Vintage gossip table something to talk about

I bought a vintage gossip table the other day.

It was kind of a belated Mother’s Day gift to myself, which means I saw it on Mother’s Day but delayed the purchase of it until I celebrated “Janice Day.”

First off, a gossip table is a piece of furniture that has two key features. It has a place where you can sit, and it has a place next to it where you put your telephone. There’s a spot to put your telephone books, too, and maybe a pad of paper and a pen to take messages or notes when someone calls.

You sit here and talk — possibly of the gab-and-gossip variety, hence the name — or just have some good old informational chitter-chatter.

The gossip table is from the days of landline telephones, not that you can’t sit there modern-day style and use your cell phone just as easily, but it was a place in the kitchen or living room to park your phone and yourself first and foremost.

I saw the gossip table on Mother’s Day after we’d eaten at a big buffet, and I casually suggested we head over to the Antique Warehouse in downtown Steubenville in what formerly was home to Denmark’s and walk around to work off some of those calories.

The Antique Warehouse has three floors off all kinds of stuff, not to mention the basement — a browser/buyer’s delight in my estimation.

Never mind, though, that I’d won a gift certificate for there at an event I’d been to and had my ticket drawn as a Chinese auction winning.

Never mind that I had “money” burning a hole in my pocket, as my mother would say.

And never mind that it was Mother’s Day, and celebrators in my midst — i.e., Better Half and son Adam — weren’t about to deny me a day of self-indulgence, even if it pained them and meant they’d be tagging along after me for who knows how long. Oh, the agony of celebrating and making the people we love happy.

The thing about birthdays and anniversaries and special occasions such as Mother’s Day is that you’re supposed to be jolly and joyful and the people celebrating on your behalf are supposed to be that way, too, in your honor.

It’s all very exhausting and unnatural, truth be told, but I figured, hey, husband and son can just go along with the program and give momma some space to browse and buy.

When I saw the gossip table, I thought, yep, that’s going home with me, partly out of nostalgia because it’s identical to one my mother-in-law had.

And I saw a repurposed piano bench that I took one look at and thought, yep, that’s going home with me, too. Now there’s a coffee table for sure.

I shopped around a while, acutely aware that the “celebrators” on my heels, who kept running into me when I stopped to look at something, weren’t having half as much fun as I was, judging from some yawns, deep breaths and clock consultations.

I realized that a mother can only have so much fun on Mother’s Day, so I put them out of their misery and said the magic words — “Let’s go.”

To myself, though, I said the magic Arnold Schwarzenegger line — “I’ll be back.”

I returned in the ensuing days and bought that gossip table and the repurposed piano bench, too.

Mother’s Day is nice, but “Janice Day?” Way better.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Ties. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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