17 October 2005

Doors are the Answer

We thought the furniture would change our lives. Actually I thought it would, and I convinced my husband it would make for better parties, fewer arguments, and a safer play area. The idea was a simple family bookcase system, a smaller desk for me, and a computer armoire for him. He has a LOT of paper. More paper than I am comfortable with. Ten year old issues of WIRED and Windsurfer. 5 month old copies of the SF Chronicle. Don't-miss-this-one offers from credit cards. Receipts. I decided I couldn't look at it anymore. Rather, that I couldn't ignore it anymore when I'm spending half of my time on the floor with our crawler- nose height with the piles. I'm no neat nick and have my share of mess- but it does wax and wane. His is an endless pregnancy. So instead of nagging and hoping he/ we will clean it up, I decided doors are the answer. Bookshelves with doors, a desk with doors, and a smaller desk for me. Less space for stacking mail in full view. More hidden cubbies for the To Do pile.

It was an innocent idea. We found furniture we both liked. I assembled the IKEA shelf system after a late night run to the Palo Alto store. Emeryville didn't have all the parts and I could not wait 2 more weeks to get started on the revolution. The shelving looks great. It really does. And my desk is more or less clutter free (although at this moment among normal desk flora there is an empty bulk food bag, pair of socks, and strip of paper that covers panty-liner adhesive).

The problem is the armoire. We disassembled his desk and scattered the piles around the room. The armoire arrived and we stayed up until 1 am assembling it- when we discovered the top half doesn't match the bottom. The dowel/ hole system is off by 5/16 of an inch. Defeated, we collapsed into sleep. 8am saturday morning Bob came from the store to check it out. Bob was eager to "solve the problem." He discovered we weren't idiots and that the furniture was indeed, flawed. We had to admit sawing two of the dowels in a feeble attempt to make a fit. Bob wasn't mad. He is committed to making it work.

It didn't work before Stella's one year party, but Bob is getting us a new top part soon, he says. Soon enough, I hope, so I can hold my tongue about the unread news until it gets behind closed doors.

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