Who Knew?: Broken cup’s value in eyes of the beholder
by By LUCIE R. WILLSIE Associate Editor
Jan 27, 2013 | 529 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Most people wouldn’t put much value in a broken cup.

A show currently on TV has a story plot along the same lines — the appreciation of a broken cup that means love and esteem and love lost and the hope of finding it again.

That’s a lot to put on a little, itty bitty ceramic cup — especially one that is broken or chipped.

But there it is.

And, it’s not something you’ll see just on TV either.

Are any of you out there familiar with a company called Replacements Inc.?

I wasn’t either until my obsessive-compulsive personality made me decide that I just couldn’t live one more second with a less-than-complete set of black and white dishes that my first serious boyfriend, his name was Richard — and I assume it still is — bought for me back in the day. A long ago day.

That’s important because that’s why I had such difficulty, and such determination, to get a complete set again. These dishes aren’t being made any longer, and they haven’t been made in a long time.

They are the Meteor, black and white set, of dishes sold by Sears.

They are black on the outside of the dishes and cups, and white on the inside, with a geometric — I guess you’d call it — design in black over the white, on the inside only.

Anyway, Richard bought them for me when we were engaged, as a sort of dowery, present, hope-chest keepsake, engagement gift.

Yep, I was engaged once. Who knew?

Anyway, back to the important part — the Meteor dishes.

Funny name, because the design doesn’t look like a meteor, at least not to me. I like it though. It’s kinda bordering on maybe a modern graphic design with Chinesy elements thrown in.

You really have to see it. It’s hard to describe. It’s cute. Trust me. And, it can be Googled if you’d like to take a peek. You ladies know what I mean and you fellas won’t care either way.

Anyway, let’s see now. Oh, yeah. Obsessive-compulsive and my Meteor-pattern dishes.

Well, I started to look around about replacing a few of the pieces I was missing when I came across a wonderful company called Replacements Inc. You also can Google them on the Internet.

They probably have just about any and every American-made dish set replacement parts you could probably want or think of — within reason.

The reason I say “within reason” is a reference to what I just did.

You see, this company is good, but they aren’t miracle workers. They can’t always just have at the ready any miscellaneous piece from every dish set ever made available at any moment of the day.

It’s really somewhat of a treasure hunt.

If I am looking for, say, a creamer for my Meteor pattern, well, I have to keep looking on their list of items available for this set to see if they have gotten one in.

You know, while I am on the topic, I have always wondered where they get their pieces.

Wait. I just asked my friend, who is also a replacement afficionado of four different sets — Anchor Hocking, Green; Mikasa Dorchester; Heartland; and Golden Rhapsody. Some of you folks out there may be familiar with these and collect them as well. She started off her collections in a variety of ways, from getting some free every time she would buy gas — remember dem days? — to buying them at the grocery store every week when she went for groceries — remember those days, too? — or with S&H stamps, or even once, she recalled, a friend didn’t want a set because a piece was missing. My friend took the set, and of course, discovered this same company — Replacements Inc. — and replaced the piece. That’s what she checks when she can’t find the pieces at a flea market or some company that’s stockpiling it. I’m told some do this.

See what I mean about obsessive compulsive?

Anyway, she just told me she actually has a friend who works at Replacements Inc., but that doesn’t give her any advantage, she also told me. She has to just check the lists periodically like everyone else and hope to get lucky that the pieces she wants have come in. And, that she gets to order them first before an especially popular item gets snapped up by someone else.

And here’s now where I finally get to the point of this column.

You may think I am crazier now than you ever suspected earlier.

You see, there was this creamer for my Meteor set that I didn’t have, but the one-and-only creamer that, I might add, only appeared within the last, oh, say eight months of the Replacement Inc.’s list, had been violently broken into what looked like about a dozen little pieces — at least judging from the photo — and then glued back together again.

The exterior back was creased with broken lines, showing the white interior — photos of the items for sale are usually available — as well as bigger junks of white where the black exterior had completely chipped off.

Well, as I already tipped you off, I first saw this broken creamer cup about eight months ago, and declined to buy it because it was so damaged. And, everyone else apparently seemed to feel the same way.

So, I waited and waited and waited ... hoping that a pristine creamer cup would eventually appear, because ... obsessive-compulsiveness rearing its head ... I didn’t have a complete set of Meteor dishes from Sears.

Now, keep in mind, I haven’t used these dishes in, well, maybe never. And, I think I now would prefer something with more color. Black and white was the rage at the time, if I remember correctly. So, why I had to complete this set — that is hopefully still in one piece after staying in a small storage unit in St. Louis for more than two years — I have no clue except for my obsessive-compulsive nature and my tendency to love to collect things.

Anyway, here’s the point of the entire article, make of it what you will.

I finally broke down and bought this poor, sad, broken little cup, received it in about a week in a nice medium-sized cardboard box, all wrapped up safe and secure —

But I haven’t opened the box!

It seemed unimportant to open it to see if it arrived safely, if you know what I mean.

And yet, I just didn’t have the heart to visually confirm all the nicks and dings and broken parts I know it had.

I just didn’t have the heart to do it, so, it just sits in the box it was mailed in, on a shelf in the kitchen, waiting for some unknown time in the future, when, maybe, miraculously, I will open the box and find, to my shock and surprise, that the creamer cup is completely whole.

It could happen!