My mother-in-law is a wonderful woman, but I know when I am being used. Under the guise of simplifying her life, she is trying to give me her silver.
But I am on to her, because I am impatiently waiting for my sons to get married so I can give their unsuspecting wives MY silver.
I can't just take it to Goodwill-- which probably doesn't want it anyway-- because my own mother gave her silver to me. At the time it seemed such a generous, loving maternal gesture, but I now know the truth. She was just sick of polishing it. Still, it retains some sentimental connection for me, or maybe I just fear that if I let it leave the family, she will appear to me in dreams and make me feel guilty. She does that sometimes.
An ornate tea service sits in our unused dining room, turning black. There are a dozen black trays in the china cabinet. I have black salt and pepper shakers, black serving utensils, black pitchers. I could set a depressingly suitable wedding table for Miss Havisham, which is a thought. Maybe I could rent it out to filmmakers of horror films.
Do young brides even choose silver these days? We are going to a wedding next week and the couple has registered at REI for sporting equipment. Not a piece of silver anywhere.
Of course, they don't need to worry about it, because their mothers are going to be giving them all theirs anyway.