Yes, we can solve all our problems with
six-foot tables, even world peace.
I’m surprised no one thought of it
before. It was my fairy goddaughter (FGD) who opened my eyes to the
concept. She, also a writer, was the one who designated me her fairy
godmother, in my opinion a great honor.
She was in the process of moving into
her new house and a little bit overwhelmed. Or perhaps scared silly
at the gargantuan task ahead. All her possessions were in a jumble.
Like most of us landing in a new home, she didn’t know where to
A while later she texted that she’d
come up with a tool that pleased her mightily. It was the six-foot
folding utility table.
When my sweetheart and I arrived to
help, there it was, right smack in the middle of the house, heaped
with, oh my gosh, measuring tapes, pliers, a brand new chartreuse box
cutter, kitchen paraphernalia, the mail, more diy tools, cleaning
supplies, paint cans—it looked like a hardware store sidewalk sale.
We quickly learned that the long,
easily stowed table was also a dyke’s best friend. We never had to
look elsewhere for what we needed. FGD had invented a stationary
robot that practically handed us the implements we required.
Down the hall, we met her new office:
two small rooms knocked into one big one that will eventually fit,
aside from desks: shelving units, file cabinets, book cases and –
guess what? Six-foot tables. Along with writing, FGD teaches, is a
publisher, volunteers for all sorts of groups, and perpetually has
multiple six-foot projects under way on those desks and tables.
While my sweetheart and FGD lugged and
organized bookcases, book boxes, heavy chairs and tables, I thought,
if one person can get so much use out of plain old work tables, to
what other uses could they be put?
The vision that came to me involved eight
women arrayed around a scuffed up, paint-stained, overloaded
high-density polyethylene table. Each woman would represent a country
or a continent, no two from the same ethnic group or class. One would
be a physician, one an engineer, one a farmer, one from the arts,
another a biologist, a mathematician, a policy maker, a social
worker, a teacher, an environmentalist. Soon there would be multiple
tables to seat homeless women, a mother, a pilot, old women, a high
school senior, an immigrant, another immigrant, lots of lesbians, a
meteorologist, an astronaut, a planner, a teacher, a librarian, and
at least seventeen poets, including Nikki Giovanni and Mary Oliver
Why the table? Silly question. Men have
all the workbenches, don’t they? And the toolbelts and those fire
engine red toolboxes with the shallow drawers from Sears that hold so
little compared to a six-foot table. No one needs all those Sears
The table was perfect. Think about
where we women were trained to work: the kitchen table, the ironing
board, the dining room table, the never big enough kitchen counters.
My mother had a vanity table. She loved to eat at picnic tables
anywhere there was a babbling brook and trees, trees that would
become wooden tables. Oh, for crying out loud, women were confined to
changing tables and coffee tables and bedside tables. We know our way
around tables all right.
Now we bring our demands to the table.
In fact, we have tables where the public can turn in guns. Tables
where we leaflet for stopping wars, for equal rights, for
reproductive rights, for gay rights. We “man” those tables all
What better place to start than with
eight women at each of eighty thousand mismatched tables, melding the
nurturing tools of our minds, our love, our senses and sensibilities,
the common ground of common and extraordinary women – pitting our
inventiveness against obstacles, our creativity against the
money-mad, and our combined brilliance against those who would table
us forever. We are the homemakers, the housekeepers, we will set the
tables on this planet, for it is our home.
And to think, at the start of all this
home-making, Fairy Goddaughter, you were the one who adapted the
yokes that so burdened us – reshaped them into flat familiar
surfaces around which we will plot reconciliation, regrowth,
abundance, a world of safe and healthy animals, ourselves included.
We’ll put all the tables together, end to end, so they belt and
balance the globe. We’ll spread tablecloths with the patterns of
every culture and share our repast while we solve things, woman to
woman, once and for all.
[Editor's Note: Lee Lynch is the author
of over 13 books. Her latest, Rainbow Gap, is available at
Strokes Books. You can reach Lynch at LeeLynch@ontopmag.com]
Copyright 2018 Lee Lynch.