Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Butler's Tray

I have decided that when I am older I will probably require the services of a butler. A real butler. I've given it some thought, and he can have a room upstairs, under the eaves, unless the stairs would be too much for him. I'd be awfully nice, of course, and leave him some money when I die.

[Smile]

Seriously, though, I've given a considerable deal of thought to how in the world I'll manage this place when I'm old(er). There's a lot going on here, you see, and the women in my family tend to live a very long time. Since I'm not married, my solution to staying in Freeman House when I'm old and crotchety... the only plausible one, anyway... is hiring a butler. A real one. One that carries a tray.

So imagine my delight yesterday when I ran across this old tray. During my lunch break, I wandered into a local antiques shop - the one that sells ancient pie safes alongside "lucky bamboo" and dream catchers - and there it was. I eased it off the shelf. It was heavy. It had both its handles and all its feet, and upon examining the underside I found an engraving that reads: Sheridan, TAUNTON SILVERSMITHS, LIMITED, with a picture of a lion.

I also found a price tag. $2.00, it read. "No way," I said aloud. I marched the tray to the counter. "How much is this?" I asked. "It must be priced wrong. The tag says two dollars."

"It's two dollars," the man said dryly.

And now it's mine. I imagine that when I'm older I'll have my butler bring this tray - loaded with fresh flowers and coffee and the paper - every morning at precisely eight o'clock. And then the mail and tea (or, honestly, a Diet Coke) at three o'clock. And dinner and coffee and the remote at half-past seven. O'clock. Until I'm old(er), however, I guess I'll be pouring my own coffee and getting my own paper and carrying my own tray. For guests, too.

Ah, the beauty of youth. Someone asked me yesterday how old I am. I'm 28. Thirty-two years shy of justifying hiring a butler. A real one.

(UPDATE: I found a "Sheridan Taunton Silversmiths" tea tray on eBay just now for $89 and it's smaller and in worse shape than mine. I love it when that happens, don't you? Oh! And I found the perfect butler. His name is Ron.)

13 comments:

sister sheri said...

How about a maid? I mean, really, who is going to hang out your cotton sheets and pillowcases on the clothes line and iron them before they are put on your bed? Or could that be included in the duties of a butler? LOL

betty r said...

Oh Brin you are so fun! I like the idea of a butler, wouldn't that be the "cat's meow"!!
I too will have to wait some years on that even if I do have quite the number up on you. In the meantime we can dream...

Adrienne said...

Any butler who is fortunate enough to care for you and live in your home will a blessed man! I hope he appreciates a good bargain - he will be using that tray for a long time. ~Adrienne~

Sue said...

Oh dear, sweet Brin, you WILL remarry, when the right man finds you, so don't hire a bulter just yet! But I enjoyed your take on the tray and always love a bargin too! Lovely photos as always!

Terri and Bob said...

I love your idea! However, I am 48 and I doubt that a butler is in my future. I will live through you.

bellacolle said...

A Butler? Hmmm a man to wait on you hand and foot and not talk back?!! Interesting idea. I just love it when we find diamonds in the rough! Butlers AND silver trays...LOL!

Rox said...

Love it, love it, love it....
A great deal on a tray and a man with no commitment!!!
Seriously love this blog... : )

Mary said...

Great buy on the tray Brin and lovely photo of the breakfast setting on the bed.

Did you notice Ron would be taking his orders from a "he"? You had better inform him that you are to the manor born and are a "she", lol. Of course he'd have to live in, along with Mrs. "Butler" and child - Freeman House would be getting a bit crowded perhaps!

Love tht last duty - taking the pets "walkies" - that's what we Brits do with both babies and doggies!

If my tall, handsome, still single son was more domesticated I'd think seriously about sending him your way!

You are such fun and really brighten up my day, thanks.

melissa @ the inspired room said...

I'd like a butler too. And a personal assistant, please! Oh, and one of those trays. Love it!

Robyn said...

Oh that does sound divine doesn't...a butler. To have someone who knows proper routine and such. And as a presence when he walks in the room. Yes...I think a butler is in high order!

Lallee said...

I want one of those, the butler that is. I knew I was collecting silver trays for a reason. Great find!

grace said...

I've also found that a butler is very handy when hosting a murder mystery party. He's usually always the guilty one, dah-link.

Bill B. said...

Well Brin, Remarkable coincidence!! I just bought a Sheridan Tea Service (minus the tray) that I thought went well with the 1886 house that I am (hopefully) restoring. Although mine was a bit more pricy, being ten dollars from a local thrift shop....ha. I actually ran into your blog while trying to look up the tea service, I only knew that it looked nice, not what it was. A parting thought....if you enjoy what you are doing, it is not work. And I know, restoration is a huge amount of....enjoyment. Although personally, it is a maid that would be my wish.