The Last Plate
Gregory Mogren
My mother broke every plate in the house that day. I had just gotten home from school when I heard a crashing sound from the other room. My dear sweet mother was breaking all the decorative plates in the house. As I neared
my mother, I could see the plates that she was breaking. CRASH…there went a plate with a cat on it. CRASH…that one was shaped like a fish. There were shards of baseball players, cats, superheroes, forests, goddesses, sea scenes, more cats, and lots and lots of flowers…and even more cats.
One of the few that was yet to be broken in that room was sitting next to me on a shelf, a turkey plate. This was not your typical turkey plate. It was the ugliest turkey plate that you could ever see. Horrible clashing colors, far too intricate design, and a picture of a turkey that looked like it could eat your turkey…all contributed to that monstrosity.
“Mom?” I asked hesitantly “Are you ok?”
My mother whirled around to face me. Seeing the turkey plate next to me, she pointed at it and screeched “BREAK THAT PLATE!!!”
So I did. With one finger I reached over to the turkey plate and tapped it from behind. It toppled off the shelf and joined its brethren on the floor, smashed into a million pieces. Not literally a million pieces, but you get the point. My mother applauded and cackled with glee, only to return to smashing plates.
Once she had finished breaking EVERY plate in the house my mother politely asked me to help her sweep them up and remove all the shards. As we did so, I asked mom why she decided to smash them all. Her response? “I hate plates.”
You see my father liked to collect decorative pates. He had, as you might have guessed, hundreds of plates. Some were extremely fancy, other were plain but had characters on them. All of them, however, were now broken. Now I know what many of you are thinking: my father did something wrong and, for revenge, my mother smashed all of his decorative plates. But that was not the case. My mother, as it turns out, just hated plates.
We honestly think that it tracks back to her own childhood when her mother tried to serve her hot soup on a plate…that did not turn out well. Needless to say my mother and I had a great laugh trying to imagine what my father would do when he got back home from his business trip the next day. Honestly, what actually happened was funnier than anything we imagined.
When he got home the next evening, he had in his hand a new decorative plate, one that depicted a sleeping tiger. When he walked into the room where he had had his plate collection, he paused. All of them were gone. In his state of shock my father dropped the last plate.