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Keeping things for best, I’ve turned into my mother! 😲

(159 Posts)
Marydoll Mon 16-Nov-20 19:04:29

When were clearing out my mum’s house after she died, we found lots of unworn clothes, still in bags, which had been given as gifts. Yet she would insist on wearing the shabbiest of clothes.

Today, I was looking for a missing Christmas present and realised that I had turned into my mum, by virtue of keeping things for best.

My stash included:
*One Jo Malone Red Roses bath oil,
*Four L’Occitane rose scented hand creams,
*Six bars of Italian rose scented soap, stashed by me in DH's hand luggage as I was over the weight limit, which resulted in him being taken away at Fumicino Airport, by customs officers wearing guns, who thought he was smuggling drugs blush
This is not the first time he has been searched because of me, a Nativity scene comes to mind, which started playing "Silent Night" one September day in the security area!
*Four aprons with an Italian theme, picked up in Rome. I am a messy baker and need to wipe my hands on something, rather than my clothes.
My neighbours don't call me call me the Apron Queen for nothing. wink

This is only a small selection, but I have decided that due to my failing health, I'm going to start using them, as my children will probably find them unused when I die and they hate anything rose scented.

I have come to the conclusion that life is too short to keep things for best, so tonight I will soak in a rose scented bath and tomorrow my very tatty aprons are going in the bin!

Do any of you Gransnetters have a stash, which you are keeping for best?

I did find the missing gift, in the very place that I previously looked at least three times. I fear I have lost the plot. wink

silverlining48 Mon 16-Nov-20 19:15:22

Marydoll My daughter gave me the same lecture the other day because my mum, like yours, put away presents instead of using them, and made do with her really old stuff which was often reoaired whuch is fine, but! I was doing the same. Daughter was upset that the nice things we got her were not used.
Am now using Neals yard bath oil and its a real treat. Enjoy.

harrigran Mon 16-Nov-20 19:18:26

I have wardrobes in three bedrooms full of best clothes. I have the same things in two sizes for fat days and for days when I have not been such a porker.
I never stint myself on perfume though, good stuff gets sprayed liberally every day.

phoenix Mon 16-Nov-20 19:20:09

Oh dear! Mr P and I got married in 2004, moved in together in 2001.

We were given a dinner service as a wedding present.

Guess what, Marydoll ? We keep it for best!

Marydoll Mon 16-Nov-20 19:20:17

silverlings, made me think that my children would be upset if they found the gifts unused. It's just that I think, they are too NICE to use! grin

Marydoll Mon 16-Nov-20 19:21:08

My wedding china has neevr been used. It's 43 years old!

Ilovecheese Mon 16-Nov-20 19:25:52

My mother never kept things for best and neither do I. So maybe we all turn into our own mothers.

paddyanne Mon 16-Nov-20 19:27:12

I learned a lesson about keeping things for best many years ago.My friend bought loads of new clothes for her wee girl for ther first holiday abraod.The wee one pestered her mum for weeks to wear them and was always told no you have to keep them good.
The week before the holiday she had a dental appointment where the dentist thought something was wrong and sent her to hospital.She had leukeamia ...she died the day they were supposed to go away .My children wore anything they wanted when they wanted ,nothing was "kept for best".Use your nice things and enjoy them you cant take them with you.

Lucca Mon 16-Nov-20 19:28:10

My Scottish MIL was like that. She had a stash of the nighties and jumpers we had given her over the years!
My sister and I were remembering how as children if and when you got a new item of clothing you were NEVER allowed to wear it straight away and one of the joys of being grown up was buying something and wearing it at once !

Lucca Mon 16-Nov-20 19:29:26


My mother never kept things for best and neither do I. So maybe we all turn into our own mothers.

I know it’s an awful things to say but I strive not to turn into mine.

TrendyNannie6 Mon 16-Nov-20 19:34:49

Must admit I used to keep clothes for best, but just reading marydolls post has got me thinking differently, I’m going to start wearing these so called “best “ clothes of mine, even though I’m isolating for second time, so the only time I can go out is for exercise, apart from tomorrow when I’m going for my long awaited ct scan abdominal and pelvic, where I will have to wear loose fitting trousers and tops and no jewellery, time to make use of all these BEST clothes

CanadianGran Mon 16-Nov-20 19:37:08

I do use my fancy soaps and lotions! I don't get a lot of clothing as gifts, but love to have sweets and lovely smellies.

China does not get used very often, but that's only because i think it's too floral for my taste. You should really not pick china patterns when you are 21!

We grew up using silver for daily use, since my mother realized we hardly had company for dinner, so may as well enjoy!

MrsThreadgoode Mon 16-Nov-20 19:40:19

I decided not to keep things for ‘best’ last year.
I now have 5 aprons in the kitchen and so much stuff that my drawers are full, I don’t think I’ll live long enough to use things up or wear things out, but fat better than leave them in boxes in the spare rooms.

