If You Came To Visit

July 9th, 2010

If you came to visit me today, you’d find our place very empty and echo-y.

But I’d offer you a seat in one of our two collapsible camping chairs, and serve you tea in a plastic cup.

And you’d smile, and then politely slide your cup in the drink-holder sewn into the arm of the chair.

There we would sit, admiring the large expanse of un-furnished void and contemplating the immeasurability of the universe.

If you stayed for dinner, I’d move the mail from the folding table in the living room, and serve you a one-pot dinner on our 1-of-4 plastic plates and pour some wine into your glass (you’d have to finish your tea first).

But if I wanted to entertain a large group, I’d have to plan a Bring Your Own Chair party.

Maybe you would bring one of those miniature couches for kids, and we’d all laugh at your wit. We’d play musical chairs, give prizes to the most creative choice of chair, and then maybe roast marshmallows in front of our gas fireplace.

Then we’d run out of wine and dessert, and everyone would go home with their chairs.

Even you with your kid couch.

And as I washed up our 4 plates, and straightened our two chairs, I’d dream of a future full of furniture. A future of endless possibilities.

  • Hello there! My name is Molly and I have just come across your blog while looking for just such a thing – blogs by Americans living in New Zealand! Or chat forums or something in that sort of genre. I am American and am married to a New Zealander (from Dunedin). I have lived in NZ for over 3 years previously. We’re currently in the states (Alaska, where I call home,) and about to return to NZ for at least 3 or 4 years again. Having not had too much of an outlet for expressing my experiences of emigrating in the past, I just started searching the web for blogs to follow or international clubs to join or well, really anything that looked like an interesting little outlet for a soon-to-be-expat-again. I’ll be back in Dunners in September. Anyway, I’ve totally enjoyed your entries, had a few laughs and nods of appreciation. I appreciate your honesty – cuz let’s face it, there’s a mixture of good and bad in this sort of thing. But by now I can’t really imagine it any other way. Thanks for sharing! Molly

  • This is so funny and reminds me of when we moved into our apartment! At first, we had a small desk and one chair that the previous tenant left. So, one of us got the chair and the other sat on the ground. Our first piece of furniture was a bookshelf – not exactly practical, so for awhile, the cardboard IKEA box that it came in was our table, and we both ate sitting on the ground. At one point, I even tried to give it cardboard legs, but my inner Martha Stewart fell short. Now we have – gasp – a real table AND a sofa AND our original chair. We’ve thought about buying chairs for our table, but when you have this sort of abundance already, why bother?

  • There may not be a lot of furniture, but it’s the company that counts 🙂 I’ll be praying for some good winds to blow your stuff into port a few days (or weeks?) early!

  • Oh dear, how I would adore your hospitality! I could bring some cinnamon rolls and we could lay on our backs and stare at the ceiling after eating too many. Because, let’s face it, an empty house is a perfect place to lay on the floor and stare at the ceiling and digest cinnamon rolls with a dear friend and sister. I love you and miss you so much.

  • Is there a collapsible chair with my name on it? I hope so!

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