Are y’all familiar with the term “Smurfing”.
Since laws were passed in 2005 to prohibit people from buying large quantities of pseudoephedrine at one time, crystal meth manufacturers have found ways around this by “smurfing” from one store to another buying just under the 2 package legal limit at each store until they have enough pseudoephedrine to make crystal meth. I assume it’s derived from the Smurfs gathering berries – or nuts, or whatever the Hell Smurfs eat – in small quantities in the magical woods around their mushroom village.
When I was in my very early 20′s, Ralph Lauren launched a line of table top china made by Wedgwood.
“Wait a minute,” you’re thinking, “What does that have to do with meth?” Just keep reading.
My favorite china pattern was the “Cafe Stripe”. It reminded me of exactly that, a small town diner. Bone white with a “denim seam” band of blue encircling the rim of each piece.
Here’s a page from the 1990 Ralph Lauren china catalog that I’ve
hoared saved all these years.
Even with my department store employee discount and pathetic paycheck (pretty sure I was living on $4.25 an hour) it was still hopelessly out of my price range to buy a complete set of dishes. But I knew that I could……. if I bought one piece at a time.
The first piece I bought? A teacup. A $20 teacup, $18 with the employee discount.
Every 2 weeks on payday, I’d march down to the fine china department and add a piece to my collection; a sugar bowl, a bread plate, a saucer. Just one at a time.
Because with enough patience and perseverance, like the Smurfs ……….or crystal meth addicts, I knew I would eventually have all that I needed.
There was a moment of panic when they discontinued the lines and I still needed a teapot – the most expensive piece – eventually, my dear friend Lenny found one at a clearance center in Arlington. finished,
I haven’t used any of it almost 20 years. I started collecting so many other potteries since then. (Fiesta, Bauer, Russel Wright) The same way, one piece – or 2, or 3 – at a time. But still, in small quantities.
Through the years, I’ve accumulated all my other collections this way too. (Mercury Glass Christmas Ornaments, Linen Postcards, Western Buckles, Fiestaware, Hawaiian Shirts, Zuni Fetishes…… everything really.)
I still have all of my cafe stripe in a box in the garage. There isn’t room for it in the kitchen cabinets.
Now, I think It’s time to move on ………and send it to a new home.
I know after that amazing story of a young man with a dream of owning china, y’all may think it’s a little sad to see it go to a new home.
But, I’m ready. I really am.