Marydoll Mon 16-Nov-20 19:45:56

MrsThreadgoode, we could be twins. grin

I have told my children to phone the charity shop when I die and ask them to send their van.....or perhaps two. grin

Grandmabatty Mon 16-Nov-20 20:26:18

I don't keep anything for best now. I decided to clear out lots when I downsized. If I haven't worn something or used something in a year, it goes. Wear those aprons, Marydoll! And use your lovely smelly stuff.

Chewbacca Mon 16-Nov-20 20:39:19

When first married, we saved up to buy a Wedgewood dinner service, piece by piece, until we had a gloriously full set. But it was always kept for special occasions only. 45 years later, I still have it, unused and in pristine condition. But it's so heavy and old fashioned and I can't see it ever being used now.
Marydoll you've inspired me to use that lovely tablet of Chanel 5 soap that I've kept "for best" for the past 10 years.

Daddima Mon 16-Nov-20 20:41:47

When my wee hoarding auntie died ( she had Tampax in her drawer. She was 94), I came upon beautiful embroidered sheets and pillowcases which her mother had received as a Golden Wedding present and never used. Auntie never used them either, so I fell heir to them. As I reckoned they were about 40 years old then I used them immediately. 10 years on, they’re still going strong.
I do, however, have a set of cutlery I ‘inherited’ from a friend which is too good for everyday, and I couldn’t even tell you where it is. If it turns up during my clearout I will start using it.

BlueSky Mon 16-Nov-20 20:52:15

I had lots of ‘new with tags’ clothes, nightwear, bags etc then decided to use them now. I wouldn’t want them to go the charity shop brand new, I’ll get some use first!

kircubbin2000 Mon 16-Nov-20 21:20:39

I have beautiful delicate gold trimmed china from my granny.None of the kids will want it .Never used of course along with the lovely modern set I bought recently, also too nice to use.🙄

sodapop Mon 16-Nov-20 21:22:12

When my mother died, many years ago now, I found a lot of the presents I had bought for her still wrapped in tissue paper unused in her dressing table. I made a decision then that I would never keep things for best or unused. Enjoy using lovely things and wearing the gifts you have been given, life is too short.

NotSpaghetti Mon 16-Nov-20 21:29:34

I have (shock horror) decided to use my parents' fancy china in the kitchen. Lots of it is delicate and gold rimmed too.
I am even putting it in the dashwasher which I know is wicked... but, I've looked it up on Ebay and it's selling for SO little I might as well enjoy it and the happy memories it brings.

Jane43 Mon 16-Nov-20 21:36:34

My Mum loved baking and used to say one day she would get a Kenwood Chef. I bought her one for her 70th Birthday but she never used it, she still mixed things by hand. She moved in with us when she could no longer cope in her flat and it was still in the box. We gave it to my brother’s older daughter who loved to cook. I was really sad that she never used it.

EllanVannin Mon 16-Nov-20 21:43:41

I have to laugh at the various sets of negligee's I've got with a couple of sets unworn and still have a gorgeous frilly nylon set from the 60's/70's, all with the intentions of " wearing them in the summer ". Well summer's been and gone a number of times and I've still worn sleeved pyjamas because I'm so nesh grin. I can't part with the darned things

Grannynannywanny Mon 16-Nov-20 21:58:27

My dear old Mum had a set of pink flannelette sheets and pillow cases still in their wrapper in a drawer from the 60’s. They were lovely quality and she considered them too good to use and was saving them for visitors. They ended up in my house, still unopened, after my parents died.

I eventually opened them for making a tent over the kitchen chairs for my grandchildren. She didn’t live to see her great grandchildren but I think she would be delighted to see the fun we’ve had with her special sheets.

52bright Mon 16-Nov-20 22:07:59

Oh Marydoll, your op took me right back to my childhood. Literally everything my mother owned had a utility version and a 'best' version. We were not well off but I always had a 'best' coat for Sundays as well as school coat and play coat. Likewise brown practical t bar Clark's shoes for school and black patent leather ones for best. Summer dresses were always divided into everyday and best. When I look back at photos of Christmas I see myself in new outfits which were rarely worn again unless we were going somewhere special. What a waste! The result was that many of the more expensive items, especially Sunday coats, were passed on hardly worn.

Did I learn from any of this? I'm afraid not. Did something similar with my own daughter and myself. I well remember a far more expensive make of suit than my usual M & S bought for an interview. When I got the job, the suit languished in the wardrobe as 'too good' for ordinary work days and I returned to my usual standard M&S and the best suit was kept for rare important occasions at work. How silly of me! I well remember how much more sophisticated 'cool' and confident I felt in that suit, yet it was finally given to a charity shop, practically brand new, when it became too tight.

I do try not to do this now, but at aged 68 it has taken me far too long and I still think twice about opening expensive smellies gifts, with one exception. Dh always gives me Chanel scent as part of my Christmas present and he would be quite upset if I didn't use it, so this is always used. Mind you, there was still a certain element of 'best' about this as well before I retired as I would never wear it for work. It was always kept for going out. I really must try harder smile