Here's a funny story. 6 years ago, the husband and I sold almost all of our furniture and possessions at a tag sale. Two days later we sold one of our 2 cars. About a week later, we sold our house. Then we were technically homeless and 8 days after becoming "self-imposed homeless" - I found out I was about 9 weeks pregnant. Oops. It didn't even dawn on me that I didn't have my period - I just started sleeping 14 hours a day and puking on a daily basis. At first I just thought all that change was stressing me out - but then it just didn't go away and some higher power was saying "Becky, go pee on a stick!" So I did. Now I have a 5 year-old.
Anyways, after a year - we were happily living in an apartment with a baby and nabbed a dining room table and chair set off Craig's List (one of my 4 "good" finds on CL). I think it was $100. It wasn't perfect - but it was a table and 6 chair set. The next 3 years, I kept saying "When we get our tax return money, I'm going to buy a new table set." I never did.
Now, said baby is 5. He has a 4 year old brother. The best thing I never did was buy a new dining room set. They color at it, play at it, leave cups of leaking water that I don't find for a few hours on it. If it was crappy before they got their grubby paws on this table - well it's 10 times as crappy now. And I realize it wasn't that bad in the beginning. I can't tell them NOT to do stuff at it. I'm just not that disciplined to have a real "formal dining room".
But said bargain table is still standing. It's holding it's own - with lots of dents, scrapes and marks on it. I have about 4 table clothes that I throw on when people come over. Had I bought a new table set - it would probably look just as bad by now as this table does.
Will I ever get a new dining room set? Probably. Not in the foreseeable future though and I'm now okay with that. Of course, knowing my kids, they'll probably find a way to saw off the table legs or something when I'm in the shower this week which will cause me to have to buy a new table.