As I’m writing this post it’s December 2017 and the time of year when holiday gift-giving guides are all you can find. I’ll be posting one of my own soon, but I’m going to start by telling you what I want for Christmas this year: salt and pepper shakers. Let me explain.
When I first moved into my house, I was without salt and pepper shakers for 3-4 months. I had the giant bag of pink salt I bought, but no shakers. Moving is so much fun. The shakers finally appeared but had rusted from the humidity (one of the very few casualties of my move, praise God). I’m still using them, because it’s just me, the rust is on the outside, and the benefit of living alone is that you get to decide what’s too gross to handle, but I’d love a set I can put in front of guests without shame. Now, they still carry this set at Home Goods so I could just replace them, but why buy another set I know won’t hold up over time?
Because apparently, asking for an understated, relatively design-neutral set of salt and pepper shakers is just too much to ask.
I’d like something similar to what I have. Sleek. Clean lines. Timeless. My habit of redecorating every ten minutes means I’m looking for something glass and/or metal and/or solid grey or black that would fit into any design theme. Basically, I want something simple and basic that’s really not going to stand out so I can pretty much forget about them unless they need a refill. This should not be so hard.
A quick search on Amazon yields two options: you may buy a set of grinders that fit your style and taste preferences exactly but can’t do anything with the salt you already own OR you can select a themed set that’s either going to be out of place as soon as you move on to your next obsession or is aimed at people who collect salt and pepper shakers – which is not a bad thing, some of these are super cute, but not what I’m looking for.
Just a note to say these are affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase using the links in this post I’ll make a little bit of money from that (kind of like a commission) and it will not cost you anything extra.
Finally, I thought maybe the designers who make nice sets would have something for me. But apparently people who design fine china also have a very distinct set of tastes in mind when they create their salt and pepper sets because most of them look exactly alike. Timeless, classy, neutral but also…forgive me, but funereal:
If I didn’t already have a giant bag of salt, I would go for the grinder set and call it a day. Instead, I spent an inordinate amount of time combing through Amazon, looking for the exact right set. This quest was ON and I was NOT GOING TO REST until I found exactly what I wanted.
Finally, after scrolling through page after page, I found the most beautiful set. They’re pretty much exactly what I expected when I started my search.
They’re also $70. I almost died. Apparently I really do have all the wrong expectations. But I just couldn’t believe the only set that met my qualifications also happened to be part of a museum collection. I mean…really? I’d like to think I have good taste, but my preferences tend to be pretty typical/generic as evidenced by the fact that I could get exactly what I wanted in grinder form. Which made me think again, why is this so hard?
So I kept searching and finally found a set I could abide and, bonus, they were from Ten Thousand Villages which meant they were also ethically sourced. I put them on my Christmas list and told everyone exactly how hard I had to work to find them so if I got nothing else for Christmas, these better be it. Which, incidentally, is exactly the kind of grateful attitude that makes people want to buy you things.
Fast forward to last week when I realized that set, my holy grail, the ones I worked SO HARD to find were “no longer available” on Amazon or on the Ten Thousand Villages website (we don’t have a nearby store).
I. lost. my. mind.
We’re talking “they’d better not be available because someone bought the last set for me” type insanity. Ugly. Also, considering we’re talking salt and pepper shakers, hysterical. Something so simple should just not be so hard. It shouldn’t. I checked Etsy, thinking they’d have a similar stone set but only found one that shipped from Israel for about $55 before shipping and taxes. Pass.
Which brings us to this morning when I started writing this post, imagining that I would post a call for help at the end and ask for you all to keep your eyes open. In the interest of being a responsible blogger and supporting my argument, I went to the Williams Sonoma website for more evidence and…found not one, but three sets that are exactly what I’m looking for. We’re talking these came up first in the search results and everything.
Sometimes we just make things harder on ourselves than we have to. In any case, I thought you might need a good laugh today – I know I did! When was the last time you laughed at yourself?