Posted by Mel
Unlike many men, I like to shop, particularly at big malls. I don’t need to actually purchase anything; just walking around and watching the people and enjoying the architecture are enough for me. (I suspect that at least part of my fondness for exploring malls is due to having seen a movie called Things to Come at an impressionable age. Near the end of this movie, the human race has rebuilt civilization after decades of war. Most people live in airy city-size buildings and travel from place to place in flying cars and freestanding elevators. Many contemporary hotels — where the rooms surround an atrium that reaches from the lobby to the highest floor — seem to have been influenced by this movie too.)
One Sunday afternoon Laurie and I were out shopping for something specific, though I can’t remember what it was. She was browsing through a store called the Great Indoors, looking for whatever-it-was, leaving me to my own devices. I saw these plates and fell in love instantly, a thing that doesn’t usually happen between me and crockery.
These were novelty dishes, each featuring a different picture. Not the usual food or birds or plants, but buildings and bridges and automobiles. The set that caught my eye had a sharp black-and-white illustration of the crash site of a flying saucer in the desert outside Roswell, New Mexico. The picture appealed to me not only because I have always been interested in science fiction and the possibility of life on other worlds, but because the Roswell crash happened on my birthday. Many of my friends claim this explains a lot.
Only dinner plates were available–and they were on sale. We bought all the shop had, six of them, and took them home knowing that we would use them on special occasions. Many of our science fiction-reading friends have turned green with envy at the sight of these dishes, which are impossible to find at the moment.
This past Saturday, we were hosting a small dinner party. Laurie hastily decided to use a black-and-white color scheme for the table. That, and the fact that our guests were old friends, made my UFO plates seem like a perfect choice. Alan had been my boss back during my animation-writing days, and we feel as if we’ve known his fiancee, Carol, almost as long. I don’t see and use these dishes often enough.
All in all, it was a lovely, relaxed evening. I was delighted that my dishes from another world were part of it.