Lunchtime Poll

Lunchtime Poll: Being A Humane Host

Look, it’s not that I don’t crave the outward signs of adulthood (they help people take my baby-faced self a little more seriously), it’s just that until recently, we neither needed nor wanted a dining table.

Picture of a tall tree with a quip about growing up
Image courtesy of

Skip ahead to this week. My husband is turning 30 in a few weeks, which is a big deal for me. It’s that moment when you realize you’re married to someone who is 30 and that maybe, just maybe, you need to give guests a place to dine that isn’t (1) on the floor, (2) on the couch, or (3) at the kitchen counter. Tables are expensive and complicated; there’s the color and the wood to consider. There’s the practical planning component: we want kids, so it has to be durable, but also it needs to clean up nice for guests, and will it fit in the nook by the fireplace? If not, we are totally screwed for space.

Last week, in her utter shame at our lack of a dining table, my mother-in-law took me table shopping, graciously throwing money at me in an effort to make growing up and getting a table a little easier to handle. We settled on a reddish mahogany table with a fun little herringbone design. The chairs are incoming.

But given all the comments from friends and family lately, I have to wonder if this state of no-table is a common occurrence for those of us straddling 20 and 30. Well, friends, what’s your state of table? Is it sitting in your dining room right now, or is it basically just your coffee table (because yeah, that’s what ours was)?


By Michelle Miller

Michelle Miller is a twenty-something blogger, cook, freelance writer and editor living in Seattle, Washington. She’s a feminist trying ever-so-hard to embrace her spaces, conventional or not. She looks forward to numerous bad hair days, burnt cremes, a soapbox or two, and maybe (just maybe) a yellow polka-dot bikini in the years ahead.

55 replies on “Lunchtime Poll: Being A Humane Host”

That poster makes me chuckle, because it didn’t matter that I was very mature for a teenager; I was still treated like a “kid” by most adults because I was, legally, still one. It becomes very frustrating after a while when you try to have more intelligent conversations, but they only want to ask you what school you go to and what subject you like…etc. etc.

Heh, I’m forty and I don’t have a dining table. There’s nothing but an overhead light in my dining room. I put my food on my lap, or on my desk. I usually work while I eat anyway, so a dining table seems superfluous.

I have a handful of furniture I bought myself, but most of what’s in the house is from the Dead Relative Collection.

I had a dining room table and chairs before my husband moved in. We realized relatively quickly that it was nothing more than a catchall for crap since neither of us cook and I don’t sit at a table to eat a bowl of cereal for dinner. He chopped the table in half and fashioned it into an awesome L-shaped desk, converting our dining room into a home office. At some point we will have a place to eat, but as it stands now, our place is too small for a dining room and an office, so we made a choice. For now, the coffee table is where it’s at!

Oh, and we are 33 and 34, so more than old enough to be grown-ups, yet firmly refusing.

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