Tuesday, November 15, 2016

It Doesn't Have to Match to be Beautiful

 I have heard of people who believe everything should match perfectly and be part of a (preferably expensive) set.  I don't believe that. Because, not always, but occasionally, too perfect is just another name for snobbery. Or maybe insecurity and a feeling of inadequacy.
Yes, sometimes matching is nice.  And sometimes it may be our preference or style. I marveled at all the matching china when I watched the staff set the table for some state dinner on the TV show The Crown.  It was impressive and stunning.  But I was more impressed with the setting of the shower for my great-niece Brooklyn.  Every pattern of china they could beg or borrow.  A plethora of colours and styles with the theme "pretty" tying it all together. It was breathtaking.
I have square Corelle dishes. They started off as green bamboo.  Then I added a couple of white ones.  Then I found the floral ones. And so on.  Just two or three of different styles.  And it brings me more joy to find a random dish in the pile than having a hundred of the green leaf ones although I still love them too.  And no one complains if the table is set with mismatched dishes.  Not to my face anyways.

The Japenese have a term, wabi-sabi.  It is the opposite of matchy matchy and/or new and perfect. In its secular meaning, it is appreciation for the imperfect, the old, the flawed, the mismatched. These could very well have much more meaning than perfect expensive things bought at some prestigious store.
Our youngest daughter's wedding was a collection of wonderful meaningful things that reminded her of people and things that affected her life.  A spool table that she rescued and refinished herself.  An old typewriter she and I picked up at a garage sale.  An old fashioned looking lamp that might have been coal oil. A cupcake tree that her sister in law uses for every big BBQ they host. Mason jars full of dried rose leaves.  A set of horse head book ends that were my mothers. Hundreds of hardcover books tied with lace and trim my mother saved over the years.  Paper flowers made from books fallen apart from years of loving use. Tea light holders in many variations of clear glass collected up from years of weddings. Her grandmother's wing chair.  Milk glass vases that were Fran's.  A copper rose the neighbour made. The curtains with writing on them that hung in a bedroom she painted herself. A few new things to round things off.  Nothing really matched but the atmosphere it gave was warm and nostalgically welcoming. Yet it would have been flat and flavorless without those who came.
 It's people who made our lives special that day.  The people who came cooked and baked the cake and cupcakes and helped set up and take down. Those who brought little desserts to add to the table.  The person who folded the book pages to say 2016.  People who loaned us things and picked up supplies. The people we had for support when things were...crazy.  The bridal party (bless them) who cleaned the washrooms at 1 am to help us shut down sooner. Even the staff at the Thorhild community hall. The people who cared and helped and were there for us. Match your "stuff" if you want to.  But you don't have to.
it doesn't have to match to be beautiful. In the end it's the quality of the people who count.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a fan of the mis-matched... partly by circumstance of kids breaking the matching sets, but I love the freedom of collecting appealing cups especially. The wedding decorations were all so cool but I especially loved those paper roses!