Tuesday, 17 July 2012

What a Difference a Table Makes

If you asked me two years ago about the significance of a kitchen table I would have been intrigued by such a strange question, but only after staring blankly in confusion for a few seconds.

Recently, I found myself in a position to answer that very question. Having spent the first 5 months in the castle without a kitchen table, we eventually put aside enough of Queen Elizabeths finest tender to purchase one. Nothing special, just an Argos plain-and-simple table with four chairs. The surprise in all of this was the degree of difference it made to the apartment relative to the financial outlay. One cannot quantify such things, but you can take my (subjective) word on it that the former far out-weighed the latter. Shock, horror! But is it a shock?

Yes, the obvious benefits are that we no longer eat our meals from our lap on the couch, and I can use the computer on it too. But, there are a lot of symbolic reasons in the mix as well. I think these are the ones that caught me by surprise - even if I didn't know it at the time. 

Having thought about my table with pride, I subconsciously teased out some of these reasons. Firstly - and most obvious - is that it represents the pride the working man feels when something of relatively significant financial outlay is saved up for and eventually purchased. More subtly, it's a symbol of growing up. Before I moved to Sheffield, the majority of those in my friendly circles lived with their parents: they never owned a table. Being able to say I own a table is a big deal for me then, a sign of growing up, making my own way. I like that. To point out the already inferred, it's a first for me, possessing a table. It's something I never needed to do before because there was always one at home, a possession that was almost exclusive to adults. I have been legally an adult for some time now, but owning a table of my own makes me feel more than that: now I feel like a real one.

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