Borgman

There are two kinds of grandparents in this world-those who love personalized gifts emblazoned with adoring messages and those who do not. Naturally, the husband and I are opposites on this matter. I believe the Bible refers to this as “iron sharpening iron.”

Yesterday, the husband opened the kitchen cabinet, coffeepot in hand and announced there were no coffee cups. I counted six. He said he couldn’t use any of those because they were special gifts, coffee mugs with pictures of grandkids and loving messages on them.

He says if he uses them, they could wear out. My thought is, how can they wear out if he never uses them, but I have learned not to exacerbate our differences with logic.

Because he enjoys personalized gifts, he is the absolutely most fun grandparent to buy for. He has T-shirts with photos and clever sayings on them (most never worn, sitting in a drawer), socks with photos of grandkids’ faces on them (sitting in the same drawer) and ball caps emblazoned with declarations of love. Those he wears.

I am the grandparent known for practical. I have no photo mugs, socks with faces on them or ball caps declaring my greatness.

What I do have is a garbage table. You read that right.

It was a gift handcrafted with love by our oldest grand, a young lady of 11.

It took considerable time and effort to build and she reminded us the last time we visited that it was ready for us to take home.

A garbage table will not fit in a drawer.

Her two younger brothers helped me lug it out of the workshop. We were doomed halfway up the hill to the car, whereupon the husband lugged it the rest of the way and loaded it into our vehicle after folding down the rear seats.

The garbage table principle is simple: you eat on the tabletop, then lift the lid and throw your garbage in a trash bag secured over the frame below the lid. Apparently, I am not the only one who sees my life as a never-ending cycle of cook, eat, clean, repeat.

The garbage table is 3 feet tall, with somewhat narrow legs supporting a 21-inch square top. She did a fabulous job installing the hinges as well as the crafting the tabletop consisting of eight chunks of 2-by-4s fitted together. The tabletop is heavy — as in potentially lethal. Of course, people probably said the same of Michelangelo’s “David.”

If you lower the tabletop to the back, the table falls backward. If you close the lid and carelessly let it fall, you and your broken fingers will be speeding to the ER.

It is the thought that counts, which is why I will display the garbage table proudly, anchor it securely, and make sure it always has adult supervision when in use.

If the husband ever decides to break out a personalized photo mug, I will insist he enjoy it standing at my very delightful, highly practical, one-of-a-kind garbage table.

Lori Borgman is a columnist, author and speaker. Her new book, “What Happens at Grandma’s Stays at Grandma’s” is now available. Email her at lori@loriborgman.com.

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