From the Arkie Mama archives:
(NOTE: The hall tree is no longer in the dining room because Hubs moved a big, old, ugly buffet in there. Now the hall tree is in OUR BEDROOM.)
OK, so if you look to the left of my lovely stepdaughter, you’ll see a hideous lamp…
Notice how the age-yellowed lampshade is held together only by peeling masking tape?
That atrocious lamp is symbolic of the disparity in Hubs’ and my taste in home decor.
For the Hubs, all that matters to him is that something is old. He loves antiques, faded linens, knicky-knack things.
Me, I’m a minimalist. I hate clutter and what I will generously refer to here as “stuff.” The comedian who moved temporarily into an IKEA store? That is my fantasy.
Clean and modern. Lots of light. NO KNICK-KNACKS. No dark, brooding furniture.
Like this hulking thing, to the left of cute daughter:
This, my friends, is an antique hall tree.
I refer to it as the Clutter Collector.
We’ve never had a hall to put it in, mind you, but it has accompanied us on each move. I LOATHE it. For one thing, it’s just a depressing-looking piece of furniture. It’s ugly. And — most offensive — everyone dumps stuff on it, thereby making whatever space it occupies CLUTTERY. ACK!
Jackets belong inside a closet, not dangling from an horned piece of furniture that takes up valuable space in my dining room.
When I have to shove my way through a dozen coats and scarves just to sit down at the table, I break out into hives. Oh, and the hall tree has a seat. So there’s more junk under the bench and on the bench.
As I said — Clutter Collector.
I want to burn it. After I take an ax and chop it into itty-bitty pieces. Such is my hatred of the hall tree.
Anyway, back to the lamp.
On a recent trip to my parents’, I hauled Hubs into the IKEA store.
Halfway through the vast, uncluttered store, as I fondled the floor lamps, he finally clued in.
“We’re here for a new lamp, aren’t we?” he asked.
I smiled. Evilly.
A new lamp was purchased and erected in the spot once occupied by the taped-together piece of junk.
And then the battle began.
“Why are you taking the old lamp outside?” Hubs asked indignantly.
“Because we can leave it out on the curb for pickup this week.”
“You’re getting rid of it?”
“Why would we keep it? It’s broken. It doesn’t even have that globe-thingy in it anymore.”
“Yes, it does. I found one for it.”
“Oh. Yes. The one that’s just balanced in there because you can’t attach it. The one that could fall out at any minute. The one that cost us more than the new lamp.”
Sure enough, as I carried the old lamp outside, the globe fell out and smashed into a zillion little pieces on our front porch.
Hubs was appalled.
“Look what you’ve done!” he cried. “We could have saved it! It’s probably worth $100.”
I looked skeptically at the ugly, 70s-looking thing on our porch.
“Would you pay $100 for this?”
Bear in mind, this isn’t some family heirloom. Hubs found the lamp while scavenging in an antique store and bought it for $25. It was ugly then. It’s even uglier now with all the masking tape. (Son tipped it over and the shade ripped in half.)
Someday, Hubs and I hope to move into a bigger house. If the hall tree goes with us, I’m leaving him.
For the comedian in the IKEA store.