Thursday, July 12, 2012

Color me beautiful

So the story goes, my grandfather found the little table by the side of the road and brought it home. It's an impractically small thing, with a surface only about a foot across and a total height of only 20 inches. But its small top is made of white marble, and its short base is lacy wrought iron, once bright white, I'm sure, but 'dingy' set in decades ago. So did 'rusted.'. It's an intriguing combination of delicate and squat, airy and sturdy, appealing and shopworn. Maybe that's why it stuck around so long: it's quirky. And I do dig quirky.

I don't know what my grandparents used it for, if my grandmother rolled her eyes at my grandfather's thrify ways, if she gently smiled at him when he brought it in the house to show her, if he said something like, "I know just the place for it!" and she agreed or if it was relegated to a garage corner. He died when I was young so I know him mostly through stories, but my grandmother: she was the definition of practical. Which this table? Is not. So maybe that's why it lived in our house when I was a kid, and not hers.

It held my bedside lamp when I lived in my parents' house, and it was a poor arrangement. The table was so low relative to the bed that I had to lean off the edge of my mattress and angle under the lampshade to crook my arm back up to extinguish the light. It called for calisthenics, not gentle-last-act-before-sleep small movement. And yet, I loved that quirky table.

I left my parents' house at age 17 in 1994 and since then, they have not done anything to my childhood bedroom except use it as storage space. So when we were back there in April and the quirky little table was looking lonely, I declared it was coming back in the minivan to Maryland with us.

And do you know a wonderful thing about auto body shops? They will powdercoat anything! In any color! Obviously, my next course of action was clear:

(I am so sorry I don't have a 'before' picture for you. Bad blogger, Robin! Bad blogger.)

This looked great. But it needed a little...something. A sorry little jade plant has lived in this corner of the kitchen for years in a bland faux-terracotta pot on a bland wooden stool. We could do better!

And so we have, with the help of a can of pink spray paint from the garage.

That plant is a cutting of a huge jade plant that lived in the museum where I worked eight years ago before my current professional incarnation materialized. The museum shop lady gave it to me as a good luck gift when I left. In all these years, it's never died but it's never thrived, either. I think it was too high up on its former stool and not getting enough sunlight due to the angle of morning sun in our kitchen and the relatively tall walls of the pot just wanted a prettier home.

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