Friday, October 15, 2010

Taking a load off

This is technically not a random anecdote (he said, as if he’s not allowed to break his own recently instituted and utterly arbitrary programming guidelines on his own blog) although it might perhaps portend a random anecdote yet-to-come … but man, we have a lot of broken furniture in our house.

A matter of weeks (or possibly months, I lose track) ago the glider in the little guy’s room broke, although this was not an out-and-out catastrophe, nor was it the first time it had happened. On the off chance that you aren’t entirely sure if you’re supposed to be picturing some kind of flying-squirrel-shaped apparatus or what I’m on about here, a glider is like a no-impact rocking chair, with base runners that are flat and rest completely on the floor, supporting a swing-like structure of multiple loosely interconnected parts which allow the seat part to smoothly sway back and forth. I’m not gonna lie, it is (or was) actually kind of awesome, but the complexity ultimately proved to be its undoing, because when two pieces that had formerly been fastened to one another became unfastened, the swinging parts couldn’t support the weight of the seat parts. (These two formerly attached pieces were fastened with five separate wood screws, all of which simply snapped clean in half as if a mind-boggling amount of shearing force had somehow been brought to bear, a happenstance which baffles me to this day.) I tried re-fastening the pieces with more screws sunk in new places (because you see I couldn’t get the old pieces out of the holes due to the bottom halves not having heads anymore) and that held for a little while but eventually similarly succumbed to entropy. The bright side in all of this was that the seat part of the glider just rested a little bit cockeyed on the bedroom floor itself, and still worked as a chair, just not one with any swinging ability, and we used it as such for a while. Recently, though, we shoved the non-glider into the spare bedroom (a.k.a. the soon-to-be-nursery) and set up in its place a saucer chair (a.k.a. the fake papasan) which is significantly less complex. It is in fact only slightly more complex, as seating options go, than a stump. A folding stump would basically be indistinguishable.

I like the rustic stuff, but it's really an all-or-nothing itnerior design choice, isn't it
Meanwhile, on Wednesday night of this week I had some friends over and we … may have gotten a little carried away. One of our friends who had been absent from the weekly gatherings made a return appearance and we were overjoyed to see him. So overjoyed that we monkeypiled on his lap when he sat down on the couch in the den. Our friend survived the high-weight assault of goodwill, but the couch … ah, not so much. Which is understandable (much moreso than the spontaneously snapping screws above) because it was an IKEA couch and you shouldn’t ask too much, load-bearing-wise, of a Swedish pine frame. Once my friends had left for the night, I upended the couch to assess the actual damage, and it was pretty grim: wood shattered beyond repair. And the couch is now extremely misshapen as a result, something I could overlook perhaps in my early 20’s but nowadays all but demands immediate replacement.

(Funny enough in my early 20’s I never did trash that much furniture – I was the bane of a few doors and windows, however – probably because I was dead broke and not only splitting rent with people but letting them purchase the furniture, so I was actually reasonably careful because it was all Other People’s Stuff. I slept on a second-hand mattress with no box spring and no bedframe for over a year. Meanwhile one of my roommates bought a brand new sofa and loveseat for the living room, upholstered in white, despite the penchant of me and our third roommate for drinking cocktails based around cherry Kool-Aid. As I may have alluded to previously, this living arrangement did not end amicably. But I digress.)

So we have something of a plan (execution of which is whence the theoretical hilarious anecdotes are no doubt going to arise) which will involve emptying out the spare room (which, nursery-wise, needed doing anyway) and putting the futon which currently resides there in front of the tv in the den, and meanwhile putting the busted couch and the busted glider … somewhere … Honestly at this point I’m thinking my side of the garage because I just need to drag them to the curb Tuesday night. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt quite so much civic pride for anyplace I’ve ever lived as I did when I saw on the city website that bulk pickup of furniture and standard appliances (meaning “non-chemical containing”, sorry refrigerators) is an Every Single Trash Day kind of thing. No special arrangements required, no once-a-month calendar marking, no extra charge or anything. So that’s a beautiful thing. And of course at some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future we will get a more décor-appropriate sofa for the den, and the futon will be relocated once again to the eternally-in-progress basement-rec-room-bar-library-exercise-storage area.

Oh, also we have some creaky kitchen chairs that tend to poop their spindles if you look at them funny, but we’ve been putting up with those for years so I intend to keep them out of the massive furniture relocation and replacement planning, because it’s a big enough plan as-is. But in the overall tally for broken furniture, yeah, it’s annoyingly large right now.

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