Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P is for Plate

Plates are essential to life in many ways.  There was a time when a person of a certain class group was given a single plate.  No matter what was dished out, it sat on that plate.  Rain or shine, hot or cold, beef or borscht, it went on that plate.  If you didn't have your plate, you either didn't eat, or you ate your food off the floor while fighting off the dogs. Nowadays, there are lots of different plates out there, but we each have made a choice about the one we want to carry around with us all day.  This particular plate  carries our various daily burdens as we move through life.  

You get your first plate when you take those first steps away from the arms of your mother.  As you grow, so does your plate. My plate is a good, sturdy Germanic stock, from a long line of sturdy Germans. On most days, it can handle what gets spooned, slapped, or splorted onto it.  Even when piled high, my plate is able to handle the load. Unless...  Sometimes I find myself carrying the plates of my son and my husband. Nobody asked me to carry them. But in trying to be helpful, sometimes I end up carrying extra plates, and I never was very good at juggling.

The plate you carry matters.  People who carry around large burdens, but use a paper plate, are doomed to feel overwhelmed from the start. People who carry fine bone china plates are going to be too scared of dropping their plate to ever try anything risky.  Most of us prefer the plates that remind us of a time when we were comfortable and safe and happy; those plates don't seem to break so easily.

Most of us were taught to clean our plate at the end of the day, so we can start fresh.  Some of us end up with leftovers on our plate, items that we have to carry over to the next day.  But balance is important.  Too much on your plate, and the weight of it all causes the plate to tip, and everything slides right off onto the floor. It's a big mess.  Too little on your plate, you're left hungry, feeling that something is missing.  Then you may find yourself filching off of someone else's plate, searching for something extra. This usually leads to someone being stabbed with a fork at family dinners.

I've been carrying a bit more on my plate than necessary lately, and I've decided that I need to do something different.  Maybe smaller portions.  Or maybe I just need to take my fork and scrape my plate clean at the end of the day.  


  1. I end up trying to hide the leftover stuff on my plate.... just kind of pile something else on top and avoid the layers of stuff underneath. But eventually it all comes sliding off and I'm left with a mess!

  2. maybe the smaller plates would hold fewer problems--great post

  3. This is an incredibly fantastic post. I just love it! I just bought new plates--not sure exactly what that means, but it's been pretty good so far!

  4. Scrape that plate clean! My toddlers start off with plates, then they empty the contents onto their trays and eat the food from there. Gets embarassing in a restaurant :)
    Stopping by from A - Z

  5. Can't go past a chipped, worn but still fully functional enamel coated metal Aussie camping plate!! One day I'll trust that's who I am! Or at least can be ...


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