When I bought a gift certificate for china for Lyman's soon-to-be-wed niece at Hal Garner's this week, Lyman's patience ran out.
He has been agitating for new dinnerware at our house for a year or two. Not long after we married, we bought 12 place settings of stoneware. The set is in pretty good shape, but a few pieces have been chipped or crazed or broken, and besides, he's tired of the pattern.
After looking around a lot, we've decided to accept our destinies and go with restaurant ware.
To start, we're taking a case of the 10-3/8 dinner plate and one of the 7-1/2 inch menudo bowl. (The menudo bowls will be a good addition to our our kitchen. We frequently eat gumbos, stews and pasta, and they have enough capacity for a decent portion of salad. Our cereal bowls aren't really up to it.) I think we can mix our current coffee cups/saucers and salad/dessert plates with those, along with our seldom used serving pieces, and still set a decent table.
And he won't be standing at the sink trying to scrub away the pattern that he has mistaken for parsley.
Just a note for people watching their portions: restaurant ware allows you to select smaller dinner plates, so smaller portions don't appear so small.
(We looked into ordering from our local restaurant supplier, but even with shipping, Richards was cheaper.)
UPDATE: If they'll let us order single-case quantities, Instawares is even cheaper.