Do you respect wood?

by Hande Ergun

During one episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, we hear Julia Louis-Dreyfus ask and reask the question 'Do you respect wood?', accusing Larry David of leaving a beverage ring on her antique wooden coffee table, asking that he pay for its repair. When everyone chooses to believe her, he devotes himself to finding the real culprit to clear his name for the rest of the episode.

Embellishment for the sake of humor may be inevitable, but it is no exaggeration to say that wooden objects and furniture have an important place in a lot of people's lives. I am sure that there are some people for whom even a simple wooden salad bowl or a wooden rocking chair conjures up some lovely memories of childhood.

I personally have plenty of those memories. My grandmother was fond of wooden furniture, had good taste and had many of them custom-made. Among them were stands with mirrors, nesting tables, coffee tables, arm chairs, chests and bed frames. Yes, they were really pretty and, I think, they carried a sense warmth, especially sitting on carpets which covered every room - as all Turkish homes.

Now I retrospectively realize that my brother and I also used to see them as toys. We used to climb some of those tables if there was nobody around, play and then fall asleep underneath the 8 person mahogany oval dining table, or take out each piece of the nesting tables and then carefully stack them back together. My grandmother, aunt, and mother already had all kinds of preemptive wood protection methods set up. Each of the nesting tables had place mats on them, the French Bergere wingback chairs had small embroidered cloths on the arms.

What Robin Wade brings into people's lives with his craft, especially with custom furniture, is also exactly this; contributing in something that will become a part of their memories and continue living with them. I can now understand and appreciate why my grandmother had  furniture made and why she was proud to have them.

Do you respect wood?

Robin Wade