21 May 2012

I’m A Genius, Not a Handyman

current state of mind:  sleepy

Well in this life you must find something to live for
Cause when the darkness comes a callin’
You’ll go back to where you were before
Cause this life is as fragile as a dream
~ “As It Seems” by Lily Kershaw

A little over two years ago, I bought a new bedroom set from a local furniture store owned by a wealthy acquisition conglomerate. The name is not important; for those keeping score at home, however, it has the name of the state in its name. Understand that my luck with this furniture store has not been exceptional. The first time I bought a bed from them, in 1998, they delivered it at 5:45am on a Saturday morning, not caring that they were waking our entire apartment building. Then they weren’t going to assemble it, and I had to not-so-gently remind them that assembly was included in my delivery cost. I also took that moment to remind them that they were supposed to deliver it two other times during the week; but someone screwed up, and perhaps they could just put the damn bed together without argument. Sorry, I digress . . .

Anyway, when I purchased this bedroom set three years ago, I verified delivery times twice with the clerk. She even circled it on my receipt. Imagine my lack of amusement when the delivery people called and said they’d be late. I had taken the morning off work and it turned into a full day off. When they arrived, the delivery men were nice enough – though they once again tried to leave without putting my bed together.  I was fine with not unwrapping the bookcase or bedside table – but that bed was getting put together.  I should have known, based on the stamped “MADE IN CHINA” that the quality of the furniture was not going to be like the Amish would built it – still, I had hope.

Within 6 months, I noticed that the bed rails were not that secure – resulting in a wobbly bed.  I didn’t let it bother me.  Eventually, I had to switch rooms for the remodel, so I took the bed apart, moved it into the other room, and reassembled it.  The metal slats on the rail ends fit even less securely than they had before.  Then, about 8 months ago, I rearranged my room and not wanting to take the whole bed apart again, I put it on those furniture shifting discs and I moved the bed.  BAD PLAN!  As I was pushing the bed I heard the distinct sound of pressed plywood (disguised as hardwood) cracking.  Bloody Hell!  One of the rails completely dislodged itself from the metal hook that slides into the headboard.  I was able to fit it back; but I knew that my luck was running out. 

Over the past several months, I have propped and re-propped boards under the rails, in an attempt to prevent the bed from breaking any further.  I called the store and asked if this was normal behavior for their products and they said my warranty was out, so I could just suck it.  Okay – those were not their exact words – but they were unsympathetic and did not care that the quality of their product was shite.  Well, this past week, the bed broke yet again.  And this time, it was the rail ends on which I hadn’t yet attempted repairs. So this weekend, I made it my solemn duty to fix that damn bed, no matter what it looked like when I was done.  That last part is important . . .

After throwing the sheets into the washer for their weekly laundering and bleaching, I headed to my room to play carpenter.  Disassembling the bed was tricky due to my prior repairs.  Eventually, with perseverance, I was able to take it apart.  Then I went to work. After belatedly remembering that I needed to drill pilot holes to prevent the wood from splitting, I asked my Papa for the “hole drillers”.  Looking nervous, he asked if I needed any help with anything. I quickly declined his assistance and said, “Nope, I just need to fix my bed and I want to make sure the wood doesn’t split (ANY MORE – I whispered to myself).”  He retrieved me a cordless drill and the “hole drillers”.  Then I went to work AGAIN. 

I started by fixing the rails themselves. I figured out a method of attaching the metal hooks back onto rail ends.  I reinforced their attachment with some very nice screws from my tool kit.  Once I was convinced that they wouldn’t fall out again, I began working on the headboard, as it had far less damage than the footboard.  I verified that all of support pieces were in place so when I hooked the rails back on, they wouldn’t snap out.  Then I looked at the footboard and realized I was in trouble.  Pilot holes or not, that piece of furniture was never going to look the same, regardless of how careful I was.  I removed half dozen screws that were compressing large chunks of split wood onto the footboard.  It was about this time that I watched them cut Ned Stark’s head off in Season One of “Game of Thrones”.  Dear God, I hate that inbred Joffrey brat. I had to halt my productivity to curse at the television. 

When I returned to the heap of bed pieces on the floor I stepped on my tool kit and sent approximately 250 pieces of metal fasteners, screws, nuts, bolts, washers, etc. sprawling across the floor. Of course, Elizabeth AND Gracie had to come investigate the noise.  “Get out!” I shouted at them, not wanting them to make the mess worse. Neither one cared a whit that I was asking them to leave.  After drilling approximately 2 dozen pilot holes, and filling those holes with screws, I felt pretty confident that the bed would hold.  I reattached the rails.  The headboard connections were perfect; the footboard, however, not so much.  It was just a matter of time before they gave way again.  The higher attachments, however, appeared to be sound. So the only choice was to use the upper attachments.  The issue is that those attachments are really for use when there is no box-spring. Still, beggars can’t be choosers.  I raised the rails, reinforced the footboard side with a couple of 2x4s and a dozen more screws. 

I replaced all the bed slats and stacked the box-spring and pillow-top mattress on my freshly repaired bed. Everything was sturdy and I felt confident that it would all hold. Then I made my bed with the clean sheets and I finally understood how Dr. Frankenstein felt. With a nice bed skirt, I couldn’t even see the repair work.  In fact, the only noticeable difference was the fact that my mattress was very high . . . like ‘Princess and the Pea’ high. I feel like a little kid trying to climb into my big-girl bed.  Elizabeth cannot jump on or off the bed due to its height. Instead of fretting about the ridiculously high bed, I am going to be IKEA-inspired and utilize all that extra space under the bed for storage.  If anyone needs any work done around the house, feel free to ring me up.   

PERSONAL NOTE: I cannot wait to see you this weekend!

CONFIDENTIAL NOTE:  Thank you for being my friend and for suggesting the movie, “Super 8”.

Eidetic Vision

Main Entry: ei·det·ic Pronunciation: I-'det-ik Function: adjective : marked by or involving extraordinarily accurate and vivid recall especially of visual images - an eidetic memory Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.