". . . little shall I grace my cause

In speaking for myself. Yet, by your gracious patience,

I will a round unvarnish'd tale deliver . . ."

(William Shakespeare's Othello, I.iii.88-90)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wear and Tear

A few days ago I noticed some new artwork on the dining room table. And I literally mean on the table. Apparently a certain 4-year-old who lives in my house got a little wild with the markers. (Or maybe it was his big sister--she's been known to wield a marker or two herself.)

Then yesterday on that same table I discovered several well-attached stickers. Their decorative placement belied their unintentionality.

Anyway, as every parent knows, property damage in a house with a preschooler is not news. But I couldn't help taking note of my non-reaction to these most recent defacings. The marker is still there; I haven't even bothered to try to wash it off. The sticker was met with a yawn and a mental note to return to it later in the day (a little fingernail work did the trick).

There was a day that I bemoaned every little new piece of damage to house and home. But lately, I find that I just don't care much anymore. Reflecting on why, I think there are several factors in play. First, I would like to think that with age I am becoming wiser and more mature. After all, it's just stuff. In the grand scheme of life and death, what's the big deal?

Second, as I look at the items suffering abuse, I have to admit that their age and condition also contributes to my apathy. The dining room table in question is on its last legs (there's a pun for you, Elephant's Child!). The upholstery is peeling away and the chair backs are collapsing from the seats. What's a green mark or two?

I am hoping a new dining room table is in my future. On the other hand, a new dining room table means a renewed concern for protecting it, and I'm not sure I have the energy or passion to do so anymore. So maybe that dining room table is best postponed until we're through the most property-threatening years. (No, scratch that. If I get a new table, I will find the energy.)

You know what I find myself looking forward to lately? That day in the future that I will be able to be as blase about the newest wrinkles on my face as I am about the latest dings to my aging furniture. Do you think that day will ever come?


elephantschild said...

Have your preschooler go at the bathroom mirror -then it will be a nice, soft-focus mirror and you won't notice any wrinkles!

::takes a bow:: Glad to help!

So many of our household goods are third and fourth hand or fished out of the garbage, err... I mean re-purposed out of the landfill, that I'm like you - I pretty much don't care anymore.

I have just a few things I really need to keep nice. Mostly because if they get trashed, we can't go out and replace them.

Erin said...

Craigslist has furnished almost our entire house with beautiful (and cheap) furniture. I highly recommend you browsing there for a dining room table!

Glenda said...

When you get that new table, buy some of the heavy duty clear plastic that comes on a roll. (I got mine at Wal-Mart) I use it on our school room table and on our antique, re-finished dining room table (used for every meal). It allows the beauty of the table to shine through, but protects it from stray markers, knives, etc. The only thing is that I have to use place mats to keep the hot bowls of food from "sticking" to the plastic. But overall it works well, and I love it.

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Erin and Glenda, for the great ideas!