A few weeks ago, I decided it was finally time to replace the place-mats and napkins that my husband and I had received as wedding gifts. Most of the napkins had holes, and the place-mats were faded and misshapen. I headed out to the giant store of all things homey and picked out some nice multicolored place-mats (ones that actually coordinate with the colors in our kitchen) and several different colors of napkins, each one picking up a stripe of color in the place-mats, as you can see in the photo. Never mind that the napkins have gotten all wrinkly after washings. I refuse to iron napkins. Obviously, I have much more pressing things to do…like write about napkins and place-mats on my blog!
Anyhow, as I generally consider myself to be decorating-challenged, anything that resembles a personal success in the realm of home decor necessitates a considerable amount of patting myself on the back for a job well done. I also must offer my husband the opportunity to do the same, which is really where the story begins.
“So, what do you think of the new place-mats and napkins?” I said one night over dinner.
“Um,” said Ian, obviously not having given this anywhere near as much thought as I had. “They’re good.”
He didn’t hate them, so in my mind, he was over the moon about them. “And did you know that the place-mats are made of bamboo? That means if we have some hungry pandas show up at our door some day, we have something to feed them.”
“I don’t think that’s going to happen,” said Ian.
“They’re all in China?”
“What, pandas can’t take vacations?” I said, thinking of the poor overworked pandas entertaining people in zoos and trying very hard to successfully mate.
“I don’t think they do.”
“Well, if they can do kung fu, I think they can take vacations.”
“I think it’s just the one panda that does kung fu, and that’s a cartoon.” said Ian.
“I’m not saying it’s likely, just that it’s possible.”
“Even if they did take vacations, why would they come here, to this house?”
“Maybe they want hugs and they heard that I’m an excellent hugger. Word gets around.”
Ian shrugged, a telltale sign that he has finally given up trying to argue with pure, unadulterated silliness. At the same time, something else occurred to me. “Oh,” I said. “The place-mats are dyed, though. I don’t know if they would be safe for the pandas to eat. What else do pandas eat?”
“I don’t know.” said Ian.
“Is there a Panda Express around here? Do you think they’d like that? Of course, maybe they’d be offended, or maybe they’re just sick of Chinese food. I suppose I could just ask them what they felt like eating and take them out or order in if we didn’t have anything on hand. I mean, if they stop by unannounced, the can’t expect me to have a full spread just waiting for them, right?”
“Indeed,” said Ian.
So, come on over, pandas! I’ve officially solved the crisis of my own making of what to feed you if you happen to spontaneously stop by. Do you like Chicago style pizza? I know some good places.