Monday, May 19, 2014

Naked wood, at last

To the left is my dining room table, which I have not seen in 13 years.

OK, I should explain. I have not seen the top of it in 13 years.

We never had a dining room in our old house. When we moved into the current house, presto! There was the dining room. We had nothing to put in it. It sat naked for a few years, though we finally did see our way to buying a room-sized rug for the spot.

Finally we went to a furniture sale, and bought the table you see to the left. It's a gorgeous dark cherry, which we both love. The minute it was delivered, we stuck the table pad and a cloth on top of it.  Bye-bye, table.

My mother also had a cherry dining table, and was very proud of it. Her table also lived in seclusion beneath the customary pad and cloth. I suppose she thought I might want it, and she wanted to preserve it for me. After she died, as we cleaned out the house, I knew I had to make a decision about whether to take the table.

I pulled off the cloth and pads. There it was, hidden these many years. It was pristine. It looked unused.

It was, however, butt-ugly. I loved my mother, but I hated the table. I sent it off to auction with most of the other dismal mid-century furnishings, which I also hated. That's when I bought my own table.

Two weeks ago, I pulled the tablecloth and the padding off my table. The cloth went in the wash; the pads got stowed under the bed. My husband expressed dismay. He is good at this.

"Put the pad back on! It'll get scratched. We need to protect it for Megan," he said.

"Megan will buy her own, one that suits her," I replied. "I'm going to enjoy this while I'm here. If she really wants to keep it, she can have it refinished."

He looked at me doubtfully. J. is very careful about the family legacy. But I am feeling wild abandon. "I'm going to enjoy it," I said again. "I'm going to get on top of it and tap-dance!"

"Oh brother," he said, rolling his eyes, but in undeniable retreat.

There is a lot of eye-rolling at our house. There's apt to be more before I'm gone!

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