This is our table. As the focal point of our dining room, it's a disgrace.
It's almost 13 years old. I know this because I remember that the day it came
(unassembled, from the furniture company, I hustled to put it all together so Hubby would be surprised when he came home from work) I was about 5 months pregnant with C. And C is almost 13, too.
Back then, we'd been in the house a couple of years already and had been making do with the teeny, round, brass and glass, garage sale-acquired table from our stint as apartment-dwellers. We'd also been limping along with the old, semi-functioning, glass-top stove that came with the house. Our means were limited, but we'd managed to save up a modest amount and decided it was time for some upgrades. As we shopped, we immediately gravitated toward the beautiful cherry dining sets. Something like that would cost us all of our savings, but how elegant and sohpisticated! In the end, we went for economy and purchased both a new stove and a dining set. We knew the new table wasn't the greatest. It was good enough, though, for the time being and, surely, we'd eventually get something nicer. But mostly, we were thrilled - our very own first set! And, it came with a leaf. More than just an auxilliary piece of wood; a hope and promise that there would be lots of people to accommodate around our table, and many occasions to do so.
Over time, plenty of validation was given to our suspicions about the quality of the table. The thin veneer was no match for little ones transitioning out of sippy cups who repeatedly spilled their drinks, or a cat who had the unfortunate fondness for tipping over abandoned, half-finished cups to see what was inside. Neither could the cheap finish defend itself against the ravages of arts and crafts. Who knew that glitter could permanently embed itself into wood? There might have also been a few times when oven-hot casserole dishes and pans didn't quite make it onto their trivets, adding to the surface damage.
For all of the cosmetic abuse it suffered, the table has done its duty. It's been the undeserving recipient of rough poundings during boisterous family game nights. It's been a perfect pedestal from which to display the occasional vase of flowers. It's been a dutiful bearer of mail, schoolwork and other piles of miscellanea.
And so, it's time for a new table. It's almost certainly past time to replace the one we have. But I don't think we will; not just yet. I'd like to think we're not yet done having the kinds of adventures that have left our table in its sad, sad shape.