Wednesday, October 15, 2008

There Are No Special Occasions--Just Regular Days to be Celebrated

I’m sure, like me, you come from a family of “save it for a special occasion” people. You know what I mean: use grandma’s tablecloth? No—save it for a special occasion. Break out the Waterford on a Friday night while eating pizza? Nope—that’s special occasion crystal. Use the china that you registered for on your wedding day? Heavens no—you only use that on a special occasion.

I’ve decided that special occasions are a crock of bull. And exactly what are we waiting for, people?

Case in point. My best friend from college—we’ll call her D.—used to come to my house right after Jim and I had gotten married. We would have pizza, beer and wine. Because we were young and broke, we would pull out our cheap wine glasses and serve our guests their beverage in those. D. would open up every cabinet until she found the Waterford—she, like me, is Irish-American, so she knew there was Waterford crystal hiding somewhere—and would pull out a heavy hock glass and proclaim that she wasn’t drinking out of any old cheap wine glass. She was to be served in the Waterford. I remember relating the story to my mother, the two of us shocked that the Waterford had been pulled out on Friday-night pizza night. But you know what? D. taught me a lesson. Mom always said that everything tastes better in Waterford, so instead of staring at it in our glass-fronted cabinet, we pull it out and use it every chance we get. (And with the amount of wine that is consumed around here on a normal weekend, they get used A LOT.)

Second case in point? Shoes. I own a lot of shoes, probably somewhere in the forty pair range which is a lot of shoes considering that I work in an attic and hardly ever leave the house. Frankly, I probably only need one pair of black pumps and a pair of sneakers, but really, what fun would that be? Most of the shoes I own fall into the $20-$60 range, most of them coming from either Target or Nine West. But last year, I fell in love with a pair of leopard-print, kitten heel pumps called “Fiona” (the name I had chosen for our dog originally but voted down the family). They were ridiculously expensive and completely impractical. I work in the attic, remember? But I lusted after them and talked about them incessantly until my husband finally said, “Just buy them.” The day after he said that, a friend sent me a 30% off coupon to the company that carries the shoe. It was destiny.

I bought them a year ago and have worn them exactly twice. I was saving them for a special occasion. But let’s face it: when you work in the attic, there aren’t too many special occasions that arise. Of course you have holidays and such but these shoes are so beautiful and a little fuzzy so you don’t want to wear them in rain, sleet, or snow, which is what we encounter on most of our holidays out here in the East. But last week, a strange thought came to me: what about if I wore these shoes a few times a week? They look as fabulous with jeans as they do with dressier clothes…what was stopping me from pulling them out and wearing them around town?

I got dressed for church this past Sunday and tested my new theory. I put on a pair of jeans, a cute sweater, and the shoes. I came downstairs and told my husband that the new me was not saving these shoes for a special occasion but was going to wear them whenever I felt like it. He looked up from his paper and gave me a nod. (See, men don’t get theories about shoes or proclamations of this sort. He was unimpressed.) I got so many compliments on the shoes that day that I was sold. I’m wearing them whenever I want. (Trouble is, they’re still not broken in. I’m hoping this new resolve to wear them more often will solve that.)

So all this to say: pull out that tablecloth, use the Waterford, and eat off the china. Drink that expensive bottle of champagne. Wear the expensive shoes with your favorite pair of jeans. Every day that we’re alive and healthy is a special occasion.

So, what are you saving for a special occasion? What prohibits you from using it/wearing it/drinking it? I’ll read your responses right after I finish this glass of seltzer in the Waterford water glass.

Maggie Barbieri


  1. Love the shoes, the Waterford, and the concept of making every day a special occasion!


    WE DESERVE IT!!!!!!!

  3. You go, girl! That's the perfect attitude. What are we "saving" things for anyway? I'm celebrating my negative MRI today and my birthday tomorrow. So far as I'm concerned, every day is special!


  4. I go along with wearing you clothes that you have rather than saving them for a special occasion--but I'm too lazy to use my good dishes and crystal. Happy to look at it in the buffet.

    Used to use it and my real silver everyday--but some of the silver turned up missing and I quit.

    I'm just glad to get supper over with--and relax for a bit.