I've always been one of those people who've kept the "good stuff" for special occasions. You know, the good dinner set for the dinner party that happens once a decade, that kind of thing.
I've got a few nice pieces of fine china people have given me over the years, and they look nice in the china cabinet, but that's where they've always stayed.
Now, I've decided to use the "good stuff". Otherwise, it sits there unused, and does nothing. I know it's a risk: on bad days, when the arthritis in my hands is really bothersome, I drop lots of things. I know that some of the "good stuff" is going to get broken. I've even managed to break the Corelle plates - the ones guaranteed not to break - I didn't claim the guarantee because to be fair I'm sure the manufacturers didn't count on me when they offered the guarantee. We've been drinking out of plastic cups because I broke all the glasses.
What do I hope to achieve by using the "good stuff"? It will make my meals seem special to eat off fine china. I can't eat gluten or lactose. I have to be on a weight loss diet. There are so many restrictions to what I can eat, that I find I eat mechanically, not really thinking about it (not a good thing for someone who needs to lose weight.) Instead, I'm going to make my meals, even my morning and afternoon tea an occasion, just by enjoying what I eat out of.
There's a side benefit here, that family and friends will always know what to get me for presents, since I do have a tendency to break things and can expect to go through a fair bit of the good stuff. My preference is Royal Albert's Old Country Roses. I'm not fussy enough to want only pre-2002 items that were actually made in England. I just like the design.
The everyday stuff? Well, I have teenaged kids who'll be ready to leave home in the next couple of years: they'll need crockery to get started: and the Corelle plates and plastic cups are very hard-wearing!