Can place settings destroy a marriage?
One member of the Pierce family is in the habit of requiring the use of placemats on the dining table during meals. They are cloth rectangles placed under one’s plate. Sort of like shag carpeting under one’s food. According to custom, it would seem, these placemats ought to be cleaned after use. But, in fact, they never are. They sit on the table for days, collecting bits of refried bean and spaghetti sauce.
Another member of the Pierce family is repulsed by the idea of dirty cloth sitting underneath his/her food. Indeed, s/he does not understand the point of placemats in any event. The dining table, with layer of very hard polyurthane finish, is much easier to wipe down than is a placemat.
If anyone has any information about the origin of the custom of using placemats or knowledge of how to use them effectively, please comment below.