There was a wardrobe.
And whenever Shelley felt like it she could jump in it and escape.
Into a world which was much different than the “real” one she found herself in. (ended with a preposition, can’t help it). She received the wardrobe as an inheritance of sorts. Her dad’s Uncle Stacey had previously housed the wardrobe. (I think I have this correct.) But when he died, or his wife died, the house needed to be emptied and Shelley’s parents got the wardrobe.
The bedroom furniture Shelley had was among some of the very first furniture her parents acquired. It was old, really old. An antique when they bought it so that meant by the time Shelley had it it was antique x 100. The bed was known as a “cannonball” style since on the headboard and footboard displayed these really big balls (if that makes any sense). The chest of drawers were incredibly deep, the best ever. They could hold lots of clothes and especially diaries.
It should be noted that the wardrobe was very small. For clothing that is. The left side had a bar which could hold hangers. The right side had two drawers and some open storage. When Shelley asked about it her mother explained that back in the olden days there weren’t any closets. So, the wardrobe acted as a closet. It is odd that the wardrobe could only hold like maybe 5 things. But the chest of drawers could hold so much with those deep drawers. Now modern society must rent storage units to house stuff because the closets and chest of drawers in their homes can’t hold it all. Discuss amongst yourselves.
Shelley’s granddad decided to paint the bed, the chest of drawers and the wardrobe. By the time Shelley was 10 and was in a new house she got the whole deal except for the vanity and mirror. Somehow it didn’t get painted. The only remant of that piece is the mirror and Shelley’s sister found it in the basement of her parents house a couple of decades later and decided to have it re-mirrored, or something like that. Shelley’s sister now hangs it proudly in her master bedroom.
So, Shelley has the cannonball bed, the chest of drawers and the wardrobe, freshly painted a neutral ivory color by her maternal grandfather. She is 9 years old.
Back to the wardrobe. It really was the vehicle that fueled her imagination. She found that as hard as she tried she could never get past the back of the wardrobe. Instead, it stayed firmly in tact and she remained a part of the world in which she had been born. Secretly, Shelley thought, “dang it!”
But since necessity is the mother of all invention Shelley decided to invent games that started and ended with the wardrobe. She did escape, mentally. Never phsyically. The hard parts of her existence stayed there but her imagination took her elsewhere. It was an okay arrangement.
The wardrobe traveled on to another house. Many years later it was inherited again. Shelley decided that her daughter would have it. An artist got hold of that piece of furniture and turned it into a masterpiece. It became part of the nursery when her baby arrived. Inscribed at the top of the piece are her daughter’s initials, “MJS” and birthdate. Shelley officially tried to give it away.
However, due to space constraints, it has wound up in Shelley’s laundry room. Which makes sense. Because she is forever trying to escape her present circumstances (and the laundry). The wardrboe has remained quite present in Shelley’s grown up world. She will let you know how that works out for her.