Now that I am un-moving, I find I have to re-furniture.
I told the kids to take what they wanted when they moved out because my new life was going to be downsized and I imagined everything I could possibly need would fit in a thimble. The act of not actually moving, but having kids actually take things, means I have to reboot.
Lorraine 2.0 is much more streamlined, much less cluttered. Lorraine 2.0 has guest rooms, guest rooms that don’t have suitcases stuffed in the closets or cat cages under the beds. One room actually has a dresser with a tequila bottle with ferns in it; I decided it looked arty. Mark the Cat decided it looked like salad. The ferns lasted a day.
I needed a bed frame for the smaller room, as I’d committed the existing one to the cottage. I went online, found a suitable frame, and drove to the store to get it. On the way to the bed department, I tripped over a silly hammock thing in the summer section. I sat in it. I swayed gently and tried to imagine if this ridiculous thing would fit on my new deck. I decided it wouldn’t and told myself to stop being so stupid. They were out of the bed frames and told me to come back tomorrow.
The best way to avoid impulse purchases is to come back tomorrow. Everybody knows that. I knew the feeling would pass, like when you consume bad sushi or good vodka and wake up knowing you shouldn’t have done that. I returned to the bed frame store, which they still didn’t have, and bought the hammock.
The instructions consisted of a leaflet with dire warnings about wind and fire and hammocks written in nine languages, then a series of exploded diagrams with no writing whatsoever. The thing was so heavy, I had to open the box — after dumping it out of the van onto my front lawn — and carry the pieces one at a time to my back deck. The cats were curious, if a bit worried.
I carefully lined up and counted all the bits. My impulsivity ends where rules begin. As I selected the first monster piece of the base, I glanced at a warning I’d missed.
“Assembly requires two people and a stepladder.”
I had one person, three cats and a glass of iced tea.
I decided I would progress until I couldn’t. As I was carefully threading washers onto a bolt, one dropped beneath the deck. I crawled under to get it, scratching my left knee because I was wearing artfully torn up jeans that featured no knees. If you feel the urge to purchase such jeans, just put on your normal ones and crawl around under your deck. You’ll get the look without the cost.
My sister Roz called and asked what I was doing. I told her I bought a hammock and I was assembling it. I admitted I was one person and a stepladder short. Roz adheres to instructions. I could hear her shudder through the phone.
“Ouch,” I yelped as a wrench slipped.
“What are you doing?”
“Wrenching. It slipped.”
“So now you’re doing it all wrong while you’re on the phone?”
“I didn’t want to be rude and hang up.”
I don’t like speakerphone, and my neck was getting a kink in it from holding the phone while I tried to hold up one section with my knees and another with my shoulder.
“I’m gonna let you go,” she sighed.
I sent her a picture later. She called it a contraption.
Two people and a stepladder? Bah.