Meet my husband’s alter ego, Stuart Martha. He comes and goes like a sporadic houseguest and at odd hours of the day and night. He brings me garnished drinks, and occasionally utters a brilliant design-related suggestion. It usually takes a few days for me to process it, but generally Stuart provides sound advice.
When I start a project and get in over my head, Stuart comes to the rescue. He is chivalrous, kind, charming, and is capable of embracing the feminine side of my husband’s personality. I love everything about Stuart Martha.
Once in a blue moon, Stuart and I will have an argument. He does not like flimsy furniture whose beauty lacks function and he does not like to feel crowded in his space. I have to negotiate with Stuart, or nag him until he gives in. This was the case with our dining room table.
Our dining room table was the first significant piece of furniture we ever bought. It was not a cast-off or picked up off the side of the road. When I found it, I was sure I had to have it. We were scraping by and it was tax season. Whatever should we do with that beefy refund? My husband suggested the reasonable and logical path of paying off debts. But where is the fun in that? I wanted this table even though it had no chairs to go with it.
It took less negotiating to end the Korean War than it did to purchase this table. In the end, we both agree that it is a fantastic table. The kids can paint on it, play on it, I can set hot things directly on it, and it never gets water rings. The only drawback is that it weighs about 400 pounds because it is made of concrete and moving it is no fun.
The result of this argument over our dining room table is that usually at tax time, I get to splurge on one thing. It is our compromise. We end up splitting the baby, half for frivolous desires (usually mine) and the other toward our responsibilities. And now the story of this table has evolved. It has travelled with us through thick and thin. And even though it has caused much pain and suffering to every military moving company that has laid eyes on it, it has history. Our history.
Now, this table is at the center of my home witnessing meals and friendship, family and crafts, and games with friends. I am thankful that Stuart has shared it all with me.
© copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio.