“It reminded her of how much she would have to throw away. The food. The dishes. It was easier to think of them as categories. If she stopped to think of the insulated plastic Snyder’s potato-chip mug they’d had since the sixties, she would balk, remembering one of the children drinking orange pop from it at some lawn party, or Henry pouring a beer so it foamed over. The cupboard was filled with glasses, orphans from the house in Pittsburgh or curiosities gleaned from the flea market. Jelly glasses with the Flinstones fading away to colored shapes. Beer cups from Pitt Stadium and Three Rivers. Maybe the children would feel something for them and take them, the way she hadn’t been able to resist their old salt and pepper shakers.
The silver. The heavy butter knife that said U.S.N. on the handle. It had traveled the world only to find a home here. The pink plastic spoon that turned purple in hot oatmeal. These things had delighted them once–still did, she thought. It seemed a waste to throw them away. It was foolish, she knew. She’d become too sentimental, an old lady and her plates.”
– Stewart O’Nan, Wish You Were Here
I was super excited to see reference to my Navy silverware which I found at a flea market two years ago:
That’s probably no way to determine if you love a book, or maybe recognizing yourself is the best reason. Either way, I’m enjoying it a lot. Stewart O’Nan is someone I need to read more of.