Monthly Archives: March 2009

I think I’m Officially Vintage Now


I decided to share my birthday present with you via photograph, and my presence in the kitchen alerted one Princess Nevadelia Lotus Blossom that it must be time to eat. She is on the Breakfast Committee, and lest I forget to dish out her pate after opening the can, she runs to her post on the new kitchen chair, stands on her hind legs and howls at me incessantly, coaching me along. She’s a riot. Just not at 4:30 AM, when the Page has taken to calling her “Deelzebub.”

Do you love my 50’s-era kitchen table ensemble?

When I moved into the new place, I knew immediately that I needed, and I quote, “an avocado green formica table with chrome legs and chairs decked out with some crazy floral pattern.” I pored through craigslist ads obsessively. Word has gotten out that these diner sets are Retro (with full air quotes) and perhaps even Vintage — or both — significantly inflating the purchase price. My mother would have a heart attack if she knew the table featured prominently in every family photo from the 70’s is going for $500 on eBay.

I decided $150 was my cut-off for the diner set, so I searched for quite some time. I even passed on one adorable little set in robin’s egg blue because it was twice my budget. Dyno-cute as it was, I couldn’t buy it, just on principle.

Then I found my set, listed for $150, and called the guy. It was nearly a day trip out to Tiger Mountain (though for me, ten miles to Target in Northgate is a day trip requiring advance notice, a fuel-up, and snack stop).

When I saw the set in his driveway, I squealed with delight, jumping up and down, clinging to Viva as she was punching me in the arm with disbelief at our good fortune. The guy thought we were nuts. He was standing in the crushed granite driveway, his palacial abstract view home looming behind him. With all its angular windows and exposed beams, the place reeked of Architect.

He told us the table and chairs were left behind in their newly-acquired vacation cabin, along with “all sorts of other refuse.” The first words out of his wife’s mouth upon initial survey of the cabin: “get rid of the dining set.” Despite his obvious disdain for late 50’s asthetic, he knew some freak like me would come along panting for it since the craigslist ad was titled, “Funky Retro Vintage 50’s Formica Kitchen Set,” spotlighting every available keyword.

I forked over the cash and he watched in amazement as Viva and I loaded the four chairs and full size table into the diminutive (and “vintage”) Golf.

I guess it’s becoming clear that I like old stuff. Good thing, too, since those birthdays just keep coming.