Shiny Happy Furniture

I spent the bulk of the weekend getting all sorts of domestic/ life stuff done from signing up for my first Chicago checking account, to cleaning the kitchen, baking muffins, making cards, and the subject of this post-buying a dresser.

Let me start this out by saying I hate buying furniture. Since the cross country move, I’ve preferred to be a minimalist in terms of my belongings-the less I own, the easier it will be to pack up and leave if I decide that’s something I ever want to do again. Considering 95% of my apartment consists of my roommates stuff, this concept hasn’t been hard to manage.

But after living out of a suitcase and plastic bins for the past 4 months, the lack of organization was really starting to get to me. My clean and dirty clothes piles started to meld together and with an impending shipment of winter clothes from back home, there was no way I could carry on any longer. I had to buy a dresser.

In my more recent adulthood, I’ve started viewing purchases as commitments or investments. “By purchasing this blazer at $40 from Marshalls I commit myself to the classier side of business casual attire.” “By purchasing these pillows, I invest my money into regular good night’s sleep.”

By purchasing this dresser, I commit myself to living in this city, at least long enough so I don’t feel like I wasted my money.

I found it after searching through hundreds of adds on Craigslist. While it cost a little more than I wanted to spend, I knew it was mine when I saw it and I didn’t care. I arranged a pick up time with the girl who was selling it and I worked out logistics with my roommate’s dad who was happy to help. On Sunday evening I biked the 5 miles to Wrigleyville from my apartment to get it and after loading my old bike and my new dresser into the vehicle, with the help of my roommate I hauled it up 3 flights of stairs and into my room.

room11 room22

I recognize it’s just a thing, and things only have as much power as you give them, but for some strange reason it means more to me than just a place to store clothes.


When I look at it I see different futures-maybe a lover helping me move it out of this apartment into one of our very own and him pleading, “Do we really need a bright orange dresser?” I picture my niece as a little girl telling me it reminds her of sunshine. I see myself as an older woman with chin length grey hair in a new loft I just purchased,trying my best not to sound snippy when I ask the movers to be super careful with it.

I see everything I have placed in it, and a time lapse of everything it might contain.

I see everything I’ve done to get this insatiably bright piece of furniture into my new home- from packing up my things to the sad goodbyes; from the long bus ride where I had no idea what would happen to meeting my roommate for the first time. When I look at it I am reminded of my weaker moments sitting in fetal position at the bottom of my bathtub crying because I was far too overwhelmed and too anxious to articulate my feelings properly.

And then I see it for what it is-an ever present, glowing piece of color in an otherwise dark room. Something that I thought would clash ended up fitting so perfectly.

So maybe it’s more than just a thing after all and I’m completely ok with that.


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