Parenthetically Speaking

The table is…

September 9, 2014



table and chairs


The table is just four legs, (or a pedestal) with a slab of glass, wood or laminate on top. Square, rectangle or round-not much creativity in geometry there!

Of course this four legged thing with the flat slab on top demands chairs, ugh! The chairs are usually a separate purchase.  What a racket!

And those chairs, now we have a dilemma.   What to pick…slipper/side chairs (no arms), captain’s chairs for the ends (so wait, you get to sit at the head of the table and have the better chair with arms?! What kind of madness is that?!).  Cloth or wood.  Take it from a mom of 4, get wood, really dark wood, that can be cleaned (read hosed off) daily.  Forget the ones with fancy scrolling if you have kiddos, mac and cheese, or marinara will surely finds its way to those crevices, ugh and gulp!

And now to place it in a specially designed room called the Dining Room.  What size table did this architect think we would have?  Is this not the smallest room in the house?  Who thought this up? And there is carpet, as if my children will somehow eat better simply because this room has a fancy name? Oh and don’t forget the centerpiece…

So let’s recap.  I have to choose a table and chairs and then squeeze it into an undersized room.  Then I have to convince my family to leave the screens and sit at said table for a meal.  Oh wait am I to cook?

Forget it, I am turning the dining room into an office and you people can eat wherever.  I am protesting this table thing. Forget it.  Forget all those conversations we could of have, forget the memories we could have made, forget the lingering moments. It’s all a bunch of romantic brouhaha anyways!

Or is it?

29 years of marriage and 27 years of raising a family, I can tell you one thing I have learned, the table is the most precious piece of furniture you will ever own.  In fact, it’s magical, (no I don’t believe in magic, but that is such a great word, didn’t you see sudden bursts of pink and purple pixie dust falling when you read ‘magical’?)

Something amazing happens at the table.  Those four legs and flat slab, pulls itself up strong and straight as you set her.  Placemats, napkins, plates forks….paper or plastic, home cooked or take out, your table is ready to host the ensuing conversation.

Your table hears it all, sometimes she gets nicked (I actually have a 12 inch long gouge in my table due to a middle-schooler’s inability to relate cause and effect.  If I cut this on the bare table, it might ruin the table)  or scorched from a hot pan (why dish it up every time?  Come on, just serve it in the pan).

But just the same your table holds up under elbows resting, food being passed, crumbs falling, and condensation dripping from the glasses.

Your table stands firm during arguments (even if a fist or two pounds her surface).  Your table remains steadfast and silent at the telling of the most heart wrenching story, and she releases no squeal of delight at the most exciting news shared (baby on the way, engagement, the mortgage is paid).  No your table simply stands and waits for you to gather around and share life.

So thank your table, (not in front of anyone, they might think you are crazy…)







  • Rebecca D September 9, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Such a sweet & true sentiment… I love dinners around the table and am glad Allie has an “adopted” family in Montana because family dinner was the first thing she missed!

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