Monday, November 2, 2009

Grownup Furniture Takes Me Back to Childhood

My childhood bedroom furniture was caked with scaly white paint, which I later learned was over 1930s jade green, originally my mother’s parents’ set – wow! No wonder it was caked & scaly – which gave me nightmares when I had chicken pox and my skin resembled the paint – but I never saw a shred of green.

I had several inherited dressers in the years after first new pieces were white-lined laminate, from a catalogue, a short and a tall dresser, each put together by a different boyfriend of my then-roommate cousin. LOL – all parties concerned were trying to be modern and sophisticated and friendly and it all went well except when I accidentally mentioned to new boyfriend that old boyfriend had put together the taller dresser.

I loved the clean-seeming white lining of these dressers and kept them for many years, and squinted to pretend they matched Craig’s dresser, which was also an inheritance – from his father’s mother, fairly new but with peeling cork board that I guess was to attach family photos beside the mirror. (OK, is it just me or is furniture built for stuck-in photos a LITTLE bit country?!)

After we moved into Bowie Manor West we decided it was time to splurge on – gasp – a dresser so big we as a couple could share it…or at least his & her dressers that matched. I was working from home the day the furniture was delivered and my first reaction was that the wood was darker than I remembered – not my preference – but Craig seemed very happy with it.

Interesting: When I first met Craig, he had Pier 1 mod-ish furniture…black, aluminum, blue-flecked… It fascinates me that the longer we’re together, the more he seems to be channeling memories of Grandma’s house. Actually this syndrome started right after he moved in with me: “Should we get doilies to put on these wood surfaces?” Uh…no. This is 1996! I am a modern woman! NO DOILIES. Even wire hangers would be better than that…

I have added a little more art and a more colorful quilt to try to compensate for the dressers' dark wood, which I’m sure Craig thinks needs no balancing out.

I guess there is something comforting about sleeping next to a tall dark monolith. I remember as a child visiting my mother’s mother and if the house was crowded with other company, sometimes sleeping on a pallet in Grandma’s bedroom, near her dark wood tallboy. Everything in that room was bigger than me, and it felt fine.

Our dog Billie is afraid of thunder and lightning, and her favorite safe place is next to my side of the bed – in the shadow of the dresser. I’m sure she finds it cozy, like a cave. I guess I do too.

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