The basement of our ’50s ranch house in Elmhurst mirrored our upstairs like the Taj Mahal’s reflecting pool mirrors that place. It doubled our living area. This allowed space for a clothesline to use in inclement weather, a workshop Dad used to convince my two brothers and me that he had stuff to do, and a concrete bunker room with no purpose whatsoever.
What remained was an echo-chamber area devoted to the notion we had lots of people to entertain. This misplaced optimism prompted Mom to purchase The Rattan Set. It was on summer clearance at Sears Roebuck for what, upon reflection, was good reason.
If a bamboo forest mated with plastic, their spawn would be this menagerie of loveseats, coffee tables, a bar with swiveling bar stools, dinette table with extra leaves and chairs, and some extra stuff Sears might have slipped onto the delivery truck.
The loveseat cushions, upholstered in a pattern something like dead lava flow, had a way of sliding out of reach if you attempted to sit on them…or bunching and toppling as if they’d been shot. The dining chairs had not foreseen grownups sitting on them; so they wobbled, forlorn, under the weight of anyone bigger than a six-year-old. The bar stools offered, but did not deliver on the promise of swiveling.The bar itself was cute, not wide enough for more than one reveler, but cute.
Fortunately our guests were reasonable in size and few in number.