Like many single men, I live in an apartment. Like many single men in a big city, I live in a small apartment. I don't have a dining room, I have an elongated living room that I've divided into two areas with a couch. This means that I usually eat my meals at my coffee table. I realize this is probably not that attractive, but I must take pains to point out that it is definitely several steps above eating Kraft macaroni and cheese from a pot over the sink.
I began working again in December, and decided that for the first time in my adult life it was time to own a dining table. I have two gorgeous cherry wood barstools with full backs that I uh, "misappropriated" from a movie set some years back. I decided that I needed to find a cherry wood pub table so that I would not have to add chairs to my list of purchases. I found the perfect one at, of all places, Target. It arrived this week and it looks great.
Tonight I decided it was time to eat like an adult and break the new table in. I made chicken parmesan, perhaps my favorite meal. As I sat at the table, I DID feel like an adult. But something was missing. When I ate at the coffee table, it was all about the food. Eating at a coffee table means you sit on the couch and look to the television on the opposite side. Television is a great date. It's frequently funny and charming, and it makes dinner go down easy.
When you eat at a dining table, you don't sit on the couch. You sit in a proper chair. Television is not on the other side. Another proper chair is on the other side. An empty one. Television doesn't judge you. It doesn't say anything about you. It's your friend.
An empty chair on the other side of the table does say something about you. It speaks volumes without saying a word.