Gut Rumbles

December 23, 2003

the dining table

When Jennifer and I first married, we had a really shitty dining table. It had a glass top and four spindley little legs supporting it. If you leaned on it wrong, the sumbitch was liable to flip over and fall on the floor. But we made do with what we had.

One Sunday afternoon, Jennifer's father called me and asked if I would help him move some new furniture to his house the next day. I told him that I would, so after work, I met him at the furniture store. Got-Dam! Earline had gone nuts in the place and bought china cabinets, tables, chairs and chests-of-drawers that weighed a ton apiece.

We managed to get it all onto two pickup trucks after much manual labor and clever positioning of the goods. I drove my load to Garden City and helped Ted move it all into the house while Earline stood there and pointed to where she wanted it placed. We were at that job until 10:00 that night.

We had to move a lot of old furniture out of the house to make room for the new. One piece was a dining table with six chairs that Ted made by hand in his woodworking shop. The table was a beautiful piece of cherry and the chairs were made from black walnut. He told me that I could have it for helping him move all the furniture that day.

"Ted, you could sell that for a lot of money," I told him.

"I'm giving it to you and Jennifer," he replied. "The table you have now sucks. You need a better one. Take it, and call it a late wedding present."

I took the table and chairs.

Ted died shortly thereafter, and Earline got rid of the ramshackle mobile home on Sunset Creek down at Midway. She bought a fancy double-wide and changed the river-shack into a palace. She made the place where wet bathing suits and cigarette smoke were par for the course into some womanized, fuzz-covered icky-joint, where you were afraid to fart.

My last trip to that place occurred when Earline came to the house and wanted Ted's table for her Midway palace. "Ted just loaned that to you," she said. "I want it back now because it would look PERFECT in the new trailer." Jennifer told me not to argue about it.

I packed it up and hauled it to Midway. Jennifer and I bought another dining table that day.

I am certain that the table looks PERFECT in that fluff-palace, where it is used maybe three times per year. I never forgave that woman for taking that table. Ted GAVE THAT TO ME. He made it with his own hands and wanted his grandson to eat off it. He wanted me and Jennifer to eat off it. He wanted it to be a damn well-used dining room table.

So, if I snapped at my mother-in-law a few times when I was married, I had a damn good reason.


After two marriages, my observation is that mothers-in-law are meddling bitches, and never have any truck for their sons-in-law, who they universally believe have messed up their daughters' lives.

Posted by: Rivrdog on December 23, 2003 10:58 AM

I hope that Jennifer will inherit the dining table and chairs, then appreciate the set long enough for Quinton to get them.

Posted by: Ms Anna on December 23, 2003 11:19 AM

I love the way you write.

Only you could make a double-wide sound fancy.

Posted by: SASSY on December 23, 2003 12:14 PM

I love my mother-in-law as well. While my mama always takes my husband's side in an argument, I can rely on my mother-in-law to stand up for me.

Posted by: SwampWoman on December 23, 2003 12:39 PM

You could probably also attribute your back troubles to having to move that table one more time. I mean, you never know. Coulda been the beginning of all that pain you're in right now. Sounds reasonable.


Posted by: Joan of Argghh! on December 23, 2003 12:49 PM

Good grief, she sounds like a real pill!

Loved the description of the double-wide river palace.

Posted by: dragonfly jenny on December 23, 2003 12:56 PM

Should have broken out the chainsaw and delivered them in 500 pieces, complete with a bottle of glue.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on December 23, 2003 02:00 PM

What the Leonine Guy said.

Although you're also partly to blame:

"I packed it up and hauled it to Midway. "

You have to be kidding me. She steals it from you, and you help her move it?

Not a very proud moment in the Acidman History.

Posted by: Kim du Toit on December 23, 2003 02:52 PM

Marriage #1, hated mother-in-law from get-go, divorced after 9 years

Marriage #2, hated mother-in-law from jump street, divorced after 2 years

Marriage #3, mother-in-law OK, have high hopes for marriage

Moral? Ahh, you're smarter than that....

Posted by: Sloth on December 23, 2003 03:24 PM

Get along pretty well with my mom-in-law, course since I'm wife's hubby 4.0 I have some pretty low expectations to live up to ;) Now the rest of the clan I could walk off and leave without a look back, but mom-in-law's okay, well, and her youngest son, too, since he keeps whuppin me on the golf course...

Posted by: JSAllison on December 23, 2003 04:02 PM

I have a cherry desk and an oak nitestand that belonged to belonged to my granddads. I refinished them. Took weeks to get through the several layers of OIL based paints, but every moment was worth it. I write at the desk my Grandfather did and I turn the night lamp off on the same stand my other Ganddad did. They look great. My family heirlooms!

BTW - I hate particle board.

Posted by: "Ralphy" on December 23, 2003 04:04 PM

I can't imagine her having the gall to do that.
How she could want something bad enough to *steal* it, which in my mind is what that is...

Gotta go check my hamburger helper now..*s*
just wanted to add my two cents.

Merry Christmas by the way. :)

Posted by: Trease on December 23, 2003 05:37 PM

And that table is a metaphor for what, exactly?

Posted by: Tonto on December 23, 2003 07:02 PM

Wow, you seem to be a sucker for a woman; ANY woman. Myself, I like wimmin just fine, except for the part between the ears. That part's enough to scare me away most of the time - must be my low sex drive or sumpin. At least Rosy never yells at me, nor does she bother me in between times.

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Posted by: sexshop on January 7, 2004 02:34 PM

We are never truly sure of our beliefs.

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