with equal parts compassion & hilarity

A Few Thoughts on Owning a Table

I recently purchased a table. High top, 4 chairs. Thrifted for $60. I was even able to get 10% off because it was Flower Power day (not joking).

I went without a table in my apartment for almost five months (wow!). Honestly, it felt more like a waiting room than an apartment because I don’t have couch either – just chairs. In the short time that I have owned this table (three weeks) I’ve realized a few noteworthy amazing benefits about tables:

  • Tables exude stability. I feel so much more mature than I did three weeks ago. Like, welcome to my apartment. I can make a frozen pizza and we don’t have to eat it on the floor because I legitimately do live here. Yes, that’s right, I have a table.
  • Tables and their chairs are wonderful objects to nonchalantly catch the various items of clothing I tend to fling across my apartment. Oh, this flannel shirt I’m wearing that is suddenly making me SO WARM I FEEL LIKE I COULD DIE OF HEAT EXHAUSTION? Let me just dramatically and very not gracefully rip this cotton goodness off. I’ll throw it across my efficiency while further exerting my dominance over the inanimate flannel: “I don’t want you within an inch of my presence!” or “Don’t even think about showing your red and black plaid self around here again. We are so over!” (and then I get cold 87 seconds later).
  • Tables are nice for when I write.
  • Tables are handy for eating. Obviously. (Seriously, don’t you know anything about tables?!)

Perhaps my favorite thing about tables is a combination of the last two bullet points. I feel privileged in my ability to write my deep thoughts and eat animal crackers at the same time. I reserve eating animal crackers specifically for when I need to process deep thoughts. An example of such would be setting aside time to fully reflect on what I have learned since purchasing a table (AKA: this blog post).

Another example would be creating a T-Chart to determine whether I really do actually like this guy I’ve known for only two weeks or if I just am gushing at the combination of how he has a shiny truck, rides a Harley and tells me that I am a “great gal”. Okay, I’m joking. Or, am I serious? Can you tell the difference? I can barely tell anymore.

[Side note: T-Charts are great decision making tools. I learned that in the best class I have ever taken: Small Group Communication with Nan Gesche. Nan helps people play well together. Nan is amazing.]

Anyway, it is safe to conclude that tables are great though to be completely transparent I was a little bit uncertain about buying a table. Sure, it’s just a table I know. But it took me five months. Who takes five months to buy a table for their apartment?!

So, I’ve been analyzing both the table and myself which I tend to do frequently. My conclusion is that the reason it took me five months to purchase a table is because I was afraid. I was not afraid about the way a table would look in my apartment or how the chairs would collect pounds of clothing or even about trying to figure out a way to fit the table through the door (pivot, pivot, pivot!).

I was afraid because of what a table represents. In my bullet point list I talked about how a table exudes stability. Not only do I find that humorous, I find it to be true. A table does represent some degree of stability. First occupying space in my apartment, my table represents community, center and a familiar security in how it is a common place to drink coffee every morning and invite people over for either a friendly Sunday evening game of Go Fish or a cutthroat game of poker.

My table also occupies virtual space in my life where I often feel somewhat uncertain. Let’s get real here – show me a twenty-something who doesn’t feel somewhat uncertain and I’ll teach you something great like how to suck at cooking vegetables or how to knit a hat! When I bought the table I bought it knowing I probably would not move out of my apartment for a while, that I would probably be at my new job for at least a few years, and that Fargo would probably continue to win me over.

I was holding off on buying the table because I think I was waiting for something glamorous to happen to me – maybe a wonderful job offer in an exotic place would randomly appear in my email inbox on a Thursday afternoon or I would feel prompted to move across the world to help people achieve the first level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maybe I was even waiting to meet a brilliant, wealthy and kind young man hailing from a small Icelandic town. Naturally, our love would grow, we would marry soon because that indescribable “you just know feeling” happened right away, and then we would split our time between our two places of origin.

Even though that last thought seems like the most developed, I promise it’s actually the last thing I was waiting for. Like, I just came up with it right now. I think I was waiting for exciting adventure and a fully personalized career to collide, fall in my lap and I would be on my way. I absolutely did want want to buy a table until I was certain I wouldn’t need to move it out in a few short months. So, yeah, it was like I was living in a waiting room.

I eventually realized that God put me in Fargo for a reason although it has taken me a long time to come to terms with that reality. I felt a bunch of emotions all the time as I asked “Mom, what am I doing with my life?”, “Best Friend, what are the answers to life?”, “Hair Stylist, do you think watching two Ted Talks a day will help me figure out what to do with my life?”, and “God, where do you want me?

Honestly, I don’t have much of a clue. You know what I do know though? I know I am in Fargo, North Dakota. I know I am here sitting in my apartment writing and eating cold leftover scrambled eggs from this morning at my table. I know that God has a plan and Fargo seems to be where things are happening for me. I know that buying a table has been good and that it has been a lot easier to not live in a waiting room.

And, I could keep digging apart so many different elements of this post, but, at some point, you just gotta stop analyzing, have a little faith and a buy yourself a damn table.

One final thought and two closing questions:

  1. I want you to remember things that are great include, but are not necessarily limited to T-Charts, trucks, motorcycles and when people say nice things.
  2. Where are you right now? I hope you’re not living in a waiting room.
  3. Do you need to buy yourself a table?

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