In my apartment, space is a valuable commodity. I have shoes stacked on top of shoes, laundry baskets doubling as filing cabinets and overflowing bookshelves that have to be regularly purged.
But there is one piece of furniture that takes up far more space than it’s worth. The Dining Room Table. Also known as a dinner table, this docile creature was once a hub of household activity. As a child, my family and I would sit around it for not one, but usually TWO meals every day, to eat, talk and enjoy each other’s company. My sisters and I would sit at the dinner table doing homework, eating a snack or planning some great business venture (these were almost exclusively ideas revolving around us re-selling our Halloween candy at a “Candy Stand” in our front yard.)
But after high school graduation, something happens. You go to college, or move out to a ghetto place and meals become a very different thing. You eat a cupcake in your bed for dinner or a bag of Doritos in class. In the unlikely case that you even have one in college, at that point in time the dinner table is more likely to double as a kind of “closet” where you can just keep heaps of clothes in a pile of chaos.
Post post-secondary, or after you finally have some kind of job and can get your own place, you will probably better your eating habits and you will probably get some sort of dinner table. My husband and I have a lovely wooden one that was left here by a previous tenant. Because, we can’t just, not have a table, right? What are we, savages?
Here’s the thing. We still don’t use it. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. It makes a nice junk drawer. When I enter the apartment I throw my keys, purse and jacket there. And on the off chance that we have friends over to eat or play nerdy board games, it really comes in handy. But we don’t sit down to have meals there. And honestly, most friends my age don’t. I mean, we’ll eat while we’re on our laptops, or watching Mad Men, or sprawled on the couch. Or at a restaurant, or on our way somewhere. One time my husband and I actually made a stirfry at home, threw it in disposable containers and ate it on the subway on our way to a concert. (I’m not trying to make it seem like I go to tons of concerts, I don’t, I’m not nearly as cool as you think). In my life, I’m more likely to eat dinner in a subway car than at my dinner table.
What’s funny to think about is that when our parents were our age, they probably ate dinner at the dinner table, even in their twenties. It’s not like they were browsing Facebook eating a pizza pocket. As a young married couple, my parents probably utilized daily the very table I’ve been ignoring. As an Urban twenty-something, the dinner table is not a regular part of my life, and that’s okay.
I assume that this all changes when you have kids, but that’s still quite a few years away. So I’ve decided to implement “Family Dinner” once a week at my apartment. Every Tuesday night I set the table (remember setting the table??), make a nice dinner and then me, my Husband and my BFF Adele all sit down for a meal the civilized,family way- at the table.
Kristy LaPointe is an actress, writer and comedian from Toronto. She is 1/2 of the duo Hot Cousin Productions who you can stalk on youtube: youtube.com/hotcousinproductions She tweets hald hearted jokes @kristylapointe and once had a dream that she beat Joss Whedon in an episode of Iron Chef, so there’s that.