Monday, November 16, 2015

5 dining tables!!!

At this moment, in my house, I have 5 dining tables - and, let me see, 30 chairs. No, I'm not kidding, not even a little bit!! And why do we need so many? - well, that's the thing - we really don't!! There's 3 of us - 4 if you count Sunny, but he prefers the couch, anyway - so 3 people, 30 chairs - something doesn't add up there, does it?? Definitely a story waiting to be told here!!!

So, way back when, we bought our first furniture together as a newly-married couple, and a charming little dining table was one of the first things we picked out. Yes, the one Ajey was dismantling to pack in our air shipment. It was more of a dinette set really - 4 chairs, a metal framework, and a rectangular glass top with scimitar sharp edges that I had permanent bruising - what, I'm clumsy, I bump into things, and sharp edges leave bruises!! This was our main dining table in our Grenoble house as well, and Manasi, being apparently more well co-ordinated than me, managed not to have any serious run-ins with the table top!!

In Grenoble, we had a beautiful backyard, with a spectacular view of the Alps - we spent a lot of time outside, and a patio table was essential. So that was our 2nd table - and we upgraded to 6 chairs this time. We did have a lot of family and friends visit us here, and the weather was mild enough in our little valley, that we could use this patio table almost year round!! This one was glass top too, but no sharp edges!! So when we moved from Grenoble to Chennai, the count was - 2 tables, 10 chairs!!

Chennai was where Ajey and I bought our 'grown-up' furniture - actually, most of the furniture we have right now, all came from Chennai!! The arrival of our magnificent, Burma teak dining table relegated our little dinette to an upstairs sitting area, where it languished in a corner for almost 3 years!! The latest addition to our table family - an intricately carved solid wood base, and a thick glass top, with fancy etching and curved corners - 8 chairs for this one!! Anyone keeping count?? We're upto 3 tables, 18 chairs!!

I was ready to sell the little dinette set in Chennai - we didn't really use it, plus the upholstery on the chairs was faded and worn-out, and the sharp edges were still a menace!! But this was India, and anything and everything can be fixed or modified!! So the treacherous rectangle was transformed into a graceful oval, new fabric and a fresh coat of paint refreshed the chairs - and voila, our little dinette had metamorphosed into an elegant breakfast table!! And our next 2 houses - in Peoria and Suzhou - both had a separate formal dining area and a breakfast nook, and a patio - so all 3 of our tables had their own spot, and were used quite regularly!!

And that would have probably been the end of our dining table story - except that ever since we moved to China, Ajey has had a hankering for a round Chinese style dining table, with one of those revolving Lazy-Susans in the middle. And I have been dead against it - no, I have nothing against round tables, but seriously, didn't we have enough tables already??!! Still, Ajey has been looking into furniture shops, and trying to talk me into it - and every time he came back from a company dinner with those huge round tables, he was even more convinced that we needed a round table!!

I finally agreed to look at tables with him - only after we knew we would be moving soon. I did want to buy a piece of 'Chinese' furniture, and the table seemed to be a good option - on one condition, I would sell the little dinette!! And it seemed almost preordained - after days of turning up my nose at every table that Ajey suggested - a couple of months ago as we were browsing in Suzhou's gigantic Furniture Town, Ajey and I both converged on this table at the same time - hey, this could actually work!! The decision to buy was instant - and table number 4 was ours, with 6 chairs to go with it!!

The Chinese table!!

And so much for selling the first table - not only did I have zero buyers, our sentimentally kicked in - so we decided to keep that one as well. Our patio table, on the other hand,  has braved the inclement weather and pollution in China, and is way beyond all hopes of salvage. But we do need a patio table - my good friend, MW, the Queen of Taobao to the rescue - and we had a brand-new wicker patio set delivered in 2 days!! Table 5 - bringing up the chair count to 30!!! But we will definitely leave our old patio table behind - so by the time we move, we'll be down to only 4 tables and a mere 24 chairs!!!

We're looking forward to entertaining friends and family at our new house, quite soon!! And wherever we may live, one thing is certain - we'll never be short of seats for our guests, and there will always be a place at the table(s) for unexpected company!! Cheers!!!

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