedding we left on our honeymoon. What to do with the dishes? My friend Ruth's husband, Jack, volunteered to take charge of the dishes and see that they arrived at our fifth-floor elevator-less apartment safely.

A week later we got back from our honeymoon, and Jack was waiting. He really wanted to see those dishes. He and a friend had shlepped that enormous, heavy box up five flights. He had a vested interest in those dishes. I opened the box and burst into tears. We had received a full service for 12, including gravy boat, of the ugliest dishes I had ever seen.

They were pseudo-elegant china in off-white and they looked dirty. The border was a one-inch band of maroon with ornate gold trim. They couldn't have cost him more than $5, since he was in the business.

I finally calmed down, wrote the thank-you note, and of course, used the dishes. Therefore, I saw them every day. A few weeks later, we had some friends to dinner and Joyce exclaimed, "Where did you get those dishes? They're just like the ones my friends won pitching balls at a clown at a carnival." It was interesting how soon after that the dishes kept falling from my slippery hands as I washed them.