My Trunk

As I stare at the trunk in my living room, I smirk at the irony of it all.

For years I had wanted a trunk; an old-fashioned leather ones with the buckles. My step-mom had a beautiful trunk she’d restored in her living room, and I coveted it every time I visited. Finally, as a newlywed, I decided that a trunk of my own was the last feather I needed for my new little nest.

I searched everywhere.

Of course, when I say everywhere I mean only Pier 1, because that’s the store where you find “antique” and “exotic” home decor. I never thought of flea markets, thrift stores, or yard sales, and I don’t think anyone had yet heard of Craigslist.

Scrolling through the papasan chairs, pillows and candles on the Pier 1 website I found it!

My trunk. 

It did look a little sterile, and wasn’t quite as antiquated as I would have liked, but it would have to do. That night Josh and I drove out to pick it up and lugged it up the stairs to our second-floor apartment.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered my life was not completed by acquiring my trunk. I found that there were other home decor items that I desired, and also that this trunk I’d placed my hopes and dreams on was not all I’d anticipated.

In the past ten years that trunk has played all sorts of roles. It’s been a coffee table for giant mugs of cocoa and a bench when extra seating was needed at parties. Lately it’s been a stage for toddler rock shows and a diving board into piles of cushions.

It moved from California to Washington, back to California and {again} back to Washington.

The corners were used as a scratching post by Poo, the little kitten turned cat that Josh gave me while we were dating. At first I was distraught that my trunk had been damaged by her. Over time I forgot to see it as a blemish and instead took it in as a part of the trunk’s style.

The same goes for the destruction of the leather on the lid. Having discovered a bottle of anointing oil, Cora anointed the trunk lid. The leather bubbled and peeled away, and there’s a faint spicy sent if you get up close to it. My initial reaction, as with the cat scratch marks, was disappointment, but again it’s now just a part of our trunk.

The inside if full of my old journals from age 10 to now, Josh’s keepsakes (a baseball mitt, a Pontiac Star Chief hood ornament, and innumerable Hot Wheels), old pictures from our college days and newlywed years, and blankets to pull out when company are over.

When I first searched out my trunk all I thought of was what it would look like and how I could use it. Now it has become a living scrapbook.

I’ve discovered that you can’t fake antique, you have to live it for it to have value.