You are only eight years old, so you don’t yet have the life experience to understand the impact of your words, oh, those scathing, mocking words you uttered to me the other day after I threatened bodily harm if you continued to scrape your fork across the tender grain of my kitchen table:
“How come you always call it ‘your’ kitchen table? Daddy bought it. He buys everything.”
It would seem to you that Daddy buys most things around here, wouldn’t it? After all, he is the breadwinner, the bacon-bringer, the… hero. I’m just the cook and the maid and all that other crap I would supposedly get paid $200,000 for if I earned a salary for all the “hats” I wear. But this is not that kind of letter (don’t worry, readers; I wouldn’t do that to you).
My dear Lucas, we will one day have a discussion about how, in the eyes of the law, fifty cents of every dollar your father earns is mine, and how the work I contribute to this household has immense value. We will have those discussions.
But not today. Today, I just need to tell you:
The kitchen table is mine.
It’s mine because, right around the time I discovered that scrumptious piece of hunky wooden artwork on Craigslist, I had just performed with the local orchestra and my earnings were more than enough to cover the cost of the table.
It’s mine because I bought it, with my own money that I earned (and is also half your father’s but we’ll pay no mind to that right now). It’s mine because I searched for months on Craigslist before finding the exact replica (even better!) of the one that was a thousand dollars more in the World Market catalog, and because I went to the trouble of borrowing uncle Gerry’s truck to go to pick it up. (And gave him gas money!)
It’s mine because I used my own muscles to help a pair of beefy teenage football players load it into the back of uncle Gerry’s truck, sort of, I mean, I tried to, they didn’t need much help but I was totally there for them, and I unloaded it and brought it in the house… okay, with your dad’s help but still. He would have stepped on and crushed the remote-control airplane you left in the middle of the floor if I hadn’t been there screaming at him to move to the left, NO, THE OTHER LEFT!!! (Who’s the hero now, son?)
That table is mine because I’m the one who spreads out the plastic cloth so that you sticky booger-machines can smear play-dough, paint, and whatever those weird little colored balls filled with water are called all over the place.
It’s mine because I’m the one who cooks the food that we put on it.
It’s mine because I’m the one who cleans it when you little a-holes forget to use the plastic thingy under your artwork and draw all over it with (washable; thank God I was smart enough to buy washable) markers.
It’s mine because I picked quirky red chairs and an awesome contemporary light fixture to go with it.
It’s mine because I sweep under it.
But most importantly, it’s mine because I love it.
Yeah, that’s right, I’m materialistic and I love a giant piece of wood (that’s what she said; one day you’ll get the joke, sweetie, but not today). And I deserve to to be able to call this table that I love “mine.” I deserve to have one thing in this house be mine and for it to not get destroyed by one of you kids (or Daddy, like he did to our last table) because you absentmindedly drug a sharp metal object across it.
But if you’re still not sure, dear child, whether or not the kitchen table is mine, I have one final, indisputable reason:
Because I said so.
— — — — —
If you liked this post, please share it with those pretty little buttons you see below!