Published Friday, January 04, 2013
There’s a table in my house that has a ton of history. It’s an English Pub table that I bought as an antique many years ago at a sweet little store in Newnan. It had lived more than 100 years in England and I found myself eager to own it.
It was love at first sight. Not only because it was an awesome piece but also because I needed a table that would easily convert to a slightly larger table when needed.
It was the days of The Great Hotdog Famine, that time when we had more house than money due to job changes. Many years later we would discover that the kids thought The Famine was an international condition and not confined to our Moreland address. On their behalf, I must add that without the convenience of Internet browsing it was difficult to confirm either way.
Since it was in The Famine era, I had little cash to buy a table, pub or otherwise. But I loved it and it would be just perfect for my family. So I put it on layaway. And I paid on it forever and a day, until that wonderful moment when I wrote that last check, hauled it to the car and took it home.
The table was perfect then and is perfect now. There are stains all over the top from years of homework, circles from hot summer days of sweating iced tea glasses, and even a black marker that somehow found it’s way off the page of an art project.
But it’s not just the convenient size and even the character of the table that I love; it’s more about what it symbolized then and now.
This table seats two perfectly, but has leaves that snuggle beneath its top, just waiting to be pulled like a drawer. In a matter of seconds it will seat six, or eight to ten if you squish everyone in just right.
Regardless of its capacity to seat more, the table has been positioned to seat two the entire time it has been in my house. It was my very own reminder that when the kids grew up and moved away, Ninja Man and I would be the only two left at that table. It made me more aware of keeping our identity so that when that day came, we might not lose who we were as a couple.
Seeing a table for two every day was worth those short moments it took to set it up for dinner by pulling out the leaves. I was forever reminded that he is my sweetheart.
During our hardest financial times I’d set that table with a candle and wine glasses for date night. The meal was never memorable and we rarely had more than Kool-Aid but the moments were unforgettable. Sometimes we’d play board games with the kids, everyone gathered around that table, just laughing and having some family time.
Today that little English Pub table sits adjacent to the huge island in my kitchen. It is marred, scarred, blemished and stained and I love it.
Ninja Man prepared a wonderful meal on New Year’s Day. There was steak from the grill, shrimp and lobster. I whipped up a salad and we placed it all on the little table. First our blessing and then the meal, and in short time we were finished and the table was empty again.
Once I’d cleaned the kitchen, I wiped down the old table with a dishcloth. It creaked a bit as I paused to run my hand over the old stains. I pushed one chair into place, then the other and glanced across the room at my husband.
I smiled. It’s just like I thought it might be. I’ll have that table for two, please.