The Mission: Reality Check (part 15)

Deborah Hendrick on Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

“I can’t believe you want me to pick out the china,” said Elijah.

“And crystal too,” said Ginny.

“Tell me again why I need to do this?”

“Because I’ve picked out everything else, including cookware and linens.”

“Towels! I could pick out towels. White!

“Too late. Come on Eli. I trust you. Men always complain because the women pick out china that’s too dainty or something. So I’d like for you select the china and the crystal. If you choose what you truly like, then we’ll both be happy.

“Ginny, this is too important. I can’t make decisions like this.”

“Eli, just ask the sales clerk to give you a piece of Old Maryland engraved; that’s the silver pattern. Then walk around and look at china displays. Something will catch your eye. Look at the crystal. When you find a crystal pattern that you like, hold it against the china and silver. See how it looks. It is work, but eventually you will find a combination that is agreeable, and that you like. The ladies will help you; they’re excellent at this. If it pleases you, it will please me.”

“Ginny my love? Why didn’t you choose the china when you picked out the silver pattern?”

“Because I picked out the silver when I was eleven.”


“I went with my mother to shop for a wedding present. While she was busy I looked at all the silver flatware, and decided that I wanted the Old Maryland engraved when I got married. I’ve bought a few pieces, used ones, through the years. Teaspoons, a sugar shell, cake knife. It ages beautifully.”

“Ginny, I wish we could do this together.”

“Me too, Eli.”


“You’re not going to believe this; I had a good time today. There was a lot to look at, but you were right—the ladies were terrific. Do you have any idea how many kinds of china patterns there are?”

“So you found something you liked?”

“My head is spinning. It took awhile, but I kept going back to this one. It’s an old pattern, not new. It’s black and white, and has birds all over it, with a band of platinum. The silver looked beautiful with it, and and so does the crystal. The china is Royal Crown Derby and the pattern is called Black Aves Platinum. It made me think of a shiny black grand piano, and the black and white keys. If you don’t like—”

“No Eli, this was the whole idea, for you to find something that you really liked. I know I’ll love it.”

“I hope so. Ace already bought the tea set and some Astros-red table linens to go with it. It popped on the red table cloth. But the ladies fixed up a place setting with the china, crystal, and flatware on a white damask tablecloth, with some fresh flowers … you know, to help us see it as a whole. Ginny, it was beautiful.”

“You took Ace with you? Captain Madden and Commander Gregg. Did you guys go in uniform? I bet the ladies were helpful. How many phone numbers did he get?” she laughed. “So you found some crystal that you liked?”

“Ginny, I hope you approve. I looked at a lot of Waterford, and it’s beautiful. Found my mother’s pattern. But there was just something about this William Yeoward Camilla that appealed to me. It’s not as heavy as the Waterford, but Camilla holds her own against the china and silver.”

“Elijah, you have done a good thing, and I thank you. That takes care of most of it. The Moms have done practically everything, but I still have to decide on my trousseau.

“I could do that for you. I have very strong opinions about women’s clothes, especially lingerie.”

“I bet you do. OK … you can buy anything you want. Size six. But Elijah?”

“Uh huh?”

“Leave my brother at home.”

Topics: The Mission


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