Mostly True Stories: My Irrational Hatred of a Glass Table

Not long after my parents divorced and my mother took all of her antiques, my father came home with a set of furniture. He had a talent for acquiring industrial hand-me-downs: a camping trailer outfitted as a flight simulator, a neon orange van, self-serve ice cream machine, thousands of IBM computer cards that supplied us with more than a decade of notepads.

The furniture once belonged to an airport office lobby—one matching sofa and chair with faux leather cushions framed in chrome arms and legs, standing chrome lamps, and a square glass coffee table supported by a chrome frame shaped like an “x.”  I resented the glass table like I resented my father’s girlfriends. Too contemporary, cold and sharp-edged for my father’s style, the equivalent of Miss Hendry and her Southern disdain for our recklessness, of Deidre and her psychobabble insights into our behavior, of Claudia and her constant rearranging of our house. The glass table was high maintenance.

How could he replace the worn maple table with its rounded corners? One glance from the glass edge would end up in a bruise. At 10, I knew it was impractical for a family of five kids, the oldest of who was hyperactive and developmentally disabled and prone to glass-shattering tantrums.

It demanded rules of conduct: no soft drinks without coasters, no roughhousing within five feet, no mistaking it for a footstool. Over time, the small rubber cushions that protected the glass from the chrome disappeared and the table wobbled, producing an arrhythmic tick.

I was certain we had a large mallet in the garage.

6 Comments Mostly True Stories: My Irrational Hatred of a Glass Table

  1. TriGirl June 21, 2015 at 1:13 am

    That’s a lot baggage for one piece of glass and a bit of chrome to contain. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising if that table shattered from the weight of it all 🙂

    1. Avatar photoMeg June 21, 2015 at 8:22 pm

      It is, indeed, a lot of baggage for one glass table, TriGirl! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  2. Jennifer G. Knoblock June 21, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Ha, you make me want to smash it, too! I also hate glass tables, but not really for the same reasons. <3

    1. Avatar photoMeg June 21, 2015 at 8:23 pm

      Glass tables have issues, that’s for sure. It would have been fun to smash it. Thanks for your fun comment, Jennifer!

  3. Rosanna June 22, 2015 at 2:54 am

    I’m just glad you have a mallet nearby. Soon the wobbliness of the table will warrant the use of that handy tool!

  4. marymtf August 1, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    There’s a glass table in my personal history. It didn’t end well for an expensive dinner set and for five year old me. I didn’t get smacked or yelled at. I just got a gentle lecture and a hug to calm me down.


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