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In Defense of the Well Set Table | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

In Defense of the Well Set Table

Table setting by LT Home Design

Yes, Virginia, there is still room in our lives for a well set table beyond the boards of Pinterest.

In a “good enough” world where many prefer the convenience of paper plates and plastic silverware, sometimes someone has to take a stand. There is a place in this world for “good enough” disposable.

But can’t there also be a place for the beautiful table setting?

I was born with a love for beautiful tables, table clothes, and matching accessories. Taking what I have and making it into a celebration at a dinner table is something that makes me happy.

We all know that kids who grow up in families who sit to eat a family meal together regularly are less likely to engage in risky, self-destructive behaviors. Has anyone ever thought about how a nicely set table can help those dinner conversations? They invite a family to sit, relax, and enjoy conversations.

Is it possible that putting everything paper on a table increases the likelihood of a “git ‘r done with the eatin’ part” mood to finish eating, toss the plate away, and dash out the door? I’m not dissing on the paper. There is nothing wrong with relying on paper.

But many times I hear people mock the person who wants the real plates or tableware. Has anyone ever stopped to think that for people like me, those beautiful tables make us happy? They give us a constructive outlet into which we can steer our creativity.

I have a table cloth fetish. I love them, and nothing makes me happier than new linens that can create an all new look for our table. I like pulling out the china and silver for family gatherings. Isn’t my family worth pulling out our best and using it together?

In England a lifetime ago, my adopt-a-mom ate with her best china, silver, and crystal every day. She told me, “Why would I only save it for a special day? Today is special. I have them and want to enjoy them.”

Her point hammered home to me when our home burned. The family heirloom china I saved for special occasions and rarely used on fear of breaking great grandma whatever’s dish that had been in the family for generations were all in the same cabinet. All the dishes in the cabinet partially melted and adhered to the shelves. I was in the kitchen when the cabinet collapsed, shattering all the china in to shreds.

So much for saving for good occasions. If you have someone in your family who loves to set a beautiful table, why don’t you just say thank you and enjoy the moment?

Life is short. We need to seize the joy and savor the beauty wherever we find it.


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