[Mr. and Mrs. Monday] Tablecloths Cause Talks


Our kitchen sits on one wall. A small counter, a sink and a stove, all in one row. Small, it is, but opportunistic as well. Considering we have such limited counter space, we recently put a table in front of the stove to help. And whereas my chopping and seasoning would benefit from a little extra table space, I couldn't help but see an opportunity to save my knees. 

You see, in Korea, most apartments don't have a dining room. They don't need space for a dinner table because the majority of meals are eaten at a coffee table while everyone sits on the floor. Unfortunately, my history with sitting indian style on the floor for more than 15 minutes stopped with story time on the back rug in 1st grade. 

Inflexibility plagues my lower half. 

When I saw a new table in our small kitchen area, I jumped at the chance to throw a tablecloth on it, bring in two chairs from the office and yelp, "We can eat with chairs now!"

Little did I know this little maneuver would change our whole marriage.

The real problem with sitting on the floor became my impatience. I sat uncomfortably and all I thought about was getting up. Thus, limiting the dinner time conversation with Elysabeth. Sure, I stuck it out and didn't whine, but I couldn't help but rush to clear the dishes and move past dinner. The whole time trying to keep my legs from falling asleep. 

Now, at our little kitchen table, when we sit for dinner, we sit. I don't rush. I don't think about sore bums or tightening knee tendons. Nope, no more of that. I just sit. 

And that means we talk.

Every night now, we sit and talk. Dinner may have finished, forks clanged for the last time and plates are wiped clean of any leftover sauce. But we just keep talking. I love these talks. 

We once read in a book that our first year of marriage is the most important year because we have the opportunity to build good habits. I believe this principal. And now that a dinner-in always means a good talk, I am truly convinced that the night I tried to save my knees by putting a tablecloth on that extra counter space, I saved my marriage from years of boring dinners. 


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