A couple of years ago we moved from our “starter” home into our “forever” home and we didn’t have enough furniture to fill it. Our new home looked pretty empty so I had to be creative about how I made it feel cozy (read: Craigslist, thrift stores, clearance, etc.)
The thing I loved most about my new house was the entryway. The second I walked in, I pictured my daughters coming down the stairs in their prom dresses and wedding gowns. I thought to myself, this is the perfect spot for a movie-worthy pedestal table…something I’d never needed in our old house with it’s modest entryway.
I became a lil’ bit obsessed and found that pedestal tables are surprisingly small or surprisingly expensive. So imagine my surprise when one day I walked into my local Goodwill and saw an ugly, broken, battered, but PERFECTLY sized pedestal table for…wait for it…$12.
I ran to it like it was the last bag at a Kate Spade sample sale in 2010 and ripped the tag off, claiming it as my own. It had a huge gap where there was once a drawer. The employee stocking the floor said, “Wow, you’re buying that? I honestly didn’t think it would sell.”
This is where I wish I had a before picture of it, but alas, I do not. I took that table home, painted it with leftover paint from the basement, and put the side with the missing drawer up against a corner. To this day, it’s one of my most cherished finds. It’s not perfect, but it was an unexpected treasure.
When I was a kid, we moved a lot (about every five years) and the only thing consistent about our houses was our old furniture. A lot of it was from the 1960s and somehow my mom always made it look beautiful. The thought occurred to me; that’s how all of my friendships are. They aren’t perfect, but that’s what makes them significant. They’ve all been unexpected treasures that required so little of me compared to what I received in return. We don’t cherish our friends for years and years because they are new and shiny; that would be impossible. We cherish them because they travel with us throughout phases of life and provide comfort and familiarity.
I once wrote a post about friends growing apart and coming back together (See: Petty Woman). The person who inspired that post is someone I now talk to all the time, after years of not speaking. I am so indebted to the universe for bringing her back into my life. Since I wrote that piece, I also realized not everyone understands why it was important to me to reconnect with her. It’s reminded me that real friendships don’t need explanation or defending. They just are.
To me, my twelve dollar pedestal table is a metaphor for all the best friendships in life: if it holds enough history and value for you to humble yourself to an imperfection, it’s worth your love and loyalty.
Afterthought: Friendships, like pedestal tables, should always have a fair amount of liquor and flowers.