The Pink Table
My Aunt Barb, who recently passed away, had given me a special gift, some fifteen years ago. Shortly after her passing, the thought came to me, to write about and honor this special gift.
My gift was a pink Formica table, with four purple chairs. The pink which looks like marble, has white and grey streaks running throughout it. The legs on the table are iron, the chairs are covered in purple pleather (or some material similar) and the legs of each chair are also iron. I remember several times throughout my childhood each chair being painted a different color, and each table leg also being painted a different color. It lived a life of blue, orange, red, yellow and pink! Sometimes all at the same time!
Aunt Barb, was a very strong proud Polish women, she often referred to herself as Mrs. Polish America. She had beautiful blond hair and crystal blue eyes. No one ever dared question her, as she was an authority on any subject that came up. I however, saw through her toughness and enjoyed bantering back and forth with her. According to mom and several other little birdies, Aunt Barb lived life on her terms, doing what she wanted to do and never letting the fact that she was a woman, slow her down in life. Aunt Barb was 75 when she passed, and in her generation, women, I can imagine had a very different role in society
I often wondered how many conversations had been held at this table, in which I now possess. Aunt Barb acquired the table while working at a furniture company in Chicago, approximately 50 years ago. The story was that the boss of the furniture company gave it to her as a gift. This of course caused all kind of family speculation, in which Aunt Barb would never say yay or nay too . I thought, there’s a story in itself! My cousin, who’s mom the table is from, says she vividly remembers their little white toy poodle dog being chained up to the table, back in the years they lived in Chicago when she was small. Since it was approximately 1962 when she acquired the table, the table memories must have been so different. I know for sure she was not doing any computer work on it or talking on her cell phone. Perhaps she was reading Ladies Home Journal, looking for the latest and greatest recipe to prepare for my Uncle. Those were also the days of one phone households, the heavy black phones that you could literally knock someone out with the weight of the headset.
The first pass down of the table went to my mom, Angie, who is my aunt’s sister, growing up, I remember many fun times at this table back in the 70’s, playing Clue and Monopoly with neighborhood friends. This was before Pong even was out on the market! I also remember learning to bake and cook, read recipes and measure all while sitting at the table.
My mom hosted many Bunco parties at our apartment in Crete, and I vividly remember the bell being on the pink table, and the ladies yelling Bunco and ringing the bell! Also remember the neighbor ladies coming over to Bunco night with their hair piled high, tons of aqua net was used, I’m sure, frosted blue eye shadow seemed to be popular in the early 70’s, as well as smoking, and something crazy about a green leaf ash tray on the table. No one knew, in those days about second hand smoke, I guess!
When the table came to me, several years after I had married and divorced, it was the early 90’s. My son was born in 1990, and for the last twenty-two years, I have had the pleasure of wonderful memories with him, and “the pink table”. I along with his grandmother, taught him how to bake and cook, all from the kitchen table. Many school projects and homework assignments throughout the years have also been completed on this table. Many discussions, some good, some not so good between us have also been held at the table. Many birthday celebrations and holidays have all been centered around this table. Some fantastic meals, and some not so fantastic meals, have all been shared on the pink table.
One thing I do know is this; this table carries a lot of special memories with it. I hope the good memories will continue on its journey. Perhaps my son will enjoy this table, and I am hopeful that his future wife, (he currently is not dating, but a mom can have hopes!) will enjoy the table and appreciate this table as much as I have.
Chantell Cameron is a freelance writer and currently lives with her 22 year old son Wade.