My family has a condition. I guess it started with my grandmother. She passed it onto some of her daughters. My mom didn't get it, but I will admit that I have a touch of it. Funny thing is many of my clients also have it. The condition is known as...
Saving It for the Pope
- A lovely couch or chair that no one is allowed to sit on.
- Plastic coverings on said couch or chair that no one is allowed to sit on.
- An entire room in your house that no one ever uses (often looks like a museum).
- The good china received as wedding gifts that have never seen the light of day.
- Fancy soaps on display that are not for hand washing.
- Basically, anything in your home you are not using because it's being saved for that extra special occasion.
I must give credit to my husband at this point because he coined the phrase Saving It for the Pope after we'd been dating for several months. I'm pretty sure it started when he wiped his hands on my fancy bath towels and I had a mini freak-out.
They were white with hand sewn silk and silver ribbon on the bottom edge. I walked into the bathroom and saw that they were wet and asked in horror why he didn't use the hand towel folded right there on the sink.
I'll never forget the look of confusion on face when he asked, "So, I'm not suppose wipe my hands on towels hanging on the towel bar? They're for decoration only? You have towels in your bathroom that no one is allowed to use?"
"Actually, " I replied, "they can be used by special guests."
Apparently, my boyfriend of several months no longer fell into this "special guests" category. He soon found out that almost no one did. My friends, parents, my brother or sister did not qualify, so obviously, these towels were being saved for the ultimate guest - the Pope!
The phenomenon continued when we visited my family together for the first time.
My grandparents' home included the room with the piano that no one ever played and the 13 year old white, leather couch that looked brand new because no butt had ever touched it. My aunt had a luxurious sofa that we were only allowed to sit on once a year - on Christmas Day. God forbid if you sat on that sofa with a drink in hand.
My clients struggle with Saving It for The Pope condition as well. The gorgeous Mikasa vases that have never held a flower; the crystal punch bowl and ladle being saved for that extra special gathering that has yet to occur in the last ten years since its purchase.
One eventually has to ask:
What the heck are we saving this stuff for?
Why do we humans insist on living in the future? You know, the if and when future. I'll use that nice china when I have a bigger dining room table or if I get my life/career/home together.
Full disclosure here - I've been guilty of this from time to time myself. Having a kid and working with so many people hanging onto to things has really helped me move through this in my own life.
My grandmother gave me 12 place settings of elegant, white china right before my wedding. It belonged to her and in all the Sunday dinners, Easter breakfasts, Christmas Eves and celebrations that my grandparents hosted (and there were hundreds of them), I never even once, saw these dishes. I vowed that I would give them their due. We take them out for holiday dinners, Oscar parties and they've even held birthday pancakes.
I want to encourage you to do the same.
Host a fancy dinner party even if you think your current home isn't fancy enough. Put some daisies in that crystal vase. Pour lemonade in your lovely punch bowl at your next BBQ.
You don't need a special occasion to use your special stuff. Pull out that china and those linen napkins for your next family movie night. Turn the ordinary into something extraordinary.
Pope Francis is cool and all, but I'm pretty sure he isn't going to visit you anytime soon