Saturday, March 20, 2010

Crackpot's Crockpot

The sweet and graceful design of Noritake "Blue Hill"

The microwave-safe and dishwasher-proof Corningware bowl.

Sometimes I wonder if I still have it all together. The possibility of a screw loose somewhere looms large at times, especially when I mull over things that certainly seem ludicrous at best.

How many women do you think worry about who gets the crockery in the event of a divorce? Any sane mind would fight tooth and nail to get her rightful share of whatever's owned, jointly or otherwise (harta sepencarian in Islam), instead of splitting hairs over mundane pots and pans.

Strange as it may sound, in my case I fought over nothing and asked for nothing but to be let free. And when it was finally granted, I left, with only my clothes and my books for company.

Back to that kitchenware issue; it has been 23 years since the ex and I parted ways in 1987, yet I still pine for my beautiful Noritake 'Blue Hill' complete dining set and my Corningware set-of-three square bowls.

This sounds pathetic I know, but I think of them often. I was not in a position to take them along with me when I left the matrimonial home - I was carless, homeless and penniless to boot - but my love and attachment for them never fade.

At times I think I am an unmitigated fool whose priorities have gone askew; then again I have never been one enamoured by jewellery and such. The said tableware, however, is a different kettle of fish altogether (which is stranger still because I don't even like to cook).

I believe it's how the history of those two crockery sets link with my life's journey that set them apart and endear them to me to this day, even when they are no longer in my possession.

The blue-flowered Noritake set, for example, was purchased for RM2,500 (or thereabouts, can't recall exactly) in the early 1980s. It held some 100 pieces; the very first expensive, complete dining set I ever had the privilege of owning.

Made of fine porcelain, it graced our dining table each time we entertained (which was quite often), and during festivities. When not in use, it occupied a prominent spot in the display cabinet. The Noritake set was truly my pride and joy.

Then there was the Corningware bowl set, a surprise birthday gift from the ex. To say I was floored would be to put it mildly. I was young (in my mid-20s) and impressionable, thus getting a set of three expensive kitchen bowls costing RM500 as a birthday present, instead of something more personal like a bolt of silk for example, was rather regretful.

I kept my counsel though - it was a gift after all and should be accepted with grace - and this blog jotting is the first time anyone hears of my heart's lament. [I guess 30 years is a decent enough stretch to reveal a long-buried resentment].

Like the Noritake set, the Corningware bowls served us well and I know they are still serving the current household, bless them both. I remember giving them a wistful last look before packing off, well knowing they would never be mine again except in spirit.

Today, there is a similar Corningware set-of-three square bowls, but of a different design, in my kitchen, courtesy of Pak Abu's golfing skills (he won it in a tournament some years back).

But there is no Noritake and never will be again, because I realised long ago that my heart has room only for the one I left behind...


Kak Teh said...

Puteri, a noritake, no less! I have none but a hardy Dendy set. And when I gort my first pay, my first Royal Doulton tea set - the Manderley.

I understand the attachment you feel for your first set. I feel the same. well, i know its a cliche, but its better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.

3yearshousewife said...

Blue Hill Noritake is indeed a beautiful set of crockery to have. My friend had them too but very far from your 100 pieces.
I love Noritake for its simple and sweet small flower designs. I bought my lovely Delburne set from Ebay.

mamasita said...

Ahh buat I nangis je pagi2 ni!

Kama said...

Kak Teh - I bought that set because my MIL and SIL were each buying a set at the same time. And you are right about better to hv loved and lost.. I did on both counts, but no regrets.

3YH - We were living in a social whirl those days, lots of entertaining and stuff, thus the need to hv a decent set of tableware. Thank God those days are over, I wouldn't want to go through it again.. too superficial.

Mamasita - I know where you are coming from and I sympathise. But women are made of sterner stuff and i know you are rock solid whre it counts. Remember that and you'll come through alright no matter which way the wind blows. Sembahyang istiharah, Mamasita, it helps.

kay_leeda said...

What a good buy that was, the Blue Hill. Me no have Noritake lorr. Am faithful to my Correlle yg beli masa student kat States duluuuuuu..heh..heh..heh :)

Pat said...

I liked this post, although I don't have even a single plate that's worthy of display, in the display cabinet I don't have.

I think it's because it tells me so much about you, and what it cost to leave it all behind.

And it shows how much you've grown - away from the hurt, and into the person you are now.

A lovely frolic with Noritake, Ms Kama :)

Anonymous said...

