The Polka Dot Teacup

I have a beautiful white teacup with gold edges and turquoise-colored polka dots. It sits safely in a locked china cabinet in the corner of my kitchen where I can admire it every day. It is one teacup out of a huge collection my great aunt kept on display in her Victorian farmhouse, and for the past fifteen years it has been one of my prized possessions... and one of the last things on my mind.

I met a lovely lady this weekend while treasure hunting. We got to chatting about her late mother, and about holding tightly onto the things we grew up with, and the difficulty in letting go of the past.  She seemed to think that I was quite successful at it.

It's funny that she would say that, since it took me 20 years to build up the courage to paint a table that has been in my family for three times that long (I still haven't summoned the courage to tell my mother).

It's funny she would say that, since there are items that I have inherited from my great aunt that I keep in that locked cabinet and never dare to use for fear my rambunctious young boys will break them.

Funny, because I talk a good game but still find it difficult to use the special soap, the fancy perfume, the antique teacup.

The sad fact, however, is that life is shorter than we'd like to admit.  If we get too precious about our stuff, if we never use the good china, never wear the expensive perfume, never drink out of the polka dot teacup, then we're missing out on the enjoyment those things ought to bring us.

So today I'm using the dainty polka-dotted teacup. Yes, that is a crumb on the table, and, if you must know, a stale cookie that I dipped in my coffee. Because life doesn't have to be perfect, just... lived.

Thanks for listening.

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