customs

Breakfast-room dinner

Our apartment is old-fashioned, with a kitchen that’s not eat-in but only for cooking, a too-big dining room, a butler’s pantry (where a butler is supposed to be plating our food), and a cozier ‘breakfast room,’ where we end up eating most of our meals.

Dinnertime in the breakfast room, © 2013 Celia Her City

The table in the breakfast room is beat-up and small.  Its surface is chipped, and its chairs bear the chew marks from when our late dog Barkley, a Chesapeake Retriever, was a puppy.  When it’s set for four, the place-mats touch.  For all these reasons, it’s the place we prefer to dine in with our friends.

How we know we’re home

The front elevator (Credit: Celia Her City)

We enter an old wooden box made of mahogany, which carries us up several stories.  In the garage, a nice man takes our suitcases and groceries out of our car and brings them up in the back elevator.  We adhere to the rules of entry that announce our return from the country and govern the formal territory that we call home.

The back elevator is for dogs, and when you’re in a hurry.  It smells, but people in it are more friendly.  The front elevator induces an up-tight decorum.  Conversation, if it occurs, tends to be brief and stilted.  Once, though, I caught a little girl doing a handstand in it, her father looking on, with a sly smile on his face, doing nothing to stop her.  Kids are kids after all, and we wouldn’t want her personality to be as square as the old elevator that we have to use.