Little Andie. Konini street. Dinnerware Obsession

I suffer from this curious malady. It’s an obsession of sorts. I love dishes, plates, table settings, basically anything made to serve food and beverages, or that which goes onto a table to make it beautiful. I don’t know why this is. All I know is that when I got engaged, the chore of choosing china and daily service was the only part of the pre-wedding rituals I liked and felt mattered.

Let me set the table. Putting the plates on the table for dinner was one of my jobs, almost on a daily basis, so I also was drying the dishes after my mother washed them, handing them to me to wipe off.

My family ate dinner together almost every evening. My father was the quiet, more serious one. My mother is just the opposite. Had she decided on an acting career, I doubt any stage could have held her. If she wasn’t the center of attention, there would be theatrics to follow, and then, Viola! There she was, front and center, in her favorite spot. Therefore, we were never short of drama in our house, and luckily for her, the Hungarian language lends itself beautifully to this purpose. When my brother and I became aware of any rumbling going on, we quietly moved into position to observe. Just close enough to hear, but not so close as to be seen nor heard.

We listened to the usually raised voice in frustration, the wrenching drama, but when it got heated enough, and the pot began to boil… hold on, here it comes, the great aria spewed forth!
“Manyel a boodoosh franzba”

(Go to stinking hades). It was then, that we looked at each other, and without a word, took cover.
Usually in the closet next to the kitchen with the vacuum cleaner, ironing board, and assorted rags. We hunkered down, in anticipation, and sure enough, one crescendo after another confirmed our wise decision to stay hidden in the fortified closet, where we remained until the audience had left and the star of the show, swept and cleaned.

When peace and quiet again settled over the land, we made our way outside, to play in the trees and bushes. We ate fruit off the trees next door to tide us over until dinner. Once again, I set the table, and after dinner dried the plates, although there were far fewer stacked in the cabinet.

The note made to my small/young self brain:
If you grow up and get married, you’d better have a lot of dishes.

The moral of the story is not like this:
“If you can’t handle the heat stay out of the kitchen.”

It goes rather like this:
“If you can’t handle a Hungarian, steer clear of the china cabinet.”

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