possibly, the moments i dread more in family life are coming home and finding a new piece of old furniture and my proud parents beaming next to it. i have come to notice the pride and self-satisfaction steaming from half curved lips and shiny eyes, as i hit my shins into yet another piece of horrendous taste somebody else had the good sense to dispose of, and my parents picked up in one of their “shopping” expeditions.
my personal furnishing taste is doing it as painlessly as possible. i go to the furniture stores, I point, they pack, i swipe the plastic, they deliver.
it was not always so, of course. i made the mistake of telling my parents the “war stories” from when i first had my apartment in the Bronx, a single mattress of a dead aunt, the old leecherous superintendand gave me, one chair and a phone line with voicemail. my former musician friend told me she loved the echo in my apartment. yes for the first nine months the wonderful echo bounced from empty wall to empty wall.
then, a friend gave me some shelves, another some couches after i helped them move, and so on and so on. during the following years, i threw those old soldiers out one by one, as i replaced them with new and shiny and thin looking furniture. yet my mom was appalled when she first visited because i had no curtains. to her horror, she confirmed that the wonderful home furnishing and interior decorating gene had passed me over. so she asked her mother to buy lace thingies, send them over from Albania, and made me curtains.
but i digress. i came home today, to find a weird looking square thing my little cousin was diligently stripping off lacquer.
“bee, meet the new coffee table, coffee table this is bee.”
we hated each-other on sight, but what could i do? the coffee table was smiling smuggly under the hands of my little cousin who hates cleaning his own room, but loves refurbishing found pieces of trash.
i went to my room, only to hit my hip against irons of the “new” vanity, a sleek spider that was adopted while forlornly lying by the sidewalk one year ago. it is not actually bad as such. it is just mysterious and strangely made and it loves getting hit by my shins, hips, toes, and shoulder.
i start to yell once again, but i see how happy they are to contribute to the family life and how much money thinking they saved and i let them be. if Angelina keeps adopting babies, why should my parents not adopt furniture?
meanwhile i am making my peace with the dinner chairs, dinner table, couch, computer desk, coffee table, dinosaur printers and a 486 comp. and dreading the moments my parents come home proud from another “shopping” trip.