Friday, November 26, 2010
Raise your hand if, when you were a kid, everyone fit around the dining room table for thanksgiving. If you raised your hand, I think you are in the minority. Most of the people I know put the young ones at a separate table – the kids’ table – because there is not enough room around the kitchen table. And if you had small rooms in your house, like the one where I grew up, the kids’ table wasn’t even in the same room.
I used to think, man, I can’t wait until I’m older so I can sit at the adult table and listen to adult talk. I remember joining the grown-ups for one year and quickly decided that the kids’ table was more fun. If the kids couldn’t be at the big table, I didn’t want to be either.
Ever since I was one of those kids, segregated to a different room whenever there was a large family gathering, I dreamed of having a dining room big enough to accommodate all the guests. One big table like they have in TV shows and on the Hallmark channel.
Well, I don’t have a dining room big enough. I can sit eight comfortably around my dining room table, and can put two more at the kitchen counter, a card table in the hallway. Not what I had pictured all those years ago.
Suddenly, about four years ago, I think, I had an epiphany. I don’t have a big enough dining room, but I have a big enough living room. It was only through the good-naturedness of my husband and my son, that every thanksgiving morning since then, the dining room table gets dragged into the living room, muscled through three doorways. Aunt Helen’s little side table with its amazing features pulls out to six feet. And the two tables combined comfortably fit as many people as I need it to. Chairs don’t match and some of the silverware has questionable origins (i.e. a dorm in Madison from the 1980s), but we are all at one table in one room. Not quite as pretty as TV, but it works for me.