Why I Didn't Want My Mom's Silver Pattern

Before you clutch your pearls too tight, I did want my own.

Couple admiring silverware (tout for "Why I Didn’t Want My Mom’s Silver Pattern")
Photo: George Marks/Retrofile/Stringer/Getty Images

Southerners have a thing about heirlooms, including "the good silver." Some only bring it out for the big holidays, others use it every day. Some polish it after every use, others have given up on the arduous process for good. However often those forks, knives, and spoons see the light of day, each prized collection has a story behind it. Family silver patterns are coveted, fought-over, and sometimes, unwanted.

Millennials (i.e., my generation) get a bad reputation for "killing" things. Among pricey engagement rings, starter homes, canned goods, and even napkins (all real headlines), family heirlooms find themselves in peril of being selfishly "murdered" by us. But there's so much more to that story, at least in the case of my mom's silver pattern.

WATCH: Every Southerner Knows About The Good Silver

I want relics that connect me to my family's past, don't get me wrong. But I'd prefer that items I'll use often and possibly display in my home, like silverware and china, reflect my taste and style. I think my mom's silver pattern is beautiful, but it's just not the first I would pick out in a store window. I wouldn't see it and think, "That is so me," which makes sense, considering it's...not mine. Before you clutch your pearls too tight, there are a few things you need to know: My mom is still actively using her silver, so it wouldn't make sense that we share (we live in different cities) or she give it to me and then have none herself. More importantly, I'm not saying "no" to any and all sterling silverware, despite what you've read about millennials' detest for traditional tabletop décor. I simply wanted to pick out my own pattern.

I love to cook and host, so it makes sense that I have a silverware set to use over the years. And by the way, my mom wants me to have a pattern! She was excited for me to start a new tradition as an adult. It was such a fun experience for us when I picked it out, and we've enjoyed randomly finding pieces along the way. Though she didn't give me her silver, creating my collection has been an even more valuable way for us to bond.

Every experience is different, but the next time you jump to conclusions about someone in a younger generation passing on passed-down items, hear them out—there's probably more to it than you think.

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