Do you have multiple versions of anything, where one is “better” - maybe more expensive/older/more fragile/whatever, such that you use it only on “special occasions”, and use a “lower quality” version more frequently. Feel free to define any terms however you wish.
I think a common example would be “good china/crystal” which you pull out for company or holidays, using Corelle or stoneware or a mismatched pieces on an everyday basis.
I pretty much tend to use the best of whatever I own as frequently as I can justify. For example, this year I bought myself a nice watch. I wear it every day unless I’m doing something really sweaty or dirty. And I enjoy looking at it every time I check the time.
I just recently bought a new upright bass. An instrument that large incurs some dings and dents hauling it in and out of a car, thru doorways and such. And weather/humidity extremes aren’t entirely good things. So I initially thought I’d keep my new bass at home, and other than important gigs, I’d haul my old beater to jams ad such. But DAMN, I’m loving this new bass so much, I’m not sure I’ll be able to restrain myself from bringing it out and showing it off (once COVID eases, of course)!
So how about you? Do you use - and use up - the best you have? Or do you “save” it for whatever reason?
We have some wine glasses that are just exquisite, but they are also delicate. We drink wine with dinner almost every night but we use our generic, sturdy wineglasses. If we used the nice glasses every night a few would have been broken along the way.
I’m using the good ones tonight, though.
I have a beautiful, elegant dress watch that my grandmother bought me as a graduation present that I used to wear regularly. I dropped it and broke the crystal sometime ca. 1991 and it’s been in retirement since because I’m lazy.
I do, however, wear the watch my wife bought me our first Christmas together, when we were just dating, which is arguably worth more than my hand, so …
Yeah - barware is interesting, because if something is gonna get broke, it will be the fragile things in the hands of folk who are drinking!
When we were first married, we had a set of marvelous delicate champagne flutes. We drank a lot of champagne back then (I think our first big joint purchase was a nice ice bucket! ;)) So we just used the niest glasses - which our dog made short work of with his tail. Probably not the smartest thing we’ve done.
We now have nice crystal highball glasses and flutes which we inherited from our ps. I remember my dad saying “They DO make the scotch taste better!” But we don’t hand them to our heavier drinking friends while out on the stone patio…
it is nice to have affordable stemware such that when one inevitably bites the dust, everyone can laugh about it.
Knives. I have a variety of beater knives I use without mercy, while the handmade custom ones mostly sit out, except for special occasions (and situations where the blade is in absolutely no risk of chipping, cracking or bending).
Guns, too. The nicest, most expensive ones will not end up bouncing in the moist trunk of a car on November dirt roads etc. There are occasions for them, too, though. I have no excuse for keeping stuff I don’t use.
Shirts and pants, too. Damn, I guess I am a “save it for special occasion” kinda guy through and through.
Wait: in the kitchen, cooking, I only use the best stuff I own. I detest cheap kitchen knives, pots, pans, graters, stirrers…, and use only pretty high-quality items there. I guess since I cook almost every day, year after year, I have no time for second-string equipment.
I have my nice jeans and my crap jeans because I got paint all over the latter during the summer.
I also have “nice” and every day plates. The nice ones I got from my mom, who got them from QVC and the only reason they’re considered “nice” is because they’re not chipped. My special gift is the ability to break or chip nearly any delicate item I own. I do happen to own some really, extra fancy china my mom insisted I must have when I got married. I’ve used it twice and my husband & I celebrated our 16th anniversary this year.
I’m married and have a kid. I have long since been divested of anything ‘nice’.
My philosophy is that there is no point in buying something nice so it can sit in a closet. I do have one exception, though, which is my father’s Rolex, which I only wear for dress-up type occasions.
Mostly, I use it. However, I have some nice bone china dinner plates with a gold rim, and some nice champagne flutes that have a gold rim and are very delicate. I only use these for guests because if I put them in the dishwasher the gold will wear off. I know this from a previous set of glassware that I routinely put in the dishwasher. Since I am not wild about washing dishes by hand, I save the plates for occasions when I would otherwise not have enough matching plates and then I use only the nice plates.
