The other day I was saying to Tudor that I thought I’d have everything all figured out by now, and yet still, I am constantly struggling with seemingly simple household dilemmas. For example, we are having our basement finished starting on Monday, and I’m all in a tizzy about What People Do when they are having work done. Like, are you required to be here all the time that they are here? Or is it okay if I go shopping or to a business meeting? Should I give them a key, or should I be here to greet them each day? Should I offer them coffee/snacks/lunch? What if I’m not here to feed them?
Most importantly: do I need to actually get dressed each day? Or are my standard couture – pyjamas – acceptable?
It’s all just so awkward.
In other news, I am having a serious issue with our kitchen table, and what to cover it with. The entire time we have been in this house, it has been covered with a series of cheap, ugly, eye-searingly bright plastic tablecloths. They’re smelly and unattractive, but can’t be beat for table protection. Our kitchen table is the only table surface in the house – my office desk is perma-buried under a foot of stacked magazines and bills, our dining room is actually a big toy closet, and we don’t have a coffee table. So that means the kitchen table, on any given day, hosts three separate meals, does all the homework, is the site of many colouring and gluing type crafts, is a LEGO and Playmobil centre, and is our games table.
The plastic tablecloth is the only thing I have found that works in that a) I don’t care if it gets coated in glitter glue, b) it’s hard and flat enough for people to write on, but protects the table from pen impressions, c) doesn’t shift around, and d) wipes clean quickly and easily between events.
And yet, I hate the plastic tablecloth. I have earned the right, I feel, for a more grown-up table.
So this past week I threw out the tablecloth, but I just cannot get the hang of how to work the table without it. We’ve tried cloth coverings and placemats, but both don’t work well with the crafts or homework, and plus the table took a ton of damage in just a handful of days. I love the table so much – it’s a cheapy IKEA table, hence the quick damage and terrible, terrible lack of actual finish on the thing – but it’s the perfect size and shape for the space, plus has two leaves that store inside it so it can handle big events with ease.
So today I broke down and spent over an hour picking out a crappy plastic tablecloth at Bed Bath and Beyond. Now it is over there being crappy and smelly on my table and I hate it, and yet I can’t think of anything else to do.
Plastic tablecloths, oh how I wish I could quit you!
What do you keep on your main table surface, and how does that work?