The Smallest Table

on January 2, 2023

The Best Way To Connect With Others

In addition to writing, I spent a career as an experience designer—skills that I use today but primarily when I design my life. My expertise, beyond writing, is in interactive and participatory design. I did a ton of work on this while at Disney, but it was one night on vacation in New York City, with my husband and our two youngest children, that I realized the best design ever created…

The Smallest Table[cover]

The restaurant was crowded, as most were during Spring Break near Broadway and Times Square. There was a small square table in the center of a very crowded restaurant with a small chair on each side. Our knees easily touched and the length of the table was about as long as my arm.

Since it was noisy we leaned even closer to talk. We didn’t care about the noise or crowds. We were happy to be seated and out from the cold night. But as the dinner progressed I sat back at one point and observed my family. We were face to face, leaning into the table, heads together nearly touching, hands and arms occasionally flying into each other. The kids were laughing. Their dad was smiling. And, there was plenty of room for food and drinks but I have no idea what we ate. I quickly ducked back into the intimate circle, lest I miss something!

It remains one of my favorite dinners. I wish I could remember what we laughed about so hard, but I only remember the emotional impact and the visual of our heads together, bodies leaning in, and smiles on everyone’s faces. It was a moment in time of intimate connection and one of the many that created the ongoing bonds that hold my little family together.

My wish for you this new year is to always find the smallest table to share with your favorite people.



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