>Some people hoard pets. More often, people hoard money. Weirdos hoard children (especially ones with disabilities). Husband and I got them all beat (except for the disabled kid collectors): we hoard furniture.

When we tied the knot in 2000, we registered for a $199 dining table that folded in half and four $35 chairs. A group of his co-workers pitched in and got us the table and two chairs, we bought the other two, and we were psyched. How adult of us to have a matching table set! Fast forward six years. The table is warped, cracked, and has random items stuck to it. (We keep a lot of mail and newspapers on the table, and when someone spills, a mess ensues.) Despite my affection for the set, it was clearly time to move on. Fortunately, we scored a lovely polished wood table and six chairs with cushiony seats at a random sale at Macy’s. The table also has two extension leafs, so we should be able to comfortably seat 12 at Thanksgiving. It was delivered today, and if I felt grown up six years ago, I feel grown up and semi-pretentious now. It is crazy having real furniture!

The problem is that we also still have the old dining set. I hate to part with four perfectly good chairs, and I discovered that the folded table makes for a perfect writing table. Thus our living room now is stocked with: two couches; a crappy $20 coffee table from Ikea with legs that Tycho the 14 lb. rabbit likes to nibble on; two ginormous lavender leather Ethan Allen chairs that Husband saw on Craig’s List for $100 bucks a pop and insisted we must own; an Ikea entertainment center, two bookcases (one of which I found abandoned on the street); an Ikea computer desk; two end tables (one of which we rescued from the trash room of our old building, the other bought for $10 at a street sale in Boston); a rocking chair that we bought at the same street sale in Boston for an amazing $5 (and later added a $15 cushion to); four baby gates; a grandfather clock made out of puzzle pieces that I bought for Husband for our 1st wedding anniversary; two little sets of shelving; a CD shelving unit; and last but not least, Tycho’s “studio apartment” (i.e. – a giant dog cage and some space to run around in, plus a litter box); plus four dining room chairs, a folding chair for the computer desk, and the folded dining table. Oh yeah, and two folded snack tables. Obviously, something is going to have to go.

The dining room has the nice new table and chairs set, in addition to: two folded beach chairs; three folding tables (folded); about 10 folded folding chairs (four of which belong to Brother-in-Law); a turquoise leather armchair that we bought at a street sale on our block for $25; two dining chairs that I salvaged from the curb (these will definitely be trashed, though); a little nightstand that I snagged from the curb near Dr. P’s apartment, which we store our dish towels and table cloths; and a microwave cart. Yep, it is crowded in there, too.

As I was bemoaning how respectable we’ve become with such a fancy dining room table and chairs, Brother-in-Law laughed his ass off and reminded me that nothing in our apartment matches. I’m glad that we are still on our theme of completely random décor that often came from the trash or yard sales. That realization made me feel much better. Whew!

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