Table lampsWhile we were away, my dad finished cleaning out his house, which meant that my house got flooded with stuff. We came back to a place that looked ready to star in an episode of Hoarders.* We didn’t quite have to climb over the furniture to move from room to room, but  it was a near thing. Couches, chairs, objects, just…stuff…was everywhere.

Slowly and steadily over the past week, I’ve been finding places for it. Counting the outside furniture, we have 24 chairs. Also three couches and a stool. Never, ever, ever — I say this with complete conviction — will I ever need seating for 30 people in my house.


But I keep walking into my living room and thinking, wow, this looks different. Finished. If it weren’t for the books still piled in corners everywhere and the paintings and artwork leaning up against the furniture, it would look … it would look like a grown-up’s house.

Now, of course, I’ve been grown up for a long time. And I’ve lived in lots of houses. I even own real furniture — a comfortable couch, a kitchen table, a dresser. But this influx of stuff changed something.

I finally decided — it’s the table lamps.

Table lamps apparently are a magic ticket to conveying an illusion of adulthood.

*Digression: Actually, I’ve never seen an episode of Hoarders, only heard about it, but I just got distracted and read all about it for twenty minutes so now I know that we were, in fact, nowhere close. Clutter, yes, but my version of clutter is nowhere close to pathological.