"There was a rough stone age and a smooth stone age and a bronze age, and many years afterward a cut-glass age."
We meet Evelyn as she is dumping a "male" friend who, in today's world, would be considered her lover. He probably was, but in 1920, they just did not say that in polite literature. Meet the bowl. It was a wedding gift to Evelyn from another suitor she dumped when she married Mr. Porter.
"Evelyn, I'm going to give you a present that's as hard as you are, and as beautiful and as empty and as easy to see through."
As you might guess Evelyn is a beautiful yet rather shallow person.
The male friend was about to leave but, unfortunately, Mr. Porter is walking up the drive. Evelyn hides her friend in the closet, but when he decides to leave he bumps into the bowl and it gives off a resounding alarm. Busted. As she ages, and Evelyn does age, by 35 her beauty is pretty much gone, and the bowl seems to play a part in every mishap that befalls Evelyn and her family. Payback?