Jun 22, 2005

The Story of the Table Cloth

I remember as a little girl asking my Mom why she didn’t buy a new holiday table cloth. The one we had was Irish lace and a gift from my Nana Banks (for those of you not from the Midwest, Nana is used for great grandmothers). The thing is, there were stains everywhere on that table cloth. Gravy and cranberry sauce, wine and whiskey, a very unfortunate blob we traced back to a sherbet punch and my two year old brother. I knew she could get a new cloth that would look better with the “special” dishes and fancy silverware. Her reply was, “Someday you’ll understand.” <>
In my twenties I threw lots of parties. They were catered and the cleaning service came in beforehand. I went through a lot of tablecloths. Tossed them away without a second thought.

Now I like to do my own thing when we have company coming. Sometimes it’s Spaghetti on the stove, sometimes it’s more complicated.

Last winter my husband and his sister Diane surprised me. I woke up one morning and there was a table where there used to be a desk.

I bought seat cushions for the chairs, placemats, and a table cloth. It wasn’t the right size and I bought another. The first table covering became the “everyday” cloth and the second was the “company” cloth.

I pulled out the company cloth for Saturday night. Ironed even. And as I was ironing, I spotted STAINS.

A wine ring (eke), a spot of jelly (?), Chocolate (a word that should always be capitalized), and something that looked suspiciously like spaghetti sauce. The first thing that popped into my head was, “damn it, I don’t have times to go to Kohl’s.”

And then I remembered the wine ring was from Reed, the jam from Jennifer’s French toast, the chocolate came from Heidi, and I think probably the sketti sauce was care of Bryan Q. I began to remember the break fasting I’d partaken with these people. The camaraderie and friendship made me smile and I looked for other stains. The cloth was put on the table for Saturday evening.

I pulled the cloth out of the dryer today and found that Saturday’s birthday candle wax had not only not come out it had spread. And I smiled again. Memories of two people I’d love to share birthdays with every year and the family that was there with us.

I get it Mom, I get it!

Let the stains begin!

Ruth

1 comment:

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