Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The One That Got Away

I made up for all my non partying on New Year's Eve  when we had two of our nearest and dearest friends over for dinner and a game of Cards Against Humanity this past Friday night. I could feel my voice starting to get hoarse as we sat up talking and laughing late into the night and I woke up on Saturday morning with full blown laryngitis. Well, after WebMD'ing my symptoms on Sunday I diagnosed myself with laryngitis and a visit to the doctor yesterday confirmed it. Regardless, now it's Tuesday, my voice is still pretty much shot and I end up with two bonus days off while all the rest of you had to head back to work.
Now before you go getting all jealous and stuff, keep in mind that these extra days off don't come for free. No sireee. It means I have to use precious paid time off days. And there are still 359 days left in which to divvy up the remainder. While I may be laughing today, the rest of you may be laughing when I am out of time come July.
Anyway, with all this extra time on my hands, I was looking through the cabinet where I store all of our photo albums searching for a particular picture when I came across this:

A picture of the formal living room in the house I grew up in.
This pictures makes me feel nostalgic. Possibly from all my childhood memories of growing up in that house but more likely because I was probably the one who vacuumed all of those nice lines in the old school, plush carpet. Vacuum lines gave me great satisfaction as a kid. I had issues.
Despite the pleasant walk down memory lane, this picture also makes me feel sad and remorseful. Not because my parents separated and ultimately divorced while we lived there. Not because the house was over 100 years old, haunted and some crazy, scary things happened there. And not because I moved out of there at 18 after fighting with my mom over something stupid.
No, none of those things make me sad or remorseful. They are all a part of life and we wouldn't be who we are today without living through our pasts.
You want to know what makes me upset about this picture?
That dresser.
Or chest. A Dorothy Draper Chest to be exact.
We owned one.
Notice the past tense and insert wailing emoji {here}
Over the years I have seen this chest pop up in shelter mags and have had my eyes well up with tears that it somehow got away. These images taunt me and torment me because I would trade my firstborn for one of these chests now.
Well, that's an exaggeration. I wouldn't actually trade Liam away. Besides, now he's a legal adult so I probably couldn't anyway.
It's so stunning it hurts my heart. I think of all the ways I would utilize it in my home and I just want to cry. Let's look for a second at how amazing the Dorothy Draper looks in homes today:

simple and stunning

understated glam - this is just beautiful

that wallpaper! that chest! those foo dogs! i die over this one.

that mirror. that rug. 

The worst part of it is, is that it was moved into my bedroom while I was in high school and I used it as a dresser.
Yes, someone thought it was a good idea to entrust someone who looked like this:

with a fine piece of furniture that nowadays costs upwards of thousands of dollars. See it over there to the left of the photo? It was given to a kid who thought it was a good idea to shave half of her head, dye it an absurd orange red (and what was with those sideburns??), decorate her room with shadeless lamps and religious statues on the floor (look to the right) and take selfies back in the old manual camera days. This was the kid who got to have a Dorothy Draper Chest in her bedroom.
I'm looking at you Mom.
What were you thinking???

I feel worse about this than people feel when they have let the one true love of their life get away. Maybe that is a little dramatic. But I sometimes find myself imagining the life I could have had with that chest in it. Oh, the endless possibilities!
 Regret is a powerful emotion and I will never get over having once owned an original Dorothy Draper Chest and letting it get away. Or even having realized what it was. Especially since that crazy looking girl would turn out to be the child who is keeper of all of our family heirlooms. The one who cherishes the history and cares more about the memories than any book value.
If only she had known the value in the old, black lacquer chest.

sidenote: The only consolation when I see the old photo of our living room is that the antique mantel clock currently resides in my formal living room where I lovingly wind it each week. And also that I have much better hair and design sense.


  1. That's so funny!!! How random when you look back and notice things you never thought of before ! Amazing piece of furniture !

    Victoria @ http://alfandemilio.co.uk

  2. In love with that dresser! I would cry too if it got away!

    1. It is now my life's mission to find another one. Hopefully on the cheap. ;)

  3. OK!!!! mia copa, mia copa, mia copa (not sure about the spelling) I loved it too for years and years and then country came along. I regret it too and have no idea where it went. I hope I have learned a few things since then.

    1. I forgive you because I love you so much Mom. And I wasn't surprised a bit when you said it originally came from Aunt Eleanor - because, you know, the whole great minds thing. ;)

  4. I'm still looking at the photo of you. Ahhh memories.