Family Dining

Day 4’s Zero to Hero assignment is all about being sociable. In today’s society, this tends to mean how many friends you have on Facebook, or how many tweets you can fire off in a day. Personally, I prefer the face-to-face approach, especially where family is concerned. To me, there’s no better way to be sociable than to share a meal together trading stories and news.

Dining as a family is something my wife and I strive for, but haven’t yet fully achieved. Don’t get me wrong, we have all the correct equipment (tables, chairs, crockery and cutlery) but have never eaten together at our own dining table.The issue had come to a head just prior to Christmas. The key instigator was our eighteen-month-old son.

In an effort to encourage him to eat in a civilised manner, we thought that sitting together at the dinner table presented itself as the ideal forum. However, before this could be made reality, two obstacles needed to be overcome: firstly, the table was covered in every imaginable object that failed to fit within the limited storage available in our kitchen; and secondly, said table was of poor quality and not fit to eat off.

The solution: we buy a new table.

After days of searching, my wife found one of suitable quality and, more importantly, a reasonable price. We promptly bought it.

But what to do with the old one? I’m not the sentimental type when it comes to furniture. It is there to serve a purpose and when it ceases to do so, it’s superfluous. I have no qualms about throwing it away. My wife, on the other hand, has a more practical and environmentally sound head than I. She saw the solution: sell it.

Very soon, she’d set to work, advertising the table for sale and vetting potential customers. The only problem was the distinct lack of interested parties. It seemed the passive approach had failed. I fell back on an old favourite: scrap it. But no, not to be defeated, my wife went on the offensive and began to answer the wanted ads of people looking for furniture.

Finally, a result. An email arrived from a potential buyer who needs to furnish a rental property as cheaply and quickly as possible. She’s keen to do business. Emails fired back and forth; photographs, dimensions and price are all discussed. My wife attempted to sweeten the deal with a redundant TV stand currently taking up much needed space.

‘She’s interested,’ my wife announced.

‘Excellent. When does she want to pick it up?’

‘After Christmas, end of January.’

I’m already thinking logistics; the need to move the old table to make room for the new. Is it worth the effort for a couple of weeks?

‘We’ll get the new table in and I’ll build the chairs up, then we can finally start having meals together, ‘ I said.

‘Great!’ My wife said, then asked, ‘By the way, does the wardrobe dismantle?’

‘Erm…yes, why?’

‘No real reason,’ she said, ‘I just sold her it as well.’

So now, our weekends are spent searching for a wardrobe to replace the one we already had and all before the end of January.

And what’s more, the woman doesn’t even want the table now.

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