The ‘remember table’

Sounds a little like the title of an Anne Tyler novel, doesn’t it?

Sometime in our pup’s second year, Hubby noticed that Enzo goes on high alert if he notices one or both of us at the vanity mirror, attending to the things that people do before they leave the house—Hubby shaving, me fussing with hair or makeup. So Hubby has started referring to the bathroom as the “leaving room.” The phrase is among Hubby’s best invented monickers, particularly since he’s a black-and-white, concrete/sequential kinda guy who isn’t given to metaphor…whereas I live in a hazy, Piscean, English major world that is almost nothing but metaphor. Communication, shall we say, is rarely boring.

In each of our homes, there’s been a spot, usually close to the kitchen, where miscellany accumulates. Save for the pre-retirement days when Hubby carried a briefcase everyday (as opposed to me, with my laptop in an oversized handbag), the clutter cache was and remains mostly mine. Grocery lists and receipts, keys, a coupon here and there, my now seriously downsized purse, power cords for two laptops, blah, blah, blah. There’s no dedicated office in this house—I write and work (editing and logistics support for my daughter’s wine importing business) on my couch, with Enzo next to me and the birds chirping at the feeder outside.On those occasions when I actually use paper, there may be a bit of that here and there, along with two or three books and the latest copy of Yankee. All in all, I manage to keep it down to a quiet roar, and it never reaches what I would call the messy stage.

But then there is the “remember table” (this monicker’s all mine), which sits halfway between our patio door and the mud/laundry room leading to the garage. Coming or going, you can’t miss it. Sometime in the last few years, Hubby started using it for anything outgoing: cards or bills to mail, prescriptions to fill, shopping bags to return to the car, shiny paper for the recycling box, a wine bottle to give away, etc., etc., etc.—the things we need to remember to do. I’ve picked up the habit as well, though it required some self-discipline; it’s much too easy for me to treat anything of this ilk like the visual equivalent of white noise. In a post-retirement world, structure is pretty much reduced to the repeating decimal cycle of doctor-dentist-vet-hair. Although thankfully our memories are just fine, the remember table helps keep us on track, like the mnemonic devices we learned in grade school spelling (less desert, more dessert, or the principal is our pal—does anybody even teach those any more???).

Granted, it’s another patch of clutter, but there’s always a bit of beauty amid the scattered reminders. The centerpiece on the changes with the seasons and the harvest. Today there’s a beautiful flower arrangement, a surprise birthday gift from my dear friend Pat. She’s a Pisces, too, and she knows our colors!

We bought that brightly colored tablecloth in Paris, at Printemps, in 2008, so it’s a memory prompt of a different sort, even though there’s never a problem remembering Paris. Down to the last footstep, those treasured recollections are always crystal clear.

5 thoughts on “The ‘remember table’

  1. Nancy

    Made me chuckle. Just shared this with my guy and he chuckled as well. We too have a remember table OR the remember washing machine. Depends on what door we are walking out! LOL!


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