One of the first things I do when visiting a dining establishment (at least one where you choose your own seating) is checked to find a clean and stable table. Why stable you ask because I can’t stand spending my hopefully fully pleasurable lunch or dinner experience dealing with a table that rises and falls at every change in the balance of our food.

First off, a dirty table is completely unacceptable. I know that others have dined before me, and hopefully thousands of them because the place I am eating is that good; I just don’t want to think about it. Even worse, I don’t want to see remnants of what they were eating. So for all those restaurateurs out there, please take special note to be well staffed enough to have those tables spotless right after the previous diners are done.

Along with that, make sure that whatever rag you are using to clean up includes one to dry it off. Seeing streaks of likely bacterial invested water from your quick clean up job is just about as disgusting as a dirty table.

Now on to my peeve of the day, the table that moves. I realize there is a myriad of reasons why a table can be unstable. That tile floor can’t be expected to be perfectly flat of course, and the table legs are designed to go on a flat surface. Then there is the bozo that can’t help but manhandle the table when moving around your entire middle dining area to accommodate his party of 50 friends and family. Whatever the reason may be, it just bugs me to have a table that amplifies my bad manners of putting my elbows on the table.

Yeah, I admit it, I all too often lean in on my meal with an elbow or two resting on the table. Bad habit I know, but it happens. But that aside, some tables are so imbalanced that simply removing your beverage cup can cause a shifting of the delicate balance akin to the sway of a boat at sea.

Of course, I don’t sit and stew or make a nuisance of myself by complaining about my seating arrangements. Instead of grabbing a napkin or two, fold them up to the necessary thickness, and place it under the offending leg. Most people I dine with know of my need to stability when eating, so they have made it a part of the initial sitting down routine to hold up the leg and help me get things in order. Others grin and are somewhat impressed by my McGyver like ingenuity; at least secretly inside they are.

So, I don’t like ‘em, but I have my own little solution to fix the situation. No instability while I enjoy my meal. Can’t stand it. Ugh.