Some girls want clothes, some want shoes, some want purses… Okay, I like all those things, too, BUT boy have I had my eye on this gem for a LONG time. The husband and I moved to Texas in 2010 and at least one Friday a month I would walk through The Whimsey Shoppe in Dallas and drool over these French workbenches among other things. I always wave to the owner Susan, while sucking on a Tootsie pop she puts out for her customers, and would dream about putting a French workbench into our house. Through the years, I’ve seen a bunch of work benches come and go. Long ones, skinny ones, ones with vices, ones without vices, ones with draws and others without. I love them all for their unique character and charm.
It was a usual Saturday with husband, and an unusual stop at Whimsey that brought my dreams home. We walked into the shop; I had already discovered my favorite French workbench a day earlier and showed yet another workbench to the husband. The hubs asked if I really wanted it. I said the usual. Of course! But there are WAY many more things that should take priority. He then said let’s see how much I can negotiate the price. I literally left the scene. I hate negotiations, I get all sweaty and nervous. So, I walked through the shop (grabbing another tootsie pop) and crossed my fingers Susan and the hubs would come to an agreement! Needless to say, Susan knew me well, my love for antiques and her shop. She was willing to work with us… or my husband at this point because I was too nervous to listen. She sliced off a pretty nice chunk so I could be the rightful owner of a French workbench!!!!! I don’t know if it was the excitement built up after three years of looking or pregnancy hormones, but I hugged Susan and fought off tears of excitement. It was delivered that next Monday!!
This early 1800’s bench comes with more than just that story. It comes from Normandy, France near the shores that were stormed on D-Day. I tend to wonder what this bench has seen in its life. The bloodshed and victory of that day and the hands of the craftsman that worked in the local town. It’s pretty magical.
I smile ear-to-ear each time I walk into this space, and I don’t think the luster of this purchase will wear off for some time. I know it’s just a material possession, but it’s a pretty neat one…and I hope guests will love it as much as I do.