We bought the dining room set we have now back in 1996 when we were first married. We purchased it at Bergner’s department store in Peoria, Illinois, for $500. It has survived several moves, two boys, and a border collie puppy with a penchant for chewing wood. But, as tables go, it’s seen better days. For years now we’ve discussed getting a new dining table. I suppose we put it off because after your kids have stabbed your table with forks, colored on it with Sharpies, and stuck things to it with Krazy Glue, you start to wonder if spending money on a nicer table is such a brilliant idea.
Still, it’s time. To that end, we’ve been furniture shopping. The problem is that hubby and I don’t necessarily agree on what constitutes a “nice” dining room table. Originally, he was pushing for a dining room table with a brushed, stainless steel top. I told him he’d been hanging out in too many Chipotle restaurants. I wanted a wood dining table, something simple with clean lines. He couldn’t get over his idea of having metal somewhere in the mix, even though I told him repeatedly that we are not hipsters living in an upscale, downtown loft. He argued that our dining room isn’t formal (true) and that most of our furniture is clean and simple (also true). He thinks a metal and wood set would blend the stainless in our house with the wood we already have (true again). We’d finally found a set at Room and Board that I was fairly certain I could live with, even though it was a bit more modern than I originally preferred. Marriage is all about compromise, right?
Then tonight he showed me something new.
“What do you think of this dining table?” hubby asked, showing me a photo of a reclaimed wood table with pointy, metal legs and wooden benches. I rolled my eyes.
“I’m looking for a dining table. NOT a picnic table. What are you? A hobo?” was my response.
“No. A hobo doesn’t spend time negotiating with his wife about dining room tables. He just quietly eats his food right out of his bandana on a stick.”
My eyes rolled again. (They do that involuntarily sometimes.)
“It’s made of reclaimed wood,” he said, sounding as if that was something to write home about.
“Ummmmm….you know the table we’re trying to replace? If I sand it and restain it, I’m pretty sure I could call that reclaimed wood too. I want a new table. I haven’t waited all these years to get a real dining room picnic table.”
“It’s NOT a picnic table,” he replied.
“It has benches,” I pointed out.
“So, while I’m sure the pilgrims and indians sat at benches at the first Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t want people sitting on benches at my dining room table on Thanksgiving in 2012. If we’re upgrading to a better table, I think we should list chairs as a necessity.”
“It says here we can order chairs instead of benches. And…it’s made in Denver,” he offered as if that would change my mind.
“Listen…I’ve already conceded as much as I’m going to about this table. I’m willing to go with metal and wood, but not THAT way. It’s either the Room and Board table or we go back to an all wooden table.”
Stymied, he went back to the Room and Board web site to look at the agreed upon table. A few minutes later he piped up again.
“Well, at least this table is made in Wisconsin. That’s something.”
Yes it is. It’s a sign that we might actually get a new table sometime in the next decade. I have no intention of eating out of a bandana if I don’t have to.