We've been rather completely absorbed this weekend in March Madness, although it isn't quite the same without the Spiders in the tournament. Over the years they have made some great "Cinderella" appearances, and made it to the Sweet 16 round in 2011. They even got good airtime yesterday as the commentators, on the heels of Norfolk States's win, reviewed the very first time a 15th seed beat a 2nd seed, when Richmond beat Syracuse in 1991. UR is the only team to win NCAA tournament games as a 12, 13, 14, and 15 seed. There have been some fun games over the years, just not this year. Oh well, there's always next season.
So we made our own madness. When we were shopping for this house in 2004, tops on my list of "must haves" was a big dining room. I've always had an aversion to holiday events where everyone couldn't eat together in the same room. Must go back to some childhood trauma of having to eat at the kid's table in the kitchen, or something. Anyway, that was my goal---a big enough dining room. Not that I'm a great hostess, but we usually have family and some friends, usually UR students, for Easter dinner, and often host Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner at our house. Years ago, that meant 5-7 people, but if all of my side of the family came today, that would be 15, Brian's family 13.
Well, needless to say, our dining room isn't big enough. I've tried being creative by adding a 6-foot folding table somewhere close to the dining room table, but I've found that even parallel, you really can't get more than 10-12 people SQUEEZED into the dining room. We've tried an "L" shape, adding a card table, a sofa table from the hall----none of the options worked. At Christmas we had all of my family for my mom's birtdhay celebration, and the overflow table was in the living room. It just didn't work for me.
Right after that, a good friend stopped by, and was talking about how she had turned her dining room into a playroom for her grandchildren, and moved her dining room furniture to the living room. A light bulb went on for me. It could work, but I would have to convince Brian. You see, for him, the intention of the room is what it is----and shouldn't be changed. And there was a chandelier in the dining room, no ceiling fixture in the living room. There were pros, there were cons. But the deciding factor for him was when I pointed out that if you greeted a guest at our front door, you had to ask them to step inside, then close the door so that they could go left into the living room, while the dining room to the right was completely accessible. Bad design? Maybe, but the traffic flow just didn't work for welcoming anyone.
So, with Easter just a few weeks away, last night we did it. The living room is now the dining room, and the dining room is now the living room. We still have to move pictures, swap mirrors, and fill in a few empty spots, but it works. The new living room/old dining room looks inviting, and to the scale that our furniture fits. The new dining room? I honestly think that end to end I could have our dining room table, and our kitchen table, and a 6-foot folding table. That's a minimum of 18-20 people that could fit in there! It's big, almost cavernous for the furniture we have, but we'll be able to have everyone eat together for Easter, which will make me very, very happy. It really doesn't take much.