My Wedding Vanity

I’ve been trying to simplify my life and my apartment. I’m in the middle of a Spring clean and I’ve already bagged up 6 very large garbage bags of giveaway clothes. I have 3 more large boxes of random giveaway. I’m going to get rid of all my dvd cases and put the dvds in a large cd book. I’m even going to phase out my tv since I don’t have cable and my roommate and I watch all of our movies on our computers anyway. I’ve given away boxes of books which is really hard for me to do. I love books. 🙂

So, while the apartment is not anywhere near finished , I have made some strives to change. Here comes the really tough part. Through my travels and especially during my Navy years I have amassed a collection of furniture that means a lot to me. Now I’m not talking about my generic khaki couch or Weekend’s Only bookshelves: nothing that I had to put together by myself. I’m talking about solid, sometimes vintage pieces that I scavenged to find. I found these pieces everywhere from thrift stores and second hand shops, to the attic of an old farmhouse, and YES even in some dumpster diving. I lovingly restored some of the pieces and enjoyed the worn look of others. I also pride myself in never spending over $75 on any of them.

I didn’t find my honey brown, art deco vanity in an abandoned barn off the side of the road. I found it on Ebay. I was stationed in West Virginia at the time and was going through a very girly stage. I wanted an “Old Hollywood” styled vanity that I could litter with make-up and fancy perfume bottles. I wanted to hang autographed pictures of my favorite actresses around it and maybe even drape a feather boa from the mirror. I found this lovely gem on Ebay and won the auction for $75. I drove to Cleveland to pick it up. I had work the next day; so I literally picked up the vanity, drove back to base, and had to be at work in one hour.

When I got to Cleveland the loveliest older couple you’ve ever met was there to greet me. The man was in a wheelchair and his wife was bustling around the kitchen offering me hot apple cider and spiced cake. She stood at the bottom of the stairs directing me the whole time, “a little more to the left…ooh do be careful…are you sure you don’t have some strong men to do this for you?” After loading the vanity I went to say goodbye to these wonderful people. I shook his hand and she took me in her arms and whispered in my ear with tears in her eyes, “I got dressed to get married at that vanity and someday you will too.”

Oh boy. Don’t tell Harmony that. The next thing you know that vanity was attached to any happily ever after fantasy I’ve ever had. It was a package deal: the perfect man, the perfect house, the perfect career, 2.5 kids, and YES the vanity. I could vividly see myself getting ready for my OWN wedding in the slightly faded mirror.

It’s been 6 years. I’ve had to move every one or two years ever since and I’ve lugged that vanity with me everywhere. I’ve never littered it with beautiful perfume bottles. I don’t use it to put make-up on because it’s a weird height and it’s easier to use the bathroom mirror. It has become a glorified dresser and ashamedly a landing ground for a lot of crap, it doesn’t really have that much storage space, and it takes up half the wall in my bedroom.

I’ve been toying with getting rid of it for some time, but I always get caught up in the sentimentality and the fantasy of the piece. Well, early this morning I finally offered it up to Freecycle. I’ve already gotten 9 responses from people who want it. I didn’t want to sell it because honestly it doesn’t hold a monetary value for me. It’s emotional. BUT I want a simpler life and in order to do that some sacrifices must be made. I’m sad about it, but it’s time. Don’t hate me lovely lady from Cleveland. I’m sorry I won’t be preparing for my own wedding at your lovely vanity. Don’t hate me vanity…It’s not you…I think you’re beautiful. It’s me…I have to let you go.

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