ode to compromise
As we proceed with our
renovations, we always keep in mind that someday
this boat will be our home. Anything added
to the boat needs to look nice, of course, but it must also
serve a purpose and most importantly must
not not take up too much real estate.
Sometimes we have to get creative to meet all
these objectives, and sometimes we have to
compromise. A good example of this is
our choice of a salon dining table.
There was a table that came with the boat
was not good. Not good at all.
one thing it was too big and by "too big" I mean it
was freaking enormous.
In this "before
photo" only one of the two leaves was extended--you can just imagine
how cramped it was when it was in its full upright and locked position.
Also, it was butt
ugly with a thick parquet wood top and
massive pedestal with a telescoping mechanism to
transform it from a huge, butt ugly dinner table to a
huge, butt ugly coffee table.
Also, it weighed
Clearly it had to go,
so we gifted the beast to
our dock neighbor Mike who loves it and
has it in a place of honor on his houseboat (Mike
is a bachelor and thus can have a big ugly table
on his houseboat if
he wants one).
decided we should replace it with
a custom-made table with a beautiful
inlay on the top and a sleek modern pedestal
with a hydraulic mechanism to do the
coffee table/dinner table conversion trick:
something boaty, something cool, something like
But when I looked into the cost of
having a table like that made all I could think
this, which pretty much took the fun
out of the idea
But of course
this boat belongs to both of us, and marriage is
all about compromise, and if that's what my
husband wanted I, of course, totally respected
his opinions and ideas.
is what I bought: a beautifully
made drop leaf table with four chairs folded
up inside, a side drawer for storing napkins and
placemats, and brass casters on the legs for
The moment I spotted it I
knew instantly This Was It. I
bought it on the spot, and like a
lioness dragging a felled gazelle back to her
pride, delivered it to the boat where I
expected to bedazzle my husband with my creative
genius and thrifty ways--after all, this baby
cost several thousand dollars less than the
table he had in mind.
What's not to love about that?
I'm just saying.
However, my husband still had
visions of custom tables with inlaid compass
roses dancing in his head at the time and was,
shall we say, underwhelmed by my purchase. He
begrudgingly allowed it to stay--but only
temporarily until we had time to design our real
table. I merely replied "yes, dear" and
waited patiently for the humble table without
custom inlay nor telescoping pedestal to do its
It fit perfectly in the salon
across from the sofa and with one leaf extended
is just right for four people. For a larger
group we move it
in front of the sofa and extend both leaves, and
by pulling out the folding chairs inside we can
comfortably accommodate up to ten people for
And the leg casters that my
husband so disliked (he had visions of a runaway
table crashing around the salon while the boat
was underway) just so happen to fit perfectly in
the crack of a floor hatch and thus are locked
firmly into position and keep the table in place
even when the boat rocks about in rough waters.
And so our table began to get rave reviews
for its cleverness and usefulness, and our
boater friends came from far and wide to praise
our ingenuity and creativity, and the unspent
custom table money remained in our wallet and
grew comfortable there.
And my husband's eyes were
opened. He saw the wisdom of my ways and
began to appreciate the humble table without
custom inlay nor telescoping pedestal and said
it could stay.
See? I knew he'd love it.
*the gorgeous table photo
a company that makes spectacular
custom marine tables for men who are not married
to cheapskates like me.