2009-12-27

The Kids' Table

No matter how old I get, I remain a kid. Specifically, I am referring to my permanent seat at the kids’ table for holiday meals. For my entire life, I’ve been relegated to the card table in the adjacent room, safely out of sight from the “real” adults. At this point, the “kids’ table” is a bit of a misnomer, as all of us of that generation are now in our twenties. By virtue of being the oldest, I have the most seniority at the kids’ table, and am therefore next in line to advance. Unfortunately, the only way I’ll get a promotion is in the case of a death or divorce.

This year, the kid’s table decided to revolt. I mean, what’s so special about the grown-up table anyway? I briefly contemplated starting a food fight with our rival dining room, but that would hardly demonstrate a level of maturity that, in this battle, we are contending to have. Instead, for once, we had a good time at the kids’ table, treating our exile like a treat rather than a punishment.

First, we decided to bolster our numbers. Pulling up some extra chairs, I sat a couple of teddy bears next to us and we began to share our good time with our new guests. Still, something was missing – the rest of the family. We couldn’t get them to share a table with us, but we could come close. I took a nearly thirty-year-old framed photograph (sure that sounds old, but it would still qualify to sit at the kids’ table) that features all of our auntcles (that’s aunts and uncles – would anyone be opposed to adopting this gender neutral word?) and plopped it on the table with us. From there, we were able to have conversations with our missing family members, asking them to pass the potatoes, share anecdotes, etc.

On multiple occasions, people from the next room called out to inquire what was so funny. Finally, they got up and actually came into our room to see what all the fuss was about, and found our setup very amusing. They interrupted their own dinner to take pictures and catch up with what we were doing. Mission accomplished!

We’ve made enough of a fuss that I suspect we might all be invited to join the normal table at the next holiday dinner. That said, I’m not sure I even want to merge tables at this point. Clearly, we were having more fun in our table of seclusion. Besides, at the main table, everyone is 50+. Maybe that table is the Senior Table and our table is the normal one. Good luck trying to incorporate us in next year. The Kids’ Table for life!