There is a new thing coming. It is here, in fact. Has been for decades. The steady march of those ladies who have found a special man they want to claim as husband. It happens over and over again, this spectacle of women who come in and pick out the finest in what will suit them in their married life and often times the chosen goods are put in a cabinet where they never see the light of day unless it is for “Good Company.” I don’t know exactly who this Good Company is as I’ve yet to be invited into the bridal designation, but they must be fantastic at saving the lives of puppies and small children or something, because the bride’s best stuff is held hostage for these folk. And only will it come out to play when these people are around. It’s foolishness. Just foolishness. And I learned this in a very different kind of way.
Somewhere in the mid 1990’s I was given the task of writing a paper on a well known Baptist stalwart. I was to take his history and report back to a professor who was an expert on all things Baptist History. I had been assigned to a local friend, Hal, who had served in the ministry for years and in an educational setting after this. But to get to him, I had to first pass his wife, Glenda. I was somewhat familiar with Glenda so we started a chat, low and slow. Glenda is the very perfect picture of all things old south and you best know your manners before meeting her else she would give a lesson on the spot (I’m still a little scared of Glenda). She told me of their first years of ministry together and there was one story which sang a great life lesson for me. She told me of their first parsonage–a church furnished home for the preacher. She was a new bride and in trying to make the home complete she called that one woman in the church who is in charge of making sure the new preacher and his wife get settled into the home (you know this lady, every church has one). Glenda was somewhat concerned about the flatware situation as the parsonage had left her with no forks, knives or spoons to enjoy a home cooked meal. When the lady heard of Glenda’s plea, she simply asked, “Glenda, don’t you have your silver?” to which Glenda quickly responded she did indeed but it was kept for “Good Company.” The lady of standing in the church simply said, “Glenda are you ever going to have better company than the man you married?” For this moment on, Glenda and Hal forever ate off the silver.
I admit upon hearing that story, despite being single, I went home and pulled out my best plates and silver. It’s true, why must our best be kept under lock and key waiting for the great good thing to come our way? I pulled out my Francis I and ate ice cream right out of the carton—yes the spoon bent under its frozen heftiness, but alas I bent it back into place. I called my mama and told her today is the day—”your set of silver as well as grandmama’s set it deserves to see the common every day celebrations of our life!”. That china we pack away waiting and waiting for the good company—pull it out because good company has arrived and how silly we have been in not seeing that the folks who love us most are indeed the Good Company.
So to all those who might be rushing into Minick Interiors to register for the finest in dining, remember this: your Good Company is but an arm’s length away. Celebrate those people for they are the ones that will be marking all the life celebrations you have. And for those ladies and gentlemen who are waiting for a wedding to claim such goodness, well to that I say, “Pah.” Go dream and pick out what you’d like your Good Company to experience in your presence.
But trust this: despite the china, crystal and silver that might adorn your table; none of it means a thing if you don’t have Good Company. Good Company will gladly eat off paper plates, plastic cutlery and plastic cups you’ve gathered from local eateries. That is how you know they deserve your best. Take memory pictures of your gatherings, feel what it’s like to sit with your Good Company, relish the laughter and sometimes tears, ponder upon it, because these are the folks that indeed make life good.
La vie est belle!
(That’s fancy for Life is Beautiful!)