There is not a person who lives in this house I think deserves to eat on my dining room table.
If God herself came over, I'd probably be ok with her using it. The Holy Spirit? That would be fine, because spirits do not eat, drink or do things that would scratch a table. I will handle these events on a case-by-case basis.
Jesus? If Jesus came over, I would probably be ok til his boisterous self started to get a little sloppy with the bread crumbs and the wine. Then I'd be like "ok Jesus, let's take this out to the patio table."
The Pastor and I fundamentally disagree on the functionality of the table. The Pastor thinks people should - get this - actually sit around and eat and do things at the table. I think the table should exist solely as an item of beauty. Everyone in this house, they should keep a minimum of a three foot radius of space around the dining room table (and my painting, another story) and they should eat like normal people with their food on a paper towel standing over the kitchen sink.
And have you ever been over to our house? You know, one of those times when we have people over and we eat and talk and watch Cake Boss and play games and have fun? There's something you should know. The fun for me doesn't start until everyone has left and no one is touching or sliding anything across my table.
Why am I writing all this? In the past six months, we had what I like to refer to as "The Great Dining Room Table Debate of 2009." It's a long story but here's the short version: someone used the table, something happened, I cried and people nearly died.
Since then the debate continues. Team Dining Room Table seems to think the answer lies in purchasing an ugly dining room table cover and using the table. Meanwhile, Team Don't Touch My Table has even gone so far as to purchase a table for the kitchen. A used, vintage metal table that people can do whatever they want to it and there's no way they could possibly hurt it.
This morning the Pastor was insisting on me ordering the table pad. I would compare this to an executioner asking the soon-to-be executed which method of death they would prefer. The important parts of the conversation went something like this:
"I hate the table pad."
"I don't care what color is ordered. It does not matter because I will hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate it."
"Every day I see someone sitting at the dining room table doing something on top of that hideous pad, I will be angry."
"I am only doing this because you are making me."
"As soon as the last kid moves out of this house, I am going to go purchase a brand-new dining room set that no one is ever going to use and I will be so happy. Start saving your money now."
I realize this post may make me sound insane, petty, petulant and selfish. I don't care. If that's how you feel, you can gather with the others. They're hovered around the kitchen sink.