Our old IKEA plates were getting cracked and crackly and I recalled a meal I ate at a restaurant recently (though I don’t remember which specific restaurant–The Little Owl?) where all the entrees were served on quirky, idiosyncratic plates. “Hey!” I said to myself. “I want some quirky, idiosyncratic plates. When it’s time to get new plates I’m going to get some quirky, idiosyncratic plates.”
Well if there’s one place in New York to get quirky, idiosyncratic plates it’s Fishs Eddy. And so it was that last week, when the last IKEA plate chipped, I made a journey to Union Square to visit Fishs Eddy for some quirky, idiosyncratic plates.
My plate agenda was a very specific one: I didn’t want a set of six identical plates. I wanted them all to be different. And while Fishs Eddy produces wonderful plate sets with Alice-in-Wonderland and New York themes, I immediately focused my attention on the back right corner of the store where stacks and stacks of stray plates awaited my greedy hand.
A few discoveries were quickly made: (1) these weren’t plates, these were chargers; (2) many of them were covered in dust which I, unfortunately, inhaled; (3) many were really ugly.
My mission became more and more difficult. I didn’t want ugly plates. I wanted their centers to be white so the food (to use an industry term) “popped.” I began moving plate stacks on top of other plate stacks to reveal mysterious, deeply forgotten plates that’d eventually round out my motley crew of plates.
Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t mean to pat myself on the back but I did a fantastic job. When I left I left with six incredibly different plates, all of them with their own (all together now) quirky idiosyncratic characteristics. I present to you now my new plate family; imagine all the food that will someday grace their surfaces.
Plate #1: The Dad Plate
If my dad ever comes over for dinner (and considering his propensity for eating out, it’s not very likely) he will eat off this plate because it’s covered with golfers. My dad likes to play golf and so, maybe, does your dad. But I don’t mean to be so gender normative and neither does my plate. Your mom might play golf too. And your transgendered neighbor. This plate accepts that and wants you to know that if you play golf or your transgendered neighbor plays golf, you are both welcome to eat off of it. Unless my dad’s eating off of it, in which case please leave my dad alone.
Plate #2: The Fiesta Plate
Hola amigo! Welcome to the fiesta plate! Eating off this plate is like a fiesta. Hey see that pinata reflected on the plate’s surface? Don’t smash it, that’s your face!!!! The fiesta plate is tricky that way. Beware its tricky ways.
Plate #3: Mountain Retreat
Remember how The Sound of Music ends with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer climbing mountains, fleeing Nazis with their adorable singing children? Well now you can reenact that on this plate using peas for the children, carrots for Julie and Christopher and swastika-shaped pasta for the Nazis. Where can you buy swastika-shaped pasta? Nazi Olive Garden, dumbass!
Plate #4: Virginal Flower
This plate is only for the chaste, so that means no Virginal Flower plate for you, grandma! But in all seriousness, this plate’s floral theme is perfect for serving salad, especially if you’re serving salad to a virgin. Like the Virgin Mary. Only I can’t serve the Virgin Mary because I’m Jewish. Sorry grandma!*
(*Explanation: My grandmother is the Virgin Mary.)
Plate #5: The I Don’t Really Get It Plate
I don’t really get it.
Plate #6: The Ugly Plate
Let’s face it, this plate’s pretty ugly. It didn’t look ugly in the store but the more I look at it the more I imagine it on a table at a garage sale. So I have a decent solution: only let ugly people eat off the ugly plate. When guests arrive at my house, I will discreetly judge their looks and the one who is the ugliest will get this plate and just in case they don’t realize what’s happened I will say: “You got the ugly plate! You’re ugly!” And then I’ll realize that it’s I who am ugly; only ugly people call others ugly. And then I will gaze into the ugly plate and see my reflection and a tear will stream down my cheek and I won’t be ugly anymore, I’ll be beautiful. Then I give the plate back to the ugly person and say, “You’re still ugly.”
Don’t you love my plates, America? Here they are again, from the other side:
Maybe you’ll be eating off these plates one day, you who are reading this blog. Which plate will you get? Which one will you want? Are you a virgin? Are you ugly? Let the plate tell you; that is the power of the plate.