Some Friendships Are Like Paper Plates



I’m a firm believer that friendships are disposable. I know that sound harsh, but look at it like this; some friendships are like paper plates and some are like your good stoneware. A paper plate serves a purpose and when that purpose is over or the plate is a bleeding mess you toss it. But your stoneware comes out every day, sometimes three times a day and is probably in your favorite color. Stoneware helps you, supports you, is reliable, loyal, accepts you for the cook you are, and heats up like a hot flash for you. You might buy thousands of paper plates over your lifetime, but you’ll only have a setting for twelve of that stoneware.

You don’t know when in your life you’re going to find that perfect set of stoneware. You might have to buy it in pieces. Some during high school, some during college, maybe even a piece you picked up along the way. But don’t look for a bargain. Stoneware is worth the price you pay. And if you do get it on sale, well, then, lucky you.

Paper plates are easy to find. They’re every where you look and they’re cheap. But they will always and forever be only paper plates. Don’t hold any grudges over them, though. I’ve had some paper plates I’ve loved over the years, but they still had to go when their purpose was served. I trashed paper plates in middle school, high school, college, from the countless jobs I’ve held, neighbors, committee groups, the list goes on and on. The best thing about paper plates is when you’re done with the package another package miraculously shows up in your cabinets. Right when you needed them the most. Paper plates are great-fill ins when you don’t have time to wash your stoneware. But when you’re making lasagna for dinner and the cheese won’t stick together and is running off the spatula nothing will do, but your favorite stoneware dish.

My stoneware set is much smaller than twelve, but I’m okay with that. We’ve been together a long time. My stoneware never disappoints me and is as vibrant as ever. It’s always there when I need it, shares secrets with me, makes me laugh, and reminds me why I bought it in the first place.

I’m thankful for the paper plates too. They’re quick and easy. They’re fun.

I often wonder if my Noodges have started buying pieces of their stoneware. Many times I look at the selection in their hands and think, “Dear Lord, that is a paper plate if I ever saw one. Put it down.” And sometimes I think, “that could be a keeper.” But that will be for them to decide. And I know for myself, there have been times when paper plates were disguised as my favorite stoneware. It wasn’t until the bottom leaked that I realized I’d been holding an imposter. I guess that will happen to my kids too.

How about you, faithful reader? What’s in your cabinet?





15 thoughts on “Some Friendships Are Like Paper Plates

  1. Nice post, my friend. You are one tough cookie – I’m a’scared of you! And let’s remember the plastic plates – the ones that look like stoneware, but unfortunately turn out to be glorified paper. Those disappoint me the most.

  2. Thank you, but why in the world are you afraid of me? I play nicely with others. 😉 Ah, the plastic plates….shoulda thought of those. I’ve seen many. They always start out so shiny.

  3. You funny, Stacey. I’m not sure I’m totally on board with your metaphor, but I do believe that some folks join us for different seasons of our lives. There are those that become part of the entire journey, those that hang with us for certain stops–and those who try to ditch us at clubs in our 20s. (I’m thinking she’s a ‘paper plate’ for sure, lol. 😉 )

  4. Reblogged this on Red Said What? and commented:
    Guest bloggers put it out there:

    STACEY WILK SAID WHAT?…Friendships are Like Paper Plates

    Italian Mama and author Stacey Wilk is one tough cookie when it comes to friendship. “Friendships are disposable,” she writes, “like paper plates.”

    She’s not alone.

    Social media posts, quotes, and related articles often remind me that one’s circle of friends typically shrinks with age. People come in and out of our lives depending upon the circumstance and purpose.

    As one who didn’t learn how to be a good friend until well into adulthood, I think mindless disposal is a shame. You never know what weight the plate carried in the past. I’d like to hope that with a wipe down, delicate wash, or elbow grease most friendships are recyclable.

    So what’s in your cupboard? Paper? Stoneware? Or perhaps, plastic? You know the plates; shiny, sturdy glorified paper disguised as stoneware.

    1. Red, thank you for the reblog. I’m eternally grateful. None of us are perfect friends. I am sure I have been nothing more than a napkin to some along the way. But what I think is beautiful, is when you need this person most they come into your life. A friendship might not be recyclable, and some will be, but if we go through this world with kindness in our hearts, then the Universe will bring us the people who add value to our lives. It’s okay to take time to be a good friend. And I am very grateful for your friendship in my life. It arrived when I needed it most. If you hadn’t been the person you were before I wouldn’t get to benefit from you being in my life now.

  5. What an interesting metaphor. I’m not sure friendships are “disposable” but I do know that people come and go in our lives and we are drawn to different people at various stages. There are work friends and childhood friends and Facebook friends and WordPress friends that all have their places and times. I have certainly lost friends over the years but I don’t think I disposed of them. Heavens! It sounds kind of Mafiosi!

    1. Well…I am Italian. But in all seriousness, I mean many friendships are not permanent. Like paper plates. When a friendship serves its purpose then that friendship usually ends. And another will always take its place. Just don’t go dragging the river any time soon.

  6. I never had any stonewear. Just paper and ceramic. Some glass. Maybe that’s a metaphor that I’ve attracted some people that are, well, fragile? …Ceramic with cracks and faded paint.

    1. Well, maybe these people need you to help them become like stoneware? Sometimes people come to us because of what we can give them. Or my friend, you need to shop in a different store. 😉

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