I think it was William Morris who said that everything in our homes should be either "useful or beautiful". I used to strive for this, actually walking from room to room and evaluating things by this standard. (When did I have that kind of time???) Not recently!
In those days, I had a set of glassware that I enjoyed very much. This is the only remaining example. They weren't expensive, but I thought these etched glasses (there were shorter ones, too) were very pretty and pleasing to the eye and to the touch. This is the last remaining piece of this set, I realized with dismay this morning as I unloaded the dishwasher.
Now I have a very motley collection of glassware. Evaluating the array this morning I decided to absolutely put my foot down and return the old plastic one that somehow came home from the office. It is unsightly! But other than that the glasses of various styles and sizes from all sorts of sources aren't visually appealing, but serve us well enough.
Years ago I would have been really irritated at my husband for buying glasses for a couple of the kids imprinted with "Coca-Cola" and expecting that I'd have these in my house!!!! Now, they sit there with the others, and sometimes the kids who got them originally ask for them. I got four new glasses on clearance the other day - rather pretty, green glass, with a molded cow on them. If I had a whole set they would give me pleasure, but the reason they were so "affordable" is because there were only the four remaining. This morning Nastya said, "I want a cow glass." The kids don't care. They take pleasure in the variety, I guess. And as for me, perhaps it is a sort of spiritual discipline, to sacrifice this little pleasure of "beautiful things" for a greater one...... I'd rather pay for an adoption than for the most beautiful home, and if these little hands drop a glass, what great loss is that?
Yet, I guess I still have that stubborn streak - a really wise mom would be delighted with the plastic, I suppose.