Now that I think of it, there are only two of those champagne glasses left. I guess I am saving those for that occasion, whatever it is, when we throw them into the fireplace after the toast.
I must confess I am a little intrigued about the idea of special occasion guns. Hmmm…
Depends. Is it easily breakable? Does “the good one” do a better job than the ordinary one?
I wouldn’t avoid using a good knife every day, because the good knife does a better job and if I’m using a knife every day then I want one that works well. But the fancy fragile plate only gets pulled out when I’m going to bother paying extra attention to it, because the sturdy plain one works just as well.
We have a set of “good” china and crystal (wedding gifts), as well as a set of silver flatware (which my wife inherited from her grandmother). We don’t use any of it often, probably no more than two or three times a year – we used it all more often early in our marriage, but when my sister-in-law started having kids, most of the family’s holiday and special occasion gatherings defaulted to being at her house, so we’re rarely having people over for a fancy meal.
Instead, we use the Fiestaware dishes and stainless flatware we got early in our marriage, which have proven to be extremely durable.
Unless it is fragile, I say use it all the time. I speak with authority.
While I was growing up, my parents had a hutch in which they displayed moon & stars goblets and dishes they called “blue willow” although I think that’s not quite right - Uncle Google says “flow blue” dishes.
These dishes and goblets were treated as rare and valuable, and were very infrequently used. Throughout my childhood I would stare at them in wonder.
Fast forward decades and as an only child I inherited the goblets and plates and got a divorce. It was easy to give my ex our daily dishes and glasses, because I had these gorgeous cups and plates, which are quite strong (and fairly easy and cheap to replace if an errant cat should happen to break one, don’t ask me how I know) and which I treasure.
I also, as mentioned in another recent thread, use my parents’ fine silverware every day.
As a person who loves kitchen ware and cooking, I take pleasure every single time I have a nice meal - heck, even a mediocre meal - using what I will always think of as highly treasured items. It gives me a little bit of joy on a constant basis. And if we ever needed a little daily joy, 2020 is the time.
Some clothes. I used to have a suit. I now have an ensemble since I managed to irreparably tear the pants. But that ensemble with some pretty nice silk ties and a few shirts of various colors only gets worn for weddings, funerals and court appearances
If you still have the spouse and the kid you haven’t divested yourself of everything nice.
I used to be a “Keep it for special occasions” type but then I realised that if I had good stuff put away and never being used then I might as well not have it, so now I use the good stuff all the time
If ever I think of buying something too good to use on a day to day basis I remind myself that I can achieve the same utility by simply not buying it.
28 years, used 5 times? We should use the fancy glasses so that we do break some and have more space for other things.
The dishware has a silver rim, so it can’t go in the dishwasher if I want it to survive.
The other thing is we rarely break things. So we have lots of daily dishes and daily glasses to use as well.
As we’re at home, I’ve been wearing my around-the-house jeans, which I wouldn’t wear to work.
We do drink the scotch and wine. Not saving that for a special day.
Sounds like most people agree - as to china/glasses, old watches, etc.
WRT everything else, I’ve firmly committed to the idea of creating “patina”, as opposed to thinking that nice things should be preserved perfectly appearing as though they were untouched/never used.
We have acquired several pieces of what we consider nice wood furniture. At first, it was bothersome to see a scratch or ding. But then we realize that that is what happens w/ well used and well loved furniture. I’ve read about similar trends in old watches. For some folk, there is value to and character in an object that has been well-used.
Blue Willow is one pattern of Flow Blue.
I have a “good one” story that is quite unusual. When Triumph was producing the TR2 and TR3 sports cars back in the 1950s the Lucas distributor cap was made of brown Bakelite. According to the main historian about Triumphs even if you ordered a replacement cap back then you would get a black version. And by the late 1950s they were all black. The only brown cap most people have seen is the one in his book about the cars.
I have one.
So when my car is back together and I might take it to an English car show the black one will be for everyday driving and the brown cap for show only.