Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fine Furniture

My taste in furniture has shifted. Once, it was all formal and proper and Victorian-era – a living room set with camel back sofa and matching loveseat and Queen Anne coffee and side tables in cherry wood; a fancy, proper dining set with china cabinet to hold the fine English bone china, also in cherry; marble top dressers and a sleigh bed with a six foot tall headboard in a gorgeous tiger oak.

After a divorce where I walked away from a lot of things I once loved – the house with the stained glass windows in the double front doors, some amazing neighbors, and most of the furniture (and yes, the man), my decorating style accidentally sidestepped to an eclectic mash-up of castoffs, which is still a disproportionate overtone of “the look.” My elegant white leather dining chairs cohabitate in a room with a vintage cabinet with drawers and an antique mirror from Korea, a crackle-painted dresser that masquerades as a sideboard and now houses the allegedly wi-fi printer we can’t seem to get to run wirelessly.

In my imaginary bedroom in the arts and crafts style bungalow in my head I have a Mission-style bedroom set, but in my real bedroom in the generic white brick ranch house it’s still the vintage veneer set circa 1930/40 I bought from my dad’s old neighbor back in the 1990s and have since moved into seven different residences in two states. In my uber-cool, urban high-rise apartment (that I do not rent, own or have any assurance exists beyond a page torn from a magazine and that could be a set constructed in a warehouse just for the article), the furnishings are sleek, modern, chrome and cool. Yeah, I probably won’t buy any of that stuff any time soon, either.

I don’t tend to buy new furniture when I move somewhere. For one thing, I already have a bunch of stuff and then I would need to figure out what to do with it. The real reason, however, is that I never think I will stay put anywhere more than six months or so, and why go through all the trouble and expense of outfitting a temporary resting stop. Then, one or three or seven years later I am still in the same place with the same furniture I was bored with eight years ago.

There is, however, one furnishing that has captured my attention and with which I have been enchanted for many, many years. It is the one item for which I might be convinced to part with a serious wad of cash. Maybe. It’s a magical thing (no, not a flying carpet, although that would be cool, too), a mechanized piece of furniture and if I had one, it might take some real convincing to get me to ever leave the house. It’s better than any recliner, sleep sofa or expensive fancy number bed.

The model of the item with which I am currently acquainted is called the “Quantum 400,” upholstered in vinyl, with a small rolled pillow. My heart skips with joy when I see it. It’s the massage table at my chiropractor’s office – a padded couch/table/bed of sorts, with a roller that massages the back from butt to shoulders and back down again. A timer, variable firmness on the rollers (I like the hard-core setting, evidently). I’m tempted to get a job with a chiropractor just so I could use that thing on my lunch hour. Every day. A couple weeks ago, I asked how much one would cost, and the tech at the office said “Oh, $5,000.” I think it might be worth it. Of course, I’d have to divest some of the mid- to late-twentieth century collection of clutter to make room for it.

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