I was 8 when my mom was pregnant with my brother and bought him this antique dresser. I promptly informed her that a baby would not be able to appreciate this fine dresser and claimed it as my own.
My love affair with antiques actually began long before age 8, when I would wander through my grandparent’s house, trying to commit its entire contents to my memory.
However, this did mark the start of my claiming my mother’s things as my own, and she was helpless to stop it. She’s even more helpless to stop Ellis from “shopping” in her fridge, laughing as Ellis pulls out leftovers and dropping it into a bag and saying in her sing-song voice, We need this. Aaaand we need this. Aaaand we need this.
I love this dresser as much today as I did at age 8. It held my first pair of white Guess jeans with the little zippers up the back. My bff Jerusalem and I used it to mix a batch of chocolate chip cookies late one night because we didn’t want to wake up my family by using the kitchen.
The marks of a penny, a hairclip, and a scissors are burned into the surface from carelessly leaving them underneath whatever decorative cloth I had draped over its top.
And now the dresser is in Ellis’ room, and even though I tell myself it’s still my dresser, I am totally prepared for the day when she claims it as her own. I will outwardly protest and tell her that just because it’s in her room, that does not make it hers. And on the inside, I’ll be thinking, this is just how it should be.
I wonder what sort of memories Ellis will have of her dresser 25 years from now, what fashions it will hold, what marks will be left behind.
She may not remember how she used to “lock” her dresser pulls by flipping them up (to keep the cat out, of course), but I will.