It’s probably a few steps beyond normal, but I owned a dining room table before I even had a house to put it in. The dining room set was the first purchase I ever made at a live auction and I was thrilled. For $125, I had a two-tone mahogany table that opened to seat twelve, complete with chairs and a buffet. During the years that it resided in a barn, I had grand visions of elegant dinner parties where the table would be set with the fine China I got as a wedding gift, lace tablecloth, cloth napkins, and all. Floral arrangements would complement the decor and crystal glassware would sparkle with the reflection of candlelight. It’s probably telling that these grand visions never included actually cooking the food or washing the dishes! In truth, that dining room table has been graced with a lot of styrofoam plates and plastic cutlery over the years while hosting chaotic family birthday parties with Kool-aid served in sippy cups.
The kitchen table is where the real eating takes place in my house so, while the kids were growing up, the dining room table became sort of a lost and found, catch-all, overflowing junk pile. If I didn’t have time to put something away, I sat it on the dining room table. School projects, library books, my sewing machine, the stack of mending, etc. all lived in the dining room. I got quite good at moving the piles to a bedroom if we needed the table for its intended purpose.