In my house is a small chandelier; nothing extravagant or priceless, but full of memories to me. It came out of a dear friend's grandparents' house in Texas, and I have been hauling it around for nearly 20 years in case any of their grandchildren ever want it back. It's pretty and shiny, makes me happy,
and fits in beautifully in this small house.
Did I mention...YOU HAVE TO CLEAN THE DAMN THINGS???? Apparently, more than once every 15 years because I started on it this morning and didn't finish until noon. (That's not QUITE the truth; I had it rewired about five years ago. So yeah, clean it more than once every five years.)
This thing is a bitch. My antique dealer friends told me to spray it with lemon ammonia, give it a minute and then wipe it down. They don't have the same flies I do because it was FILTHY with fly specks. Horrible. Nasty. I sprayed and wiped. Sprayed and got a cloth. Sprayed and went at it with a tooth brush. I bet I circled that fixture 40 times, spraying, wiping, brushing, wiping. Realized two of the biggest crystals are missing, which means I put them somewhere for safe keeping and will never see them again.
Wiped some more.
Finishing up, I remembered something from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The rough trade boyfriend liked to polish crystal, and he was very careful about which way the prisms hung...flat side out or cut side out, I couldn't remember. Turns out? Flat side out, so that the inward-facing angled glass better catches and reflects the light. I could have lived the rest of my life without knowing this, because I will never sit beneath that chandelier in peace again. Those prisms don't hang straight...they get sideways, off, crooked, out of whack. I will spend the rest of my days adjusting crystal prisms.
If I could turn it on, I'd show you how awesome it is. Right now, however, I'm thinking there is probably lemon-scented ammonia lurking in every nook and cranny of the curved arms and bowl-shaped bases, just waiting on a shot of electricity to blow me all to hell and back.
There should really be a picture of me doing this, because there's a good chance it won't ever happen again.