Feb 20, 2010

A Table for Two

The table two for two on Valentines Day, 2010, complete with two chairs, his and hers laptops, the latest copy of Columbus Magazine featuring the best new restaurants in the city, and--serving as reminders of the ever-present new member of the Maycock family--a Cheerios snack case and a bottle of baby lotion.

It sat in a little corner of Bab's tiny second story apartment in a hundred year old house--a tall, black cafe table with matching bar chairs. I suppose in a pinch you could crowd four people around it (if you could rustle up two more bar height chairs), or use it as an hors d'oeuvvres serving table when the apartment was crammed with more people than could possibly fit around any table that could reasonably fit in that shoebox of a place. Of course, one could easily eat alone there, but when you eat alone, you're usually camped on out on the couch with the TV for company rather than a table looking across at an empty chair. No, this really was a table built for two. And that little table was there at the very beginning.

It stood a silent witness, to our early flirtations, our long and earnest conversations,our first kiss. It carried the first meals Barbara prepared for me--a fantastic chef's salad comes to mind as one of the earliest meals I ate at that table. (Even then Babs was the goddess of the greens, a mistress of remarkable salad creations.) It was storage space for wedding paraphenalia in the hectic monts before our Big Day, and on that day, it witnessed a bride and groom flushed with joy hustling past in wedding white and morning coat, and then us passing again dressed casually on the way to their honeymoon. The table served us well in our first year of marriage together. Many times we opted to eat on the couch, but for special occasions--Sabbath lunch, Sunday brunch, and special romantic meals involving candlelight and the promise of passionate dessert afterwards, only the little black table for two would do.

And then we moved to Saipan, and the little black table was dismantled, tossed into the back of moving truck, and stored in the basement of the Leen home in Springboro, OH. It's metal legs were trussed with rope and stowed on a shelf, the round tabletop was rolled into a corner. And there the table stayed, all but forgotten here in America for more than a decade.

When we returned from Saipan, we had a little boy in tow, and there was no need or desire for a table for two. We talked at length about the various types of large dining tables we'd need to buy. The size of the dining room was a vital consideration as we apartment hunted. It needed to accomodate a table that would seat six at least. But once we found that perfect apartment, financial realities set in. We'd need to save up for that perfect dark wood dining set, and in the meantime we needed somewhere to sit. We really only needed a table for two for now, as the Feller still dines in a high chair; and so it was that the little black cafe table was resurrected from it's basement grave, loaded on another moving truck and carted up to a new lease on life in Columbus.

I reassembled (more or less) the table about a week after we moved in, and on the weekend of Valentines Day, 2010, while the Feller played happily on the floor, Babs and I sat down at our table for the first time in a long time.

Once you've been married for awhile, and especially once a child comes along, the idea of table for two seems impractical at best. But I've come to believe that no matter how much life changes, no matter how much the family expands, a married couple needs a table for just the two of them. A child can easily become the center of a man and woman's world, but it's important to remember the love that created that child in the first place. Someone once said the best thing a mom and dad can do for their child is love one another. And so a table for two is not just a romantic luxury, it is a vital necessity for the emotional health of the whole family. That table might be found at a great restaurant downtown while the little one is with a sitter. It might be a picnic blanket on a summer afternoon when the kids are in daycare or off at camp. It might not be a table at all--just some pizza cradled on your laps while you cozy up in front of the TV for a movie after the Feller has gone to bed. However it manifests itself--the table, the time for two is a must.

Unfortunately, our little black table isn't doing so well. I don't think I reassembled it quite properly, and currently it's rather wobbly, the top held precariously in place by just one screw, the other ones having fallen out of the crumbly holes in the bottom of the tabletop. As soon as our budget allows, we'll purchase a proper dining table that will allow us to enterain guests, and eventually allow the Feller to sit with us. In all liklihood, the little black table will be consigned to the trash heap, though maybe, if I can find some longer screws that will stay in place and Babs is willing to endure it's out-of-fashion style, it can find a new lease on life as a patio table out on the balcony or soemthing. Still we'll use it for now, and even if the table doesn't last, I'm confident that the marriage will, as long as we keep making it a priority to find a table for the two of us to share.

Making breakfast on Valentines Day, Sunday, February 14, 2010

Enjoying a Valetines day Brunch for two.

I made Eggs Benedict for the first time. Delicious!

The Short North district in downtown Columbus, OH. On the afternoon of Valentines Day, Babs and I took the Feller over to J and Evelyn's and they watched him for several hours while we had a "date day." We at at the Press Grill on High Street, broweds the galleries and shops in the Short North, and warmed up with some hot coffee from Cup O Joe's.

We were supposed to return the favor to J and Evelyn the next day, when they would leave their son with us in the afternoon while they had a date. However, we got slammed by yet another snowstorm Monday and they decided to take a rain check (or would that be a snow check).

Babs excited to be in the Short North. It's her favorite place in Columbus. She'd live here if we could afford it.

Just the two of us then (at the Centre Meetinghouse, on our wedding day, Sunday, July 27, 1997). . .

. . .and now (at Cup O Joe's in the Short North, Sunday, February 14, 2010).


Mai said...

Great post! I really like the concept - literal or figurative - of having a table for two. And I like how the table has "followed" your journey through life! It was cool to see how it served a different purpose through the different stages of life.....

Ken & Crystal Pierson said...

uumm! we'll be right over for breakfast! looks yummy!

Anonymous said...

Awww! And that table always comes to my mind when someone asks "do you remember where you were when you heard about princess Diana dying? Sad but true I was sitting at that very table. That table has seen a lot. When we come to visit I'll help you get it stabilized for the patio. Don't throw it out!

Love you,
Aunty Dawn