The plate on the right is the average sized dinner plate. The plate on the left, and newly acquired, is bigger…fits today’s oversized portions. But portions and size isn’t what this blurb is all about.
This is about a plate that was intentionally (and rather joyfully!) stolen from the ristorante where it eclectically held PIZZA MARGUERITA in front of me on the table. Oh, the pizza was sooooo good but the plate served more than its function and in a way was more delicious to my senses than the pizza!
The plate is restaurant porcelain china, HOMER LAUGHLIN to be exact. It is very durable and though not FINE china, it is still very pleasing to the eye. Its background is off white with a garland of pink flowers. I’m sure this design reminded Mama of St. Theresa and her love of roses…
The delicate design on this plate is the same one on our restaurant china which my family used while I was growing up. My Uncle Pete used these in a restaurant he used to have and gave my father a service for 10. I still have 6 of the dinner plates, 6 of the bread and butter plates and seven cups and saucers. I am from a family of nine so even having this many after DECADES of use is amazing to me. I have them on my shelves and use them when it is just five or six of us for dinner. I love them!
So, today, on seeing the LARGE dinner plate in front of me, a dozen memories from growing up came back to me. Now I had to have this oversized plate like Mama’s to show my brothers and sisters! I’ll serve them fresh bread and olives on this plate and they will melt from nostalgia!
Being with my daughter and son-in-law made things (like stealing!) a little more uncomfortable than it would have been if I had been alone or with my husband. They kind of understood about the LIFT, and left a bigger tip and a promise to go back for dinner one evening…without me and my sticky fingers.
I’m not a thief. I have never really stolen anything in my life (and I am 64!) except for a few plates. I justified my actions using “LOVE” for the motive and Love for the excuse to do something inexcusable.
I know this is wrong but sometimes it goes beyond right or wrong. (Lax conscience once again kicking in!)
It is not like murder or grand theft or destruction of property…I am not a chronic clepto!
I feel guilty about taking the plate, yet even while writing this I feel so happy for taking the plate.
Am I happier today with the plate than I was yesterday without it?
Why did I take it?
Maybe because it was a reminder, just a simple little reminder from a time and place that I miss…
For a moment I was back on Teppert St. For a moment I was back home in our Italian kitchen (basement) having Mama’s ravioli, Daddy’s Peppers and Pork and Grandma’s special birthday torte on a restaurant white and pink floral designed plate. People I loved served love on these plates to the people they loved.
Not nice to steal…
One day I will return the plate…actually plates. Until then…
They make me smile.