An Open Letter to My Target Dresser

Dear Dresser,

I first want to thank you for your continued service. Thank you for having the dual purpose of nightstand and dresser in my new bedroom. Thank you for acting as a repository of the detritus my life, the statement necklaces, framed pictures, stray elastics. Thank you for housing my lamp so that I can read bedside (though we both know that it is highly unlikely that I ever will actually make a dent in that stack of books). And of course, thank you for housing my clothes so that I can put away my suitcase and so my mother can stop saying that I look like a squatter in my new place.

As a white colored object with clean lines and no frills, you have a noble design legacy, dating back almost a century ago to the Modernists in Germany at the Bauhaus, and then to to the Scandinavian designers of the 1950’s. Even though the design was conceived at the turn of the last century, you still look contemporary. Your minimalistic design brought a breath of fresh air to the second floor of our brick townhouse, in one of the most historic districts of Boston.

Dresser, know that you were chosen with care by both myself and my father. After spending hours scouring Pinterest, IKEA, Amazon, and Wayfair, we decided to make the trip to Target. We weighed our options reverently. Three drawers or four? A matte white finish, a black finish or natural-looking wood? What would fit best into my living space and achieve the desired effect of aesthetic cohesion and maximizing the space, especially next to the bulky behemoth of the dark grey ‘modern style’ full-sized bed I had assembled just days prior? We knew that you were going to fit snugly into the carefully measured 48 inches of wall space remaining between my bed and the door. We found you to be the perfect compromise of form, function and price. We even weighed our options for how to get you to your new home, opting to carry all 67.5 pounds of you first to my parents’ home in the suburbs and then bringing you through the narrow, cobbled streets of Beacon Hill rather than trust a delivery service who might deliver while no one was home.

We spent a fair amount of time together (2 whole days!) as you came into being developed. With a set of borrowed tools from my roommate and the sounds of the Bachelorette in the background, you were forged in the remaining space on my floor. The first night started in frustration and ended with a hollow cube on my floor amidst plastic bags and spare parts. At 11:30pm that night, I was forced to admit defeat and concede that I was too tired to finish the job in one go. On the second night though, I was prepared. Armed with lemon water and renewed determination, I used a hammer and nail for the first time in my life to secure the back of you….and promptly realized I had nailed your bottom on inside out. This was a low point. Using a slotted screwdriver, I was able to pry out the tiny nails that had just been so proudly put into place and were too small to be removed by the hammer that bequeathed them. I tore off the bottom, nailed it in the correct orientation and onward we went into the Great Unknown! I had been warned by my mother and sister that any set of drawers would be difficult to build because the sliders must fit just so. But when the moment of truth came, your drawers slid in perfectly, and after several hours of diligence and uncertainty, you were completed!

There was something immensely satisfying about actually assembling  something. So much of my time is dedicated to writing about built things, but for the first time in my life I constructed something (somewhat) from start to finish. And to have something functional where once was nothing is supremely rewarding. You are something I made and will use everyday and if you haven’t noticed so far, I’ve gotten rather emotionally attached to you.

But, for the love of God, why you gotta have so many parts??

Seriously. Looking at you, no one would ever know that you came to me in so many parts, with a plastic bag containing what looked like several hundred screws and nails. Not to mention what looked like 20 different planks of wood and cardboard! Who would think that it would take so much time and effort to build what looks like just a box?

But I guess that is one secret we’ll never tell.

Best wishes,



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