You know what today is, right? No, no… not Halloween. I mean, yes, it IS Halloween, but that’s not what I’m talking about. OBVIOUSLY it’s Halloween, and I know that mostly because I spent three hours last night finishing Monkey’s costume, because I am nothing if not a champion procrastinator.
Today is the day our new dining room table and chairs are available for pick-up!
Oh, did I not mention that? About the dining room furniture? I totally meant to. I mean, inbetween NOT buying any furniture because THE MONEY, OH GOD THE MONEY and then HOORAY! IT’S ON SALE NOW! and this other big thing which was potentially going to cost a bunch of money and had me sulking around the house all I JUST DON’T GET TO HAVE ANYTHING NICE BECAUSE I’M A STUPID LOSER (yes, it IS hard being me, why do you ask?) and then that thing turning out to not happen—which sort of felt like FOUND MONEY—we then decided to buy the furniture and I totally meant to tell you about it.
Okay, I think I started that wrong. Let me try again.
Hi! We bought a table and chairs. They are pretty. We can pick them up today. Except, of course, we’re not going to, because it’s Halloween and we will be busy fielding child meltdowns out on a dark street.
The thing is, I really need some powerful motivation to spend a chunk of money. That’s just how I am. A tightwad. I love to shop but I hate to spend. And to spend more than $10 or $20 on something I need to have AN IMPORTANT REASON. Like, children are starving in Africa! Or, I have no pants that fit my ginormous ass! Or, people are coming to dinner!
Last year Otto and I attended an “orphan faculty” Thanksgiving thing at one of his colleague’s houses. This couple doesn’t have children so of course they have both the money and lack of destructive in-house forces that combine to make a house look like a freakin’ museum on the inside. And I don’t mean that it was austere, because it wasn’t, at all. It was just BEAUTIFUL. I want to LICK their decor. The furniture was gorgeous, the various wall art and knick-knacks were all breathtaking and perfectly coordinated, and they hosted something like twenty people with ease while we all walked around and said, “OH MY GOD YOUR HOUSE IS AMAZING.”
(Later we went back to Otto’s house, where the television was sitting on a crate, and still later I went back to my home, where the wall decor consisted mostly of fingerpaintings. Big difference, is what I’m saying.)
Being as how this is the first time that Otto has lived in a place big enough to potentially host a large group of folks for a sit-down meal, he asked me quite a while ago if I’d be up for us hosting the orphan Thanksgiving this year. I had said “of course” immediately, because there’s nothing wrong with having a bunch of people show up at your house with food. But as it got closer and closer to Thanksgiving, I started to worry.
“Um… where are we going to PUT everyone without a dining room table?” I asked.
“We’ll just pull out the kitchen table, and then we’ll set up my table in the dining room,” Otto replied. His table is currently in the corner of the dining room. I will get in trouble if I make too much fun of Otto’s beloved table, but let’s just say that it came from a store that starts with “K” and ends with “Mart.” Perfectly suitable as a kitchen table for a bachelor (which is what it was at his old house), yes, but not quite the impression I was wanting to give for Thanksgiving dinner.
“We’ll just throw a tablecloth over it!” he would insist, seeing my expression of concern.
And maybe it’s shallow (okay, IT’S SHALLOW), but I just couldn’t see having Thanksgiving here and seating folks around two smallish tables, with mismatched chairs, in a room where the previous owners painted some questionable colors OVER the wallpaper, to eat their sweet potato casserole off a wobbly tabletop made of particle board.
(Redoing the dining room walls is a project for next year. I just thought that maybe a nice dining set might divert attention from the walls.)
So we went back and forth. We should buy some furniture! We should wait to buy some furniture! My table will be FINE, Otto would insist, and I would remind him of last year’s Thanksgiving and THAT GORGEOUS HOUSE and how could we have all of his colleagues over to eat on that crummy little table? FINE, he would say, muttering things about my elitist leanings under his breath, LET’S JUST BUY A NEW TABLE. On and on it went.
Finally, I remembered something. I had the money from selling my old dining set, which meant that THEORETICALLY our out-of-pocket expense was that much less. And I really couldn’t stomach the whole Thanksgiving thing without a proper table to put folks at. And the set we wanted went on sale. So we bought it and I only hyperventilated a little when I saw the total.
But we were HAPPY! Because we’d have it in time for Thanksgiving!
Well you’ll NEVER GUESS what happened next.
Otto came home yesterday with a big list of responses to our Thanksgiving dinner invitations. These folks are going out of town. Those folks have relatives coming. This one has plans already. The other isn’t sure what they’re doing, they’ll let us know.
Yeah. So far NO ONE has said “Why YES, we would love to come have Thanksgiving with you on your pretty new furniture, how nice of you to invite us and also to SPEND ALL THAT MONEY so that I can come to your house and eat in a modicum of style!”
Can you believe it? Hmph.