Fifty years ago my grandfather was given a present: a square bridge table. You could tell how much he loved it by the wear and tear written on its surface.
Fast-forward 25 years from when he got his beloved table, and he gave it to my mother. She put it in the closet. It stayed there for 20 years until I bought a condo and needed some extra seating. I used it once and put it in my closet. It stayed there for years until we moved into our house in 2007. Suddenly we had no kitchen table and no idea what kind of table we wanted. So it made sense as a temporary solution. Throw a few nice tablecloths on and it was perfect.
Five years later, it was still our kitchen table.
Oh, and those tablecloths that seemed like a great way to hide the rusty, painted, crayon-covered disaster of a table, now had glitter glue all over them as well. There was no way to hide it—we had a totally trashy house as long as this monstrosity sat in the middle of my kitchen.
“I really want to get a kitchen table,” I repeated ad nauseum. But my family had this strange attachment to the table. Somehow my husband had grown to love the fact that it was from my grandfather, who has since passed on. And my son Max just hates change, period. My daughter Sami really didn’t care either way, but as long as Max was saying he didn’t want a new table, she’d join his campaign to keep it.
Two weeks ago, I had some friends over who had never been to my house before. My husband passed me in the hallway beforehand and said, “Did you warn them that we have a white trash house?” I was horrified. They had never been to our house and although I would never present myself to be the perfect mom or housewife to them (they already know better), I was hoping to give the impression that we at least had good taste. Surely this table was going to blow my cover.
So I called my friend. “Hi, Becca, um, I know this is weird, but I just wanted to warn you that we haven’t “finished” decorating our house.” She was nice about it. Told me they care about the company and not the furniture. But I knew she’d change her mind if that tablecloth fell off.
My strategy was to keep their mouths busy and divert their eyes across the room whenever possible. So I kept feeding them wine, dinner and the dessert my husband made from scratch. I hope it worked.
The next day, I started my campaign for a new table. I had to out-reason everyone. Within a week I got my wish. But as soon as the table arrived, my son started crying. He wanted the other table to stay in our house. And my husband Scott started talking about how much he loved that table because it was a legacy from my grandfather. So I realized that although it was an absolutely disgusting monstrosity in my kitchen, it was too important to give away.
So where is the table now? It’s a craft table in the basement. And you know what, it’s perfect down there—glitter glue, crayon stains and all.