Dear West Elm,
I’d like to share a little story with you.
Once upon a time there was a young(ish) couple with a small baby. They had just moved from the South End to Jamaica Plain and they wanted to get grown up furniture for their new house. No more IKEA for them!* So they went to West Elm, the hipper, cooler Crate & Barrel. There, they discovered the Farmhouse Dining Table. It was somewhat costly for their somewhat meager budget, but remember, they were grown ups now. Plus, it was Japanese Maple, or kiln-dried solid oak, or some other kind of fancy sounding wood, which was compelling. This was a long time ago, when the couple was still young-ish, so the details are a bit fuzzy, but I assure you, it was clearly described as being made of some kind of wood. Otherwise, they would’ve been like, screw this, we can get this at IKEA, and then the girl part of the couple would be all, plus we can get meatballs while we’re there, and the guy part of the couple would roll his eyes but secretly be totally on board with that plan.
So the youthful-esque couple sprung for the Farmhouse Table and a matching bench to boot. What’s too much to pay for real (second spoiler alert: actually not real) wood table and bench? We’ll pass this on to our grandchildren someday!
Let’s take a look at how this Japanese maple/kiln-dried (what does that even mean in the wood world?) oak has held up.
Short answer: not great.
So now this couple is past their prime and now the baby is a 7-year old young lady with a 5-year old human wrecking ball little brother who spills 70% of everything he eats on the table/floor. The young couple have to keep a table cloth on the table at all times though, lest their small children have their tiny fingers impaled on a sliver of non-Japanese Maple/kiln-dried oak because the packing tape wore off. And the woman, who’s still bitter about missing out on IKEA meatballs six years ago, has to wash said table cloth all the time because of the aforementioned human wrecking ball. And let’s be honest, rapidly aging couples with two young children don’t have an extensive table cloth collection. They just don’t. So that’s a lot of work. And that table is not wood. The end.
I don’t know if you figured this out from the story, but that woman was ME. And we bought that table from you. And I’m still not over it. Well, gotta go, time to put the table cloth in the dryer.
*Except for the dressers, bookshelves and a wardrobe. And possibly the custom kitchen cabinets had been IKEA, but seriously that’s it.