Thursday, February 2, 2012

If Furniture Could Tell a Story

I have been wanting a new piece of furniture for a while now. Our tiny house and non-existent amount of closet space does not pair well with my inability to get rid of clothes (yet still buy new ones) and Ross’ addiction to adidas shoes (in his defense, he gets 99% of them for free). Each of our closets is stuffed to the brim, mine in neat stacks while Ross’ explodes onto the bedroom floor. Every. Single. Morning. However, despite my constant organization and love of cubby holes and storage containers, we just don’t have enough room. In fact, we have a large utility rack in our second bedroom serving as clothing storage. Trust me, it’s not something I am proud of.

So, I have spent the last week scouring over CraigsList looking for that perfect piece to add to our home. Not too big (because we don’t have room), not too small (because it does need to actually hold some clothes), not too expensive yet made from real wood, preferably vintage yet not needing a lot of restoration or repairs. I love restoration projects but honestly I just wanted a quick fix.

After several days of getting my hopes up to find my favorite pieces had already been sold, missed yard sales (due to our snowshoeing adventure I still need to fill you in on), and lots of overpriced crappy furniture posts, I found the one. I happened to be on Craigslist at the exact moment the post was brought live, and immediately emailed the nice man and told him I wanted his dresser. I am sure he questioned my authenticity (and sanity) because I emailed so quickly, however he didn’t question it and gave me his address to go check it out. (Now is where I pause the story to say “NO! I did not go to a stranger’s house alone. Ross went with me. YES! I am aware of the CraigsList killer." Don’t worry I do some research before I set out on a random furniture-craving scavenger hunt.)

Anyway, Nice CraigsList Fellow (I think he is more of a fellow than a man because he had a European accent. And I want an excuse to excessively say “hello fellow” in a high-pitched British accent in my head) told us that when he bought the dresser 20 years ago in St. Louis the antique shop told him it was over 100 years old and that in the past couple of decades it had been salvaged and restored from an old crack house. Yes, crack house. Like the drug. Proof of his story lies in the little bit shaky frame, lack of drawer tracks, and cigarette burns and deep scratches and discoloration on the top… which ironically are all my favorite details of the piece (and the fact that every drawer has a key hole… but we don’t have the key.)

So if our new to us, old dresser could talk, it would tell of cross-country travels, a century of history, the consequences of making bad decisions, and a long life in the wrong hands. But now, it is safe and sound, and the only worries it has are kitten scratches and a wagging doggy tail.

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