Thursday, March 18, 2010

Supper -also known as Dinner

     I will set a table to make Martha Stewart and Amy Vanderbilt proud. The fine laced linen tablecloth and napkins and the good china and silverware will be ceremoniously retrieved from the special cabinet. Crystal clear long stemmed glasses for water and wine will stand their post. Place cards with everyone’s names will be imprinted with fancy script. The room will be abuzz with circled conversations, laughter and squeals of hello as new dinner companions arrive. A gentle tinkle of the dinner bell will signal that dinner is served and the aromas from the kitchen will lead everyone to the table.
     Only … I do not have a fine linen tablecloth. My tablecloth is plastic and the closest thing to lace would be the occasional dog or cat hair that may be hanging from its edge. Paper towels are used for napkins, but they are the extra absorbent ones. I have a mismatched combination of jelly glasses and souvenir glasses and one semi long stemmed wine glass, a gift. The only resemblance my chipped plates of various patterns have to china is the country of their origin. I do not cook but I can do take out. The dinner bell will most likely be the ding from the microwave and unless we’re eating popcorn, not sure Lean Cuisine or frozen mini pizzas will arouse much of an aroma. All the place cards, written with a Sharpie, will read ‘guest.’ And a ‘but’ to offset the ‘only’s’ will be that elbows on the table are optional and expected.
     Some guests will mingle, eat and go, answering the call of other commitments and interests. Others will linger and savor the store bought cookies, wine and coffee. Some of the guests will not notice that others have left as they laugh and talk in the kitchen while washing the dishes. As the evening approaches dawn, a few will still be gathered, shoeless feet folded on the chairs and sofa, loosened belts from too much food, caught in the undertow of rapid conversation, laughter, followed by silence and appreciation and then launched yet again.
     May we all partake of life’s supper (dinner) invitation, whatever its setting. Greet each other and savor the time we have together. And to those whose stay is all too brief, we raise our glasses and wish you bon appetit!