Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Bedroom Incident at the Slab Ranch

The house we bought is very similar to the one I grew up in. Even though I had great memories there, I did NOT want to live in a slab-ranch house. Our definition of slab-ranch is: a little ranch house that is on a concrete slab. No basement to keep your junk, washer and dryer, and you know, the stuff you drag home from every sale you go to.

Despite the fact that our house is small and there’s no storage, it doesn’t stop me from antiquing almost every weekend. That summer of the “bedroom incident” I was trying to figure out what I would be hunting for during my next trip. My husband and I decided I would look for a dresser. OK, I thought, I can do that. I can put a dresser on my list of things to look for. (I’ve found that you need a plan when you are a shop-a-holic or you’ll come home with WAY more stuff than you need or have room for.)

Saturday 6 a.m. - Mike kisses me goodbye and leaves for his weekend camping trip with his buddies somewhere in the Adirondacks. Soon after, his sister shows up and we leave for the antique show in Syracuse. Within minutes of arriving to the outdoor show I see IT. Yeah, a dresser…. did I mention, it’s with a 4-poster bed, wide dresser, tall dresser, 2 nightstands and a mirror? It’s beautifully refinished and FABULOUS! I begin to have a conversation with myself in my head, “I HAVE TO HAVE IT!” “Will it fit?” “I dunno.” “How much is it?” “I don’t care.” So I strike a deal with the owner and he tells me he will deliver it to my house in the next couple of days.

I walk away from that buy, high on life, high on my purchase. Kathryn looks at me and asks, “What’s my brother going to say?” I reply, “He told me to buy a dresser.”

Saturday 4 p.m. – I walk into the cool house from the sweltering heat of the antique show, and down the hall into my tiny ugly bedroom that I’ve HATED since I moved in. The ugly bedroom with the antique white paneling, the hideous carpet and decide… it all has to GO and GO before the furniture arrives.

I march down the short hall and out through the back porch to the garage to find some tools. I find what I’m looking for, a hammer, a crowbar, a utility knife and walk back into the bedroom “armed for bear.” I look around and figure out what has to be done first. The mattress – that’s gotta go. So I strip the bed and drag the mattress out into the hall, the box spring and the frame follow and I get to work.

Saturday 5 p.m. – I start cutting the carpet into one-foot strips and roll them up and put them out on the back porch. I then look at the paneling with “the eye” and a nod, and say, “You’re next.” I try the first piece. Crap, those idiots who lived here before me (the idiots that put paneling everywhere) glued it AND nailed it in a million places.

Saturday 7 p.m. – I remove the paneling piece by piece and some of the glue sticks on the wall and some of it pulls the wallboard off. Oops. I drag the huge 4x8 foot sections down the hall and out into the back porch, and wonder, “How am I going to tell Mike about this?” Finally, around midnight I am so tired I can’t see straight. I’ve been up since five that morning, out in the sun all day looking at antiques, followed by gutting the bedroom all evening.

Sunday 7 a.m. – Ugh, I can’t move. I have to get up off the couch and try to patch the holes in the wall before Mike gets home.

Sunday noon – There is no way I’m going to get this done. I need to come up with a story. Nah, the truth is the best. It’ll be ok.

Sunday 4 p.m. – Oh my God, he’s home. Oh my God. He’s pulling around to the back yard. Oh my God, he’s coming to the back door.

I greet him with a big hug and hello! “Welcome home!” He’s all scruffy from his trip and I notice that he spots the mess. “What’s this?” “What?” “All the junk in the back porch!” “What junk? Oh, the paneling?” I pulled it off the wall in our bedroom. “What?” “Yeah, you know how you told me to buy a dresser?” “Yes.” “I did.” “Yeah?” “It came with a few other pieces.” “Where is it?” “Oh, the dealer is going to deliver it sometime this week.” “What?” “Yep, next week.”

I follow him down to the bedroom and he looks around and looks at me and shakes his head. “Well” he pauses, “Did you measure it to see if it will fit?” “Uhhhhh, no.” “What if it doesn’t fit?” “Well, it all won’t fit, I can already tell.” He is flabbergasted. “You do know that I have to start that class on Monday and it’s all day, 5-days a week.” “Oops.” I start talking fast. “Well, we can sleep out in the living room until we get the walls done and the new carpet”…. “New carpet?” “Of course! We can’t put the new furniture in here on that crummy floor.”

He takes a big deep breath and walks out of the room, to the back porch, and out the door to get his camping gear – and starts to put it away. I have no idea what he is thinking, because he is quiet. He starts to ask a question, and stops. Sometimes mutters. Sometimes he’ll ask another question or make a statement. “You didn’t measure.” Nope. “The price was right. Remember, I checked out dressers at the furniture store? They were as much as this whole bedroom cost. I’m sure we can sell some of the pieces if we need to.”

Following week – Mike takes on the job. The bedroom walls get fixed and painted (he picks pink), the bed and dressers fit (including the mirror), a new carpet is installed and I feel like a queen when I’m in my, oops, our room.

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