Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Farewell, Pink Dresser

I develop irrational attachments to things.

I once had a light blue Tshirt that advertised some business or other and was covered in handprints made with white paint. I wore that Tshirt to sleep in every night for four or five years. At least. It was somewhat compulsive behavior, I admit (I've always slept in it; I can stop now!), but the Tshirt held significance. It held the memory of time of service and laughter, one of the last times I spent with a childhood friend before I moved ahead to high school and she moved away. And, as you can imagine, after a few years in, it was like slipping into a second skin.

Most of the handprints faded away. The ones that lasted were the multiple ones that had been placed by slapping my butt, and those handprints rose to the small of my back. Holes appeared and the Tshirt became more or less transparent. My mother was horrified by it. She once threw it away but foolishly in her bedroom trash can. My father saw it, rescued it, and hid it under my pillow.

I think I reached a point in college where I realized it was indecent. But I never parted with it. It remained folded at the bottom of my Tshirt drawer and then later, in a plastic, zippered bag in the attic with all the other Tshirts that held sentimental value. But they didn't make it to Maryland. I don't know where that bag of sentiment landed, but I can't locate it.


Yesterday, I moved a new dresser into my daughter's bedroom. Her old one was one my mother picked up off someone's curb when I was a toddler. It was yellow in my childhood and then at least three shades of pink over the years. The drawers are made of flimsy wood and barely held together with old, rusty nails. In spite of my prolific use of wood glue, the thing's decrepit, and my daughter can't even open one of the drawers.


Then one of our neighbors offered up a free dresser. I let my daughter choose its new color (a violent shade of purple of which I heartily (but silently) disapprove). I exercised my own taste by decoupaging colorful paper to the drawer sides. And I moved the knobs from Old Pink to New(ish) Purple. The drawers are much deeper, and they slide in and out with ease.


But the sight of Old Pink on the curb, forlorn and denuded of its hardware, twists my heart. I actually considered keeping it. I thought, "I have more wood glue. I could probably figure out how to hold it together." Isn't is possible that it has feelings? That it feels abandoned by the woman it saw grow up? Whose threadbare blue Tshirt it held for so many years?

I'm going to hope, instead, that someone else will find it and use it. That someone else with wood glue and patience will give it a fresh coat of paint and new knobs and fill it with clothes. But I'll give it a kiss before it goes.

13 comments :

  1. I think men have irrational attachments to underwear. they wear them until they are falling apart.

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  2. True for my husband, for sure! "They're just getting comfortable."

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  3. Don't you think you inherited this irrational attachment to things from you dad? I can think of many items in his wardrobe that have long since surpassed their useful life. Sad to see old pink go, but quite impressed with how you dressed up Maggie's new(ish) dresser!

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    1. Actually, yes. That's why I included. Nature or nurture, though?

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  4. First, I think it's very sweet that your dad was the one who rescued your tshirt from the trash.
    We attach to much sentimentality to stuff, don't we? My house would be a whole lot less cluttered if I could turn loose with some stuff that's sentimental but no longer useful or necessary.
    Love, love, LOVE the paper on the sides of the drawers! Did you use scrapbook paper and Modpodge? And is that your homemade chalk paint?
    Oh, I have a rocking chair very similar to the one next to the new dresser. Mine has an upholstered seat and a pillow back that hangs from the two little posts.

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    1. He is a sweet guy. I swing on the keep/toss argument. Depends on mood, I guess. I have a horror of being a hoarder, but some things will never go.
      Actually, the dresser's just regular old semi-gloss. And, yes, the drawer sides of paper and MP. They're a bit wrinkled so I need to work on my skills.
      Huge light bulb! I found that rocking chair somewhere (thrift store maybe), and it was seatless and backless. I painted it and put that Shaker tape seat in, but I've never been able to figure out how a back is supposed to work! Hanging over the posts, of course! Thank you!

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  5. Oh, I'm just like you! My sentimental heart holds onto things for WAY too long. I actually really like the colour Maggie chose for the dresser and I love how you decorated each of the sides of the drawers in different paper. Love that your dad rescued your beloved shirt for you too - so sweet :)

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    1. Yeah, I get this sentimentality from my dad. Thanks for the compliments!

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  6. I do the same thing! I even kissed my last car goodbye and I only had it for three years. So I painted a dresser funky style years ago and I gave it away when I moved. I still think about it. Sigh. And I LOVE the paper on the sides of your drawers!! Great idea!

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    1. The whole kiss goodbye line was for my dad who kissed a car goodbye once after my sister totalled it.

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  7. May over at Achieving Clarity is doing a series on decorating apartments for little to no expense. Her most recent is about repurposed furniture - I think you'd like it!

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    1. I should check it out. And that helps me realize who May is. I hadn't put the person and the blog together.

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