Oh. My. Goodness. Wherever did you go with that headline? I am talking about setting a table to sit down and dine.
Yes, dine! You know: forks, knives, plates and napkins on a table. As opposed to eating out of the to-go container using plastic forks, or throwing the pizza box in the middle of the table with a roll of paper towels. Dine…rather than dig in, chow down, throw down, pig out, or slam something.
I’ve worked as a hair-stylist most of my adult life, and with one brief and beautiful exception at Zan Ray Salon, lunches were always quickly eaten on a break, while standing-up. When my stomach finally began to bother me, my doctor inquired, “How do you eat your meals?” I told him. He advised me to always sit down when I eat. “It signals the body to relax,” he said. It also puts us in a frame of mind to appreciate our food.
If you look up “how to lay a table,” you will find the commonly accepted way looks something like this photo on the left. Why would you bother?
- Because life is short.
- Because food is the fuel that nurtures you – if it doesn’t deserve a plate, maybe you shouldn’t be eating it.
- And because you deserve to eat in a nice setting! I have to add one more thing: don’t save the “Fine China” for special occasions. Who is more important than you? What is more important than the fact that you are alive today?
I arranged to interview my friend Karen Louise recently, (more on that in another blog) and she said she’d open a bottle of wine for us. Imagine my surprise when I walked in and was greeted by this perfect table! We sat and talked, lingering for hours. I haven’t felt so relaxed in ages. And I felt tres chic and honored by her careful attention! (I’d love to see how she does “formal,” and wonder if there’s room at her Christmas table?)
Next time you get ready to eat, take an extra minute to lay a place at your table. Make it as simple, or sexy as you like. Remind yourself, and the people you’re with, that you are precious! Pass the good food, and share the love!
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