My Brother’s Kitchen Table: Charlie Redovian

The kitchen table is the focal point of many dinners in my life. To me, dinner is most enjoyable away from the distractions of screens in an area designed specifically for mealtime. For my paper, I wanted to go farther into the way my brother and his fiancé have designed their kitchen table. I spoke with him last week about the blog journal topic, so he has a basis for where my interests are coming from. My half-brother, Cameron, is almost seven years older than me. Our childhood was tumultuous which resulted in us having very different memories and experiences of what constituted our youth. It took me a long time to learn the ability to look at certain circumstances and understand that people will have a different take away based on their own life experiences. Therefore, I wanted to know more about Cameron’s eating space as maybe it could give insight into his perceptions of our shared experiences.

I went over to my brother’s apartment for dinner on Monday to study in person using participant-observation his eating space. He shares his apartment located on the top end of Atlanta with his fiancé Carolina and their dog Marley. Carolina has an equal share in my brother’s eating habits and dining area as they have been together for six years now. Carolina is from Colombia and immigrated to the Atlanta Metro area as a middle schooler. With both being from different backgrounds, they decided to pick a more neutral basis for their kitchen table. It is a unique table as it is about bar height requiring the chairs to be higher to compensate. Even though the table is a square, there are only three chairs, but there is also one bench seat. Underneath the table is a shelf for storage on which they put a lot of their boardgames. On the tabletop is a granite lazy Susan. As a centerpiece, they have an Egyptian wax warmer. When asked if the wax warmer had any use besides decoration, they directed my attention to the unlit candle underneath and to make my own conclusions. Together, they prepared me spaghetti and meatballs. They served it simply with a paper towel, one fork, and a can of Coke.

All these things make practical sense to Cameron and Carolina’s lives. They both lead very active lives with work and school. They may need to eat a meal standing up which is allowed by the table’s advanced height. When entertaining guests, which they do often, they can squeeze extra seating on the bench. They also have easy access to the board games found directly underneath. The lazy Susan has its upsides and its downfalls. At one point, I rotated the turntable to get the Parmesan cheese, which ultimately, is hardly any easier than either reaching across or asking for assistance. However, in the process of rotating, my can of Coke ended up in front of my brother which my brother unknowingly drank! Cameron and Carolina work hard for what they have, and they take joy in simplicity. Therefore, they do not feel the need to go beyond the necessities because to them, the basics are enough.

One Reply to “My Brother’s Kitchen Table: Charlie Redovian”

  1. Charlie, I’m very much impressed by your opening, which is personal, appealing, and orienting. One thing I hope you’d elaborate upon is your choice of the participant-observation method. Why did you choose this method, what considerations went into your decision? On the whole, you’ve answered some questions in the prompt well but not others. Your descriptions of the table before the meal are fine, but almost none during and after the meal. Lastly, your conclusion feels weak, what other conclusions about the function and practices associated with the kitchen table could you generate from the experience?

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