Subtitle: how a piece of furniture taught me that I might not be the world’s biggest fuckup after all.
Ladies and gents, behold: my first piece of grown up furniture. Unlike everything else we own, it isn’t second-hand, from Ikea, or gathered from the side of the road. Woah.
When it arrived, I was so excited to unwrap it, and then… “Ooof. Shit.” were my first words when I saw it.
It’s built differently than I thought it was, and can’t hold as much as I’d hoped. See our TiVo sitting on top*? It makes me angry. Also, there are no holes in the back for cords to go through, so we had to take a drill to the back, an endeavor that was nerve-wracking but ultimately successful. What sort of crummy MEDIA cabinet doesn’t have holes for cords?
So I panicked.
You have to know something about me: I never panic, sometimes even when I should, so freaking out over a piece of furniture is totally out of character for me. I was bewildered by this, and it took half a therapy session talking about this fucking piece of furniture to realize why: owning it is more to me than just a newer place to stash the Wii. It’s my first GROWN UP piece of furniture and since it wasn’t working out, I was, ergo, failing as a grownup.
Dumb, right? Because when you put it into words, throw a good strong light on it, you see how LAME that is, but at the moment… well, that’s where I was: failing at being “almost 30” and berating myself for trying to venture beyond Ikea.
Anyway, it came in a dark coffee color, a shade that does NOTHING to show off how quirky and adorable it is.
from Brocade Home
I don’t know about you, but I can HEAR it begging to be painted something fun. That was a difficult process, and not just the execution: it was hard to unwrap something so NEW and alter it so drastically. I kept hearing my grandmother moaning, “Why are you ruining that nice EXPENSIVE piece of furniture?!” The first sandpaper stroke was a tough one. I decided to spare myself and leave the feet as is, and now it looks like it’s floating in place, which I love.
By the way, when I related this whole story to Patrice, she started laughing.
“You’re grown!” she said. “You have a husband and went through a wedding and everything. It was a piece of furniture that undid you? God, I love how fucked up we all are.” That made me feel a lot better about the whole thing. One needs a good therapist and blunt friends to maintain levity.
The mishaps kept going. The paintbrush started to fall apart and leave bristles, the paint sprayer we borrowed from a friend didn’t work, and by the time we concluded we were better off just painting it by hand, we had diluted the yellow paint so much (to use in the sprayer), it was difficult to work with. Dog hair blew into the wet paint. Getting every single little curlycue in the front by hand was a huge pain. We bought spray paint to finish and had to buy it one shade off. It started to rain mid-project.
So, on top of being a Big Deal it was also A Learning Experience, and friends? I’m exhausted. But it’s done! It’s all set up! I love it. And look!
It is beautiful.
*The thing on top of the TiVo is a remote switch so we can cut off power to the individual things in the media cabient we aren’t using, preventing vampire power. This one happens to be a clunker from Rob’s teenage computer, but a modern power strip will do the trick. You’ll save a bundle.