Friday, September 09, 2005

Vanity, thy name is...a table?

OK, this post may seem a little ironic after I earlier posted a quote about taking your blogging audience seriously. But the truth is, my blog has always been a hodgepodge of things that interest me, and that I hope will interest others as well.

So, I couldn't pass up a USA Today article today about, of all things, vanity tables.

But there's a reason for my interest. You see, the vanity table that sits in my bedroom right now is inextricably linked with many of my fondest childhood memories.

I've blogged before about my great-aunt Cynthia, whose name I inherited through my mother. Well, another thing I inherited from her, through my mother, was a beautiful bedroom suite. As a child, I would go into the bedroom and look at the furniture, the decorations, the Huldah prints, with reverential fascination. I was powerfully attracted to that room.

When I married and the furniture became mine, I was thrilled and delighted. The whole set is in need of refinishing, but that doesn't bother me so much now that a "distressed" look is "in." The beautiful bed needs repair; we're not using it right now, although I hope to have it restored someday.

But the vanity is one of my very favorite pieces, and always will be.

USA Today says: "Vanity tables, hugely popular in the 18th-century, are making a comeback despite their seeming irrelevance to the lifestyles of modern women.

"A vanity, or dressing table...was the sort of thing a woman would have in the corner of her boudoir, back when women had boudoirs. This is where she displayed her perfumes, sat down to apply her powders and potions, and stored her jewelry and other luxury pretties."

The article goes on to ask: "..why would women want them now--and who has room for them?"

I'm blessed with a fairly large bedroom now, but I've always had room for my vanity table and the chair that accompanies it.

And I use it exactly as those 18th-century ladies used it. It's where I sit to apply my make-up and fix my hair. The surface holds pictures of me with my husband, my daughter, and my sisters, as well as perfumes and lotions. The drawers contain jewelry, make-up, skin care stuff, nail polish, old letters, cards and mementoes. It's a little island of feminity where I can succumb to my girliest tendencies. And I love it.

As far as I'm concerned, this piece of furniture represents the only time the word "vanity" is a positive thing.

(By the way, the vanity pictured above is not mine. If you'd like to see more, here is a website that sells vanities pretty much exclusively.)

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