A friend of ours here has the best set of dining room chairs. They are full leather with a spring suspension system that keeps your butt from going completely numb during a four hour meal.
At first glance, I thought they were really just a touch too much to have in a dining room, but now after nearly 6 years of dinners at theirs that could, each in their own right, compete for the title of "Meal of the Year," my tookus is thankful.
I thought about their chairs yesterday as we sat for several hours on our wooden benches, ripping apart goose and diving into mashed chestnuts. Good chairs are a must for a meal like that. I think I know what I might be asking for next Christmas!
The other thing that dawned on me, is how much I love sitting at a dining room table. How it's wonderful to share glasses of wine over warm wonderful food, telling stories, and sharing. We are blessed to have this chance and even more blessed because we live in a country where meals like this don't just happen once or twice a year. Eating and sharing at table happens often in France.
There are times that the French get accused of being too quick to tumble into long and wordy diatribes over the simplest of subjects (a 2 hour meeting to decide when to have the real meeting, for example,) but this fits with a people that enjoy and allow discussion. Sharing your opinion is expected, disagreeing is normal, solving the world's problems over dinner might just happen one day. And that dinner might just be one on an average Tuesday night, with no special reason to gather around the table except that it's is there and that's what you should do with it.
This was our 5th Christmas in France and my God-only-knows-what-number marathon dinner at our table. We've got the next one planned for Sunday at another friends' house. I'm all excited to sit and eat and talk and enjoy once again until the wee hours of the morning, my butt growing numb on the benches at their farm house table.
Have I mentioned before how much I love living here?