Style Is Living in the Moment: Respect Yourself
I avoid using paper napkins or paper plates, and not only for environmental reasons. Setting a table with a “real” plate, a cloth napkin, and appropriate flatware has become a way of life for me. I use my good things in both the kitchen and the dining room. This wasn’t always the case. In 1994 the California Northridge earthquake shook me out of bed and broke many fine pieces I had collected over the years. Most pieces were vintage collectibles I’d hardly ever used. That’s when I decided not to save my good things for another day.
My suggestion: As often as possible, try to set the table for every meal, every single morning, noon, and night! Rather than eating on the run, or wolfing down a sandwich over the kitchen sink, make a point of sitting down, setting the time aside to truly enjoy your meal even if you are on your own. Bring out washable napkins, place mats, a decorative bowl and a drinking glass. No matter what I’m eating, whether it’s scrambled eggs, take-out Chinese food, or a delicious rack of spring lamb with a side of crunchy potatoes, I take time to enjoy the ritual of dining, and I pay respect to myself each time I do. Take a meal and turn it into a moment!
Granted, this is somewhat less practical for those who sleep through the alarm clock in the morning, torpedo head-first into the shower, scramble to get to work on time, race through a sandwich in fifteen minutes at their desks in order to make a one o’clock meeting, then speed home to face last night’s leftovers. IF you are stressed out and time-starved (and who isn’t these days?), take the time at least once a week, and again during the weekend to set a table, light candles, surround yourself with your best plates and glasses, and savor the blessings of how it could be. Now is all we have: Fill it to the brim whenever possible and appeal to all the sense when telling a story.