Monday, June 13, 2011

A "felt" melmoir

I've been absent from the internet for several days, not because I chose to step away, and not because my child and our hectic summer schedule kept me from writing... Nope. I was absent because Verizon stinks. I really can't say quite enough bad things about them right now. I will tell the entire frustrating story some other time, when it's less fresh and I am less tempted to write bad words in this family-friendly venue, but OH will I tell it. V is going D O W N .

This little anecdote, however, has nothing to do with poor customer service or the sad, isolated, out-of-touch existence that has been mine of late. This has to do with pool.

Not the pool. Just pool. As in pool table.

At one point in my youth, I believe when I was in middle school, my parents came to the decision that we could use a pool table in our dining room.

I still can't quite believe this happened, looking back. Right there. In our dining room. In lieu of a dining table. Granted, we never used the dining table except when we had company—meals were always eaten at the kitchen table—but still. I am truly surprised that my mother agreed to it. We must have obtained the table for a steal or for free, and I believe its presence preceded the spacious, old wooden table and chairs that now adorn the dining room. But I am still shocked when I recall the large, green felt reality of that big ol' table.

It was odd, being able to stroll into your own dining room and break up the set. Most of the sticks were frankly too long to use effectively in the room, as I recall; depending on the location of the ball, there was often not enough space to really take the shot properly because the back of your stick banged into the wall behind it. But it mattered not: I was a shrimp, the youngest, and I preferred the short, wimpy stick. I think we all fought over that stick when the shot really mattered, because it was the only stick guaranteed to fit inside the available space.

At any time, my sisters and I could wander in and chalk a stick, break, and start whacking balls into holes. I distinctly remember one snowy day when the morning dawned impassable and school was canceled, but by mid-day it was quite harmless. Family friends of ours came over with their two sons, and we spent the afternoon smacking the cue into stripes and solids alike, having a rip-roaring good time as the frigid wind blew outside. It was a blast. I don't recall being very good, but I was definitely a better pool player then than I am now. If we'd kept the table, I might have actually started applying logic; perhaps geometry could have been useful for something.

Alas, the pool table was a short-lived phenomenon at our home. Perhaps my mother finally demanded that it go. Perhaps my father grew weary of the endless cracking sounds that emanated from the heart of our home. Maybe, just maybe, the novelty wore off and we needed another table to set papers on. For whatever reason, without too much argument as I can recall, the table went away and was replaced by a more appropriate, far more boring table. It's odd; I recall neither the installation of nor the removal of the pool table, even though the room in which it dwelt was not large and the doorways to and from quite narrow and unforgiving. It must have been a battle getting it into and out of there, but in my mind, the table just appeared. And then disappeared. It's funny what a mind chooses to remember.

Oh, well. Just another quirky snapshot from my past. Have any of those yourself?


chris h. said...

Oh yes! Mine is a "table" memory too. Also in the dining room. But right next to the dining room table not in lieu of it. We had a ping pong table! I can't remember if we folded it up every day, but I remember playing in the dining room - a lot -- so it must have been open, a lot. Also remember a little mini pool table in there we played with endlessly. And the "fish tank" years -- 4 or 5 of them in the dining room. My mom was pretty long-suffering, now that I look back on it.

Mel said...

Most moms are long-suffering upon close examination. ; ) And dads, too. Sounds like a fun memory! I've often thought if our basement were bigger, we'd have air hockey here... Who knows? It might still happen. Thanks for sharing!

Facie said...

I swear you and I played pool once. Am I making this up? I have a memory of some girlfriend trying to show me how to shoot. Maybe it was at Shooters or whatever that place is called by the Birmingham Bridge?

Funny memory, though. Even though I don't really know your parents, I just can't picture them buying a pool table and putting it in the dining room.

I have some issues with Verizon as well. I can't yet bring myself to call them to complain about my latest bill after I have talked to four or five different people in the past three months. Ugh. Good luck.

Mel said...

facie, keep complaining to verizon. I've heard much negative feedback (and no positive) from other victims. and maybe that WAS us playing pool? I have a vague memory, too... perhaps from the long-ago St. Patrick's Day crawl?! that would have put us in the right location...

hope I didn't instruct you poorly, if it was me...

Claire said...

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