03 October 2009

Finding King Arthur

Craigslist makes another appearance as a character in this diary. Through Craigslist, Cristy located the dining room table that we are going to purchase today, and in a few weeks, move into our new home. It is big and round and in its former life, was a conference table in a corporate financial office. When the firm consolidated and moved to New York, one of the employees astutely identified a narrow window of opportunity to claim that conference table, and she converted it into a grand dining room table for her home. Sadly for that family, but happily for us, their current home can no longer accommodate the table.

Circular tables are not commonly available in excess of 6-feet in diameter. This one, at 7 feet, is probably the largest table that our new dining room can comfortably hold. Our hope was primarily, to find a dining table that could seat as many guests as possible. And secondarily, we wanted to achieve this by leveraging tactics of thrifty economics, thus Craigslist.

Cristy particularly loves round tables because of the sense of unity among the diners. And possibly because of the subliminal link to Arthurian legend. While there are multiple stories, the version of the legend with which I am familiar introduces the table as a wedding gift from Guinevere’s father to the happy couple – his daughter and her new husband, Arthur. As with so many legends of Celtic origin, there is symbolic reference to the earth: its circular shape. And almost everyone is aware of the sense of unity that the round table instilled among the knights, who were apparently notorious for bickering with each other over position and relative prestige associated with more traditional seating arrangements.

Thankfully, in modern day dining rooms, there is no need for suits of armor, heavy swords, or dueling over a chair. But as an homage to the legend loved by so many, we will keep the beauty of the Arthurian spirit alive in our new home with the addition of this beautiful round table in our dining room.