Friday, February 08, 2013

The Thin Little Shelving Unit

One of my loyal readers (thanks, Eileen!) asked where I got the tall, thin piece of furniture that has 5 shelves in the nursery. 

Before this, it had been in our tiny bathroom, a perfect fit for small spaces.

I, of course, can't answer a question without also telling a story.  And gosh, these days, I can't think of anything without also wanting to make it into a blog. 

I think it's my sentimental nature, which has amped itself up since Liam's been born.  I'm obsessed with remembering, archiving, and saving. 

Maybe it's because I realize how quickly life is speeding up, and I just want to savor every moment and appreciate every thing. 

Or maybe it's because, now with Liam, there is finally a "future generation" that could look back and proudly say, "This heirloom piece comes from my mother.  It graced my nursery when I was young, and she ingeniously pulled it from someone's trash during her college years!"

Yes, it is true.  What is one person's trash is another one's treasure.  And I usually tend to be the treasure-seeking kind.

So, please allow me to tell you the story of the little 5-level shelving unit.  Nothing in our house is here without a story.

Like most of our furniture, this little piece was found abandoned, wanted by nobody.  It sat sadly beside the trash at the end of our hallway in Hull Hall, the last remaining girls-only dorm on campus.  It was Finals Week of the Spring Semester of my junior year, and everybody was preparing to move out.

I spotted it coming out of the bathroom, and I instantly fell in love.  It came from the Triplet at the end of the hallway, and in order for me to take it, I would have to slide it past their room.  But their door was always open, bellowing out loud music and laughing conversations and clouds of thick cigarette smoke.  How was I going to get it past them with losing my dignity?  How could I prevent girls from the other hallway from taking it, since they wouldn't need to pass by the Triplet at all?

And then I knew. 

The key to saving a piece of furniture for yourself is to make it unappealing to everyone else so that you don't have any competition for it.  So, I removed all 5 of the shelves, stuffed them under my sweatshirt, and then proceeded--as naturally as possible, which isn't very natural when your boobs and stomach are now squarish in shape--down the hallway to my room, breathing a huge sigh of relief when I made it in and closed the door.

My roommate looked at me like I was nuts, which we both knew I was, and I explained to her the rest of my elaborate strategy for securing the rest of the piece.  I set my alarm for 4 AM, figuring that at that time, everybody would be asleep, the Triplet's door would be closed, and I could make a run for it without anybody noticing.

Jalinn admired my determination.  She had seen the piece before also and wanted it for herself.  But there was no way she'd be getting up at 4 AM for it, she said. 

The rest of that evening, I walked past the shelf-less rectangle as if I was indifferent toward it.  That night, though, I went to bed with my alarm set, praying that the other half of my treasure would still be there before sunrise.

And, at 4 AM, it was still there for me, standing tall and proud, but empty and ready to be reunited with its shelves.  I quietly slid it down the hallway, brought it into the room, and hugged it, there in the dark.  Jalinn missed the whole thing.

When Jalinn awoke and we admired my treasure in the sunlight, I knew it needed just one more element to feel complete: baskets.  So I searched for them that Summer and found inexpensive ones from The Basket Warehouse.

And that, dear friends, is the story of the thin little shelving unit.  Thanks for prompting me to tell it, Eileen!