Do you have a formal dining room? Do you EVER use it except for holidays? Does it collect dust and “stuff” like mail, books, keys and cellphones more than it collects a hungry, chatty Sunday gathering of family and/or friends?
Or are you like us, in a condo with a small all-purpose table elbowed into the L-shaped space between the living room and the galley kitchen? This is cozy space and works for us as a family of two, but even this table tends to get cluttered with drop-offs and pick-ups. Because our schedules are so erratic, it is often difficult to plan and time a meal. As a result, Scott and I wind up eating on the sofa while watching a TCM we’ve recorded on TiVo. Outside of Christmas and Thanksgiving, the last time I joined in a communal feed fest at a large table was with colleagues at Carmine’s garlic palace in the theatre district.
But things are about to change. I’d like to have people over more often, to have a table to seat them around and not have to rely on a charming, but equally small sideboard for the mandatory buffet-style meal. We don’t have the space, but I’m going to make the space anyway. I have the vision burned in my brain, the track lighting to elongate and re-define the space that will center over a long, but narrow oblong table. I even have the table picked out from IKEA. We will have to pick it up on a very early Saturday morning, before the madhouse shopping traffic of Paramus, New Jersey, can sweep us into the angry vortex of the stacked Route 4/Route 17 interchange. Too bad we can’t go on a Sunday, but Paramus, to save its sanity, never repealed its Blue Laws. I wonder if they sit down to Sunday dinner in Paramus.