I really like this entry. My mom has a few sets of fine bonechina and collection of crystal and silver wares but I would only like to inherit from her is an English Rose Pyrex bowl. Somehow the rest are just to me a sign of status...I think you know what I mean.... that something that you need cause your peers have it.
The Pyrex bowl is a piece of the past, it reminded me so much of my happy childhood, where when she cooked that special mee soup she would always lovingly served it in the pyrex bowl. TQ Kak 'cause it make me again realise material things are not important.

mekyam said...

puteri [and kt],

hahaha! listening to you both makes me want to go watch hyacinth bucket [pronounced booKAY, remember?] and her cherished royal doulton set with the hand-painted periwinkles this very instant. :D

i heart this entry. poignant and so cute at the same time.

i think our indiosyncracies, they do not define us. instead, like those periwinkles and blue hills and manderleys, they just grace us since we're already bone china! ;D

Kak Teh said...

ooops, i mean Denby and got. teruknya typos.

Naz said...

March and get what are yours back!! LOL

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Puteri,

Nasib baik u did not invite me to any of your high tea sessions in the old days. I’m liable to tip the hot tea onto that beautiful Noritake saucer for it to cool off then slurp it straight off from the saucer….kekeke.

On a serious note, food served on those fine china with its proper presentation do actually taste better but it can be quite an uncomfortable meal for the fear of chipping or breaking them. Awwww..maybe I’ll just stick to my banana leaf & melamine plates


Kama said...

Kay - Indeed it was a superb buy even though I had to fork out quite a hefty sum for it. Tapi Kay, for my everyday use, I too pakai caplang stuff then.. pinggan mangkuk bought from London's famous Petticoat Lane in 1975 which we shipped back to Malaysia (by sea, beb!) when we came home.

Pat - It goes to show how pretentious our lives were then, the need to keep up with the Joneses et al. after a while it got too tiring for me.

Anon - i share your sentiment. of all the kitchen things i hv in my possession today, the one i value the most is a British-made glass jug that I inherit from my grandma. it must have been almost 100 years old but i use it still.

Mekyam - oh i remember hyacinth and her royal doulton! and all those endless cups of tea!

Naz - i'll let you into a secret. in the mid 90s when the ex and his wife went holidaying in mexico, i went to my old house for the first time in a decade (the kids held the key so they invited me in), just to sneak a peek at the Noritake and the Corningware. lepaslah rindu. i was battling inside; nak ambik ker tak?> nak ambik ker tak? in the end, grace prevailed.. hehehe

Tommy - that's the hazard of using fine china. makan also not comfortable takut you drop a saucer or chip a cup by accident.. btw, whent he kids were young, i used melamine too..

Iron Butterfly said...

aiyah auntie if it were me grace all went out of the window. i would pack all the 100pcs (or more?) Noritake and bring home. after all, you paid for it right...

I live with my sister who's also not married. So we use Ikea plates only. But cooking-wares must use Tefal because of the induction cooker Mom sent us. we sold the 'tong gas' when we were broke but Mom wanted us to cook so she sent us the induction cooker straight from Kota Bharu. He he..

Kama said...

IB - oooh how I love your plain-faced honesty "we sold the tong gas when we were broke" ...hahaha..
don't we all.. go through this 'papa kedana' phase at point in our lives.. aduii..

with regards the Noritake, I naaak sangat ambik, but terasa macam bersalah pulak.. hehehe.. in the end takperlah. most importantly, the tableware dipakai oleh tuannya yang baru.. so it's ok by me.

Al-Manar said...

This is all women's talk. No comment.I go for paper everything, just need to be careful with fork and knife - spoon OK.They are disposable but 'puncturable'. Once upon a time I used to admire Rosenthal displayed in a shop on Oxford Street.But I think they were breakable.

Al-Manar said...

......... Sorry to have left out the last bit.... nothing like daun pisang, very fashionable.

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hi Puteri,

I came across this quote today,

“I love luxury. And luxury lies not in richness and ornateness but in the absence of vulgarity. Vulgarity is the ugliest word in the language. I stay in the game to fight it.”

-Gabrielle Bonheur "Coco" Chanel

I think there's a bit of Coco in u :))


Kama said...

Al-Manar - personally I wouldnt mind paperware but only for myself and the kids, Pakcik. for Pak Abu and guests,seganlah pulak rasanya serve husband paper & plasticware... hehehe. old habits die hardlah Pakcik.

Tommy - Coco you say, Tommy? Insofar as I am concerned, it's cuckoo more like it lah..LOL

D said...

Aiya, Kak Puteri, why didn't you just get what you bought with your own money? Pedih rasa hati ni!! I sooo feel you!

This proves that you are such an honorable woman with dignity and class! *tabik spring*

My late husband bought a complete set of Royal Doulton for his mom after graduating, which was before we got married. He also bought us a set of Royal Albert. Kalau ikutkan I, rasanya sampai bila pun tak beli kot!

Kama said...

D - takpalah. I've had my time with the tableware, now 'her' time pulak, walaupun I yg beli.. hehehe. anyway, bila mati bukan boleh bawak masuk kubur pun, semua tinggal,so might as well spread the joy around.. :)