Everyone has one. And you might even think you can conjure mine. Perhaps it is a high top and a martini looking out onto an intercoastal waterway. Or maybe it is a rumbling brick wall with a clutched cappuccino, stacks of fashion magazines and other literary highballs at the ready. But no, no, you’d be mistaken. My corner table is actually a small spot of hidden kitchen granite, shrouded securely by the refrigerator. What about the view? It’s unbelievable and not in a good way.
There is a copy of Blink by Malcolm Gladwell in Spanish which was erroneously ordered from Amazon (and credited back to my husband’s MasterCard), yet hasn’t left our corner. There is a composition book with a black lab puppy, stuffed with pre-kindergarten homework, scrawled crazily in defiant penmanship. There are four weeks of inserts from Publix and Winn-Dixie and Aldi’s. All of the sales have passed, yet there they sit. There are discarded inserts from the last few purchases my husband has made; pictograph definitions on how to wear a hood or boots or sun glass straps. Which I would like to think he doesn’t need, nor do I think I will need a refresher on should he ask…There are box tops pulled from taco shells, from cereal boxes, from fruit snacks – those are all mushed against each other in a manila envelope labeled with hasty bold caps “BOX TOPS 4 KIDS’ SCHOOL”!!!
That is not even the worst of it, pals. There are letters that the girls have received and a log of addresses so that they can write back to those friends. There are recipes which, let’s face it – I will never ever try to replicate, though they are beautiful and I have more than 75% of the ingredients. Oh and the magazines. There are at least seven at any given time. Some are earmarked for the library where I will save the O magazines for Kate and donate the rest for the free pick up bin.
Yet there is sadly even more. There are pencils with stubs of metal where an eraser once lived. There are Cd’s that my kids are ashamed I listen to (mostly R&B Hits from the 90’s, in case you were wondering), in a red case gifted to me from Pottery Barn. There are single pieces of puzzles that I can’t find homes for. There are reminders for oil changes, for dental appointments, for physicals, upcoming birthdays and other minutiae.
Sadly (and honestly), there are probably wine corks or bottle caps from those nights where I literally could not deal with life and omniscient fortune cookie wisdom slips when I felt the hand of God was blessing me. Yet there is even more… there are passwords to our turnpike fast pass, there are passwords to our email addresses. There are Christmas cards (and it’s July) from friends who have kids who are now grown – (how could that be?!)…
That is how it builds, that is how it amasses into the table with a view. The view of the roar we usually quiet, a view of our actual chaos, for everyone, or maybe just our sneaky sidekicks, to see. So here it sits, a defiant well-preserved cheerleader to our has been self. Chuckling at my inability to keep house, or keep order. It beckons to me, requesting discipline and it mocks me and my powerlessness to rule in my own domain.
Once in a while I descent, a garbage bag in hand, to decree that I am the ultimate authority and I deftly throw away everything that brings me down. Gone are the scribbled recommendations to “schedule car sitch”, “Bring stuff 2 Goodwill”, “Google Botox costs”, “PS call for Dermatologist co-pay”, “Figure out who the local eyelash extension professionals are” (with a hand drawn SERIOUS eyelash sketch) . I throw out the coupons (some long expired, others I wrestle with before tossing…) until I see river rock, gleaming with the smug satisfaction of forcing out the intruder, a sly eyebrow lift and head tilt in my direction, indicating I should treat myself, for all my hard work and effort, to this table with a view…