It would seem as though I have a really long way to go in this whole becoming-a-woman-of-domestic-means thing, and I don’t mean in the sense that I feel the need or am obligated to provide some gender-based structure to mealtime or when doing laundry or whatever, I mean, sometimes I think that I really don’t have my shit together. Like, when I just bought this vase/pitcher/thing but completely dismissed the voice in the back of my mind that reminded me that what we really needed was placemats. Totally. Domestic. Placemats. Not. Pitchers.
See, I’ve never owned placemats. Don’t get me started on tablecloths or runners, I don’t have those either. My mom owned/owns tons. Table was made every night. I’d say that I’m comparing myself pretty critically against what she’s been working on for the last 38 years, but I’m still just making the effort to bring my meal to the table rather than eating it on the edge of the couch as I try to answer emails. I shouldn’t say it’s like that most nights, we are making an unified effort to eat at our mahogany dining room table now that the weather has started to cool off, trying hard to cut ties from the computers now and again to have a semblance of a normal lifestyle, but now that the formal table is in use, we’re realizing how hard it is to keep clean.
Placemats, come to find, are as important as us finding and buying 15 floor lamps to help light the house. We can’t do a damn thing on the table without leaving a spot from a piece of dropped rice to a grease schmear from taco night, and it took at least 4 instances of having milk ring around the base of the breakfast cereal bowl (the damaging result of an overboard Cheerio) to remind me that I had bought these friendly plastic placemats at IKEA last year. So, good. The kid is covered, when I remember to pull one out for her, but for the rest of the adults who feel a little juvenile eating over plastic mats? Right. So tablecloths, a big deal. God save the mahogany. I have to get my act together immediately.
Right in the same to-do list category, I’ve had coasters listed for awhile, because if you thought grease schmear was bad, think again. I’ve never owned coasters either–I’m a TOTAL disappointment to housekeepers and Grandmas everywhere–but this I suppose is because I’ve never owned fragile or easily damageable furniture. The thing is, this table? It’s the first thing I’ve owned that shows damage. Not using a coaster (or a makeshift coaster out of a magazine, piece of junk mail, or a West Elm fabric sample–no the couch has not arrived yet, they still have three weeks) is a mistake you only make once on a mahogany dining table, and I can still see the watermark as evidence of that one time error. I must have been wearing this watermark stress on my sleeve, because friends of ours who without knowing of my coaster woes mailed us Berner coasters for fun, and consequently made my entire summer. Who knew? It was then I knew that I needed more big girl coasters.
And then, when I least expected it (like finding cute clearance priced shoes in size 9, or an online coupon code for free shipping), I struck sale-section gold in Anthropologie, and scooped up four super-uber-mod plastic coasters for only 95-cents each (discounted from $8/each, get real!).
They’re perfect. And in a big way, the perfect little complement to the home decor plan that we’ve been starting to roll with around here. Colorful, modern, and very cool, all while solving a seriously big problem in our lives, saving our table, saving my sanity, and slowly beginning to make me an all around better domestically-inclined human being.
(Anyone else out there find these at the great price? They were still in stock as of Monday at Eastview, Rochestarians.)