DWR vs. Ikea vs. Graco

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I am putting together the nursery furniture this weekend, and it just struck me how far I’ve come from my fantasy self. When I was single, I dreamed of having kids when I was rich (yes, I was that naive). I planned on waiting until I could afford the very best in designer goods for my children–or at the very least, fine vintage fare if it were safe. I scoffed at people who shopped at Babies’R’Us as being unimaginative and lemming-like. Quite frankly, I was a snob and happily so.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen… Let’s just say that life has a way of working out those romantic kinks whether we like it or not. I didn’t get rich off my artwork at all, I didn’t hit the big time, I didn’t discover some lost trove of treasure. I am making enough to help create a comfortable home, so i am grateful. I finally learned the meaning of the word enough.

When I got out of grad school, I drooled over the DWR catalog, dreaming of when I could start furnishing my life that way. I scoured trash heaps for forgotten treasure, built all my studio equipment out of refuse, and generally lived the life of the starving artist with glee. Once I finally got a real job and discovered that bedbugs are terribly resilient, I abandoned my dumpster diving and grand dreams for Ikea. It was designed by people who had been trained on lovely modernism, and if you really did your homework you could find some beautiful stuff. I went a little crazy and filled my place with Ikea this and that, though I still had a few tiny touches of grandeur here and there.

Now, I am elbow-deep in Graco furniture. The lines are okay, sturdy and conservative. Most of it is made of wood. We just went with what we could honestly afford without spending too much. It’s fine, although it took us 5 tries to get the top of the dresser without too much damage from shipping. I don’t know, I just feel an era of my life is definitively over… My youthful dreams are officially vanquished and disproven. It’s a little sad, but then I realized that a new era has begun: I am now part of a new family, my family. I am no longer the youngest child with something to prove but a mom with a baby to cherish and protect.

I’d love to be able to be all savvy and stylish, but on a professor’s wages, that is not easy. I’m never going to be rich and famous, but I have Madelene and Jen. I’m not ready to sign up for mom jeans (see video below), but I am okay with being part of the mainstream on this one. Who cares if I am avant garde or cutting edge or whatever? I am loved and loving, that’s all that matters.

One thought on “DWR vs. Ikea vs. Graco

  1. I love this post, Libby. Actually, I’ve enjoyed reading all of them. Your reflections on how the nature of fulfillment, joy, success, and contentment evolve is refreshing, and so full of love and awe. Your candor is brave and beautiful, and gives me an opportunity to reflect. So, thank you!

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