Antiques. A link to the past. I love to visit antique shops, flea markets, and estate sales. Finding the perfect piece of history. It is thrilling. It is always fun to imagine the stories behind an item you have purchased.
The first antique I ever purchased was with my husband at Anthropologie, of all places. We were young. We were struggling. It was my birthday. I loved to go down to Santa Monica and lay on the beach and then go and browse at Anthropologie. I say browse, because I had never made one purchase there. I was twenty two. It was much too expensive.
My husband and I walked into the store and there was this chest. It was love at first sight. There were two more around it. The other two trunks were smaller and five times its price. I have no idea why. We debated about it, but ultimately decided it was too expensive. The chest was $400.
We left. We came back a week later. It was the only one left. My husband bought it for me for my birthday. He also purchased me two light switch covers. I still have all three gifts. I use them everyday.
So, it was our first big purchase as newlyweds. And our first antique purchase. And what do you think we worried about? The cost? No. We had worked it out in the week leading up to its purchase. Where to put it? No. We lived in a two story condo all by ourselves and we had very minimal furniture. Then what?
Ghosts. We worried about the piece being haunted.
So, what did we do?
We carted the chest up to our bedroom and watched a scary movie.
We tried to get to sleep, but the chest kept us awake. So, we watched another scary movie.
We are… smart.
At this point, it was 1:00 in the morning. We turned off all of the lights. But we both lay awake in the dark debating our purchase. We would whisper to each other.
“Are you scared?”
“Are you scared?”
Followed by tears. I am not going to tell you whose answer is whose. I will leave it up to you.
And, then, and I am not making this part up. A long howl rose through our condo. Screeching again and again.
I think we both lay there stunned.
At this point we both were terrified.
My husband was brave enough to turn on the lights. I lay there staring at the chest. I expected a banshee to leap from it and attack us at any moment.
My husband made his way towards the chest. Another howl.
He looked at me, “It’s not coming from the chest. It’s coming from downstairs.”
“The banshee got out!” I screamed.
I am great in a crisis.
My husband made his way downstairs. I lay curled up in our bed. I knew what was coming. I had seen enough horror movies. My husband was doomed. I was next.
My husband returned. Our cat was in his hands. “Kitty was doing it!” He exclaimed.
We stared at our banshee. Our cat, who happened to go into heat on the very night we purchased our first antique.
We got her fixed the next day.
The night howls ceased. Our banshee was exorcised. And our chest now holds nothing but linens.
And our dignity.