My Boxes of Fiestaware


I don’t remember when my mom gave me my first set of Fiestaware dishes. It was probably somewhere in the blur of “the grad school years,” although I remember spending most of those years eating every meal from a pink bowl painted to look like a kitten, including a meal I called “burrito bowl of death,” which involved a frozen burrito, corn chips, cheese, and salsa, microwaved together into a steaming, noxious dinner substitute.

Now I have six complete sets of dishes, including additional Fiestaware accoutrements like a teapot and matching salt and pepper shakers, and they sit in boxes in my closet, waiting for a home.

The last place I lived, I literally slept on the floor. Now I have a bed but no kitchen. I’ve culled my possessions to the bare minimum, the new definition of adulthood, but I still have these boxes of Fiestaware that I carry with me from one place to another, hoping someday that I’ll have a proper home in which to use them, the way Ma finally made the decision to unpack her china shepherdess in Little House on the Prairie.

Every time I move, another piece or two breaks. This happens regardless of how well I pack them, although to be fair I have never been particularly good at packing. I wrap them in towels and newspaper and hope for the best, and arrive at my new living situation with my collection a little bit smaller, like my fantasy of a fully-equipped apartment that is simultaneously affordable.

Of course, it will be easy enough for me to fill in the missing pieces through eBay or Amazon or whatever, once I get a place of my own that has both a kitchen and a bed, maybe a place that has a separate bedroom with a door that shuts, maybe a place where I can invite people over and they don’t have to sit on my bed like we’re still in grade school. That dream — the one where you open a door and find out that your apartment has all these other rooms you never knew about, and they’re all yours? I have that dream all the time.

Someday that dream will come true. That’s what I have promised myself — that one day my Fiestaware dishes and I will have a proper home, and that I will fully be able to use this gift that my mother gave me.


Photo: Elly Jonez


9 Comments / Post A Comment

chevyvan (#2,956)

Awww…I just bought 4 sets of Fiestaware. I was using my roommate’s dishes, but they were starting to chip and it was some random brand that couldn’t be replaced. I did a lot of research and decided Fiestaware is where it’s at. They are sturdy and union-made!

cjm (#3,397)

OK, WHAT COLOR! Seriously, we can’t dream about it without knowing the colors.

I went with Corell due to the practically unbreakableness. They are light to move as well. But, it’s true that because of that they feel less permanent.

HelloTheFuture (#5,275)

@cjm I have:

Grass green
Sky blue
Dark blue

ceereelyo (#3,552)

@HelloTheFuture – that sounds so pretty together. Along with cjm, my issue is what color! That’s why I ended up just doing plain white dishes frmo C&B when I registered for my wedding. Part of me wants to play food psychologist and buy the color that makes you not want to eat a lot, the other part just wants ALL THE COLORS.

jillcool (#2,123)

@ceereelyo I just have to comment here. I have all the colors. I’ve been collecting them for about 15 years and my mom and godmother have given me almost all of the fiesta I have. I think I’m up to almost 30 place settings. About 6 years ago, when I built my first house, I got a proper china cabinet to display them in (and keep the rest of them in the bottom). I love getting them out for company but I’m like cjm in the fact that I got Corelleware for our everyday use (just like my mom had when we were kids). I just couldn’t bear the thought of my kids breaking the Fiesta. I did go with the square shaped Corelleware though so I don’t feel so much like my mom.

NoName (#3,509)

Ugh, this is one of my weaknesses – casual dishes. I have a 12 place settings of Franciscan Ware (I do not entertain often). Then, I found an entire box of mismatched Heath at a garage sale for $5. I love Fiestaware and I’d probably buy any of it if I could find it cheap. Did I mention I live alone?

lemonhead3159 (#6,051)

My mom also bought me Fiestaware as a gift for graduating my Masters program a few years ago and I felt ridiculous unpacking my nice plates and bowls into my dumpy first apartment!

Renleigh (#2,110)

My grandma got me four sets of Fiestaware as my masters graduation present and at first I thought it was ridiculous because there’s nothing wrong with my dishes from Walmart (if you ignore that a fair amount of the set is chipped or missing) but it turned out to make my first apartment by myself feel a lot more homey and permanent.

Allison (#4,509)

I just got new dishes and it’s SO NICE opening the cabinet and seeing matching plates and bowls instead of the weird collection of stuff that has been acquired I don’t even know how since 2008.

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