Thursday, May 16, 2013

When there was the good

Francie, who blogs at North End Journal, mentioned the term "the good silverware" the other day.

Those people of my generation who were raised in families that were not wealthy, and with parents who had lived through the The Great Depression, will likely be familiar with the "good" concept.

"Good" in this context is the opposite of "Everyday."

You had your "good clothes," which were worn to church and other dress-up public occasions, and your Mom had her "good" china and "good" silverware," which were used for special events such as Christmas dinner or a visit by the minister.

The rest of the time, you wore your everyday clothes and everyday shoes, and ate off the everyday plates with everyday knives and forks.

I suspect that, in a time when people don't even dress up for weddings and funerals, this will be regarded as a bizarre concept for most folks under the age of 60.

Do you still have items that you keep "for good?"

I do. Those childhood lessons stick.


  1. Oh, I remember the "good" and "everyday" distinction very well. I take a pair of "good" slippers with me to wear when I visit someone's house and take off my shoes. They are not old and ratty looking like my "everyday" slippers are. People laugh at me for it, but I don't care. I WAS BROUGHT UP RIGHT.

  2. I grew up exactly that way even though I am under 60. We were a poor family, and there were certain things that had to be put aside to be used only on special occasions --- so they can last as long as possible. There were good clothes, shoes, silverware, plates, etc. My mother even had some 'good towels' that she only brought out when guests visited. For everyday we had the ratty ones :)

  3. Ha ha. I never thought of it but you are right. The first time I saw grown people turn up for a funeral in jeans and sweat shirts I was shocked to the core. And good generally meant 'modest' when it came to clothing in 'the olden' days. The last wedding I was at had many expensive dresses but few that covered anything - including the bridal gown.