Monday, July 02, 2007

Dusty Monster

My cousin passed away about 8 years ago and in the process of moving his belongings out of his house, we ended up buying his entertainment center. Now, what you need to know is that Jeff loved big things - he only bought the best stuff and he bought big. His TV was one of those gigantic, wide-screen behemoths that rival ones in theatres. The entertainment center to house that gargantuan was essentially two tall towers with shelves, joined overhead by a slab of wood with a light in it, adjustable to fit whatever you want in there - a gigantic television, a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere, whatever. The towers had lights in them as well. We never used the lights, because well, it just looks a bit overdone to backlight your antique duck decoys and vintage shotgun shell boxes and fishing lures. Or at least, that's what I convinced Paul into believing. We might border on trashy, but we like to stay within the boundaries of some semblance of taste. We are rednecks, not white trash, ya know.

We didn't have a big TV to go inside the big wooden monstrosity, but we found a TV cart to hold our small, normal sized TV that matched the towers perfectly, so we were set. When we bought the entertainment center we lived in what is now our rent house - 800 sq. ft. of living space. The entertainment center just loomed over the living room. When we moved out here, though, it fit. But....because it was so HUGE, it would only fit in one spot - on the longest wall of our living room, just opposite the wall that is virtually all window. To watch TV during the day, we had to close the blinds and watch TV in the dark, otherwise there was glare that prevented you from seeing the TV at all. And over time, the entertainment center began looming over this living room, too. I resented the beast because I couldn't arrange my furniture the way I wanted. For six years I have literally just shuffled couch/recliner/big chair into different positions on the windowed wall. Paul loved that entertainment center - the biggest reason being that he boasted to anyone who cared (not many, just for the record) that "that sucker's is solid wood and I only gave $250 for it!"

For about the last 6 months or so, I really started working Paul, planting little seeds of animosity toward the entertainment center. Oh no, I didn't come right out and badmouth it, just here and there I'd sigh wistfully as I closed the blinds so he could play Playstation sans glare. Or I'd ponder out loud about how I wondered what the big chair would look like over there and then gaze forlornly. The one that got him, though, was commenting about nice it would be to be able to sit in the recliner and look out the front window, nay watch the deer frollick in our front yard from a comfortably reclining position.

Combine redneck man, recliner and wildlife and you get your way.

My mom has drooled over our entertainment center for years, so she and I worked out a plan, the proper money and goods were exchanged, but I told her she had to be patient. I had to get Paul completely on board first. God bless her, she's been patient and the last couple of months, she's been asking when I thought I'd have Paul convinced, so I started sighing more, gazing wistfully more and baiting the deer to come in the yard. He finally relented to giving up the monster, but then I ya know, quit the daycare thing and we needed the money to gamble buy groceries and the quest for a smaller entertainment center was kind of pushed aside. We looked around, but the low table thingy at Wal*Mart looked cheap and flimsy, Westco is too expensive and even though I knew what I wanted, we couldn't find it for the money we wanted to spend. Of course, what I wanted to spend and what he wanted to spend were two different things - I wanted to spend a couple hundred and he said he knew of a guy at work that had an old cable spool we could throw a piece of material over and it'd make a fine table for the TV and he'd just give it to us! See why it took so long to convince him? He's way more redneck than me.

But Saturday afternoon, Mom called on her way home from an auction and said she had something for me. She pulled up in my yard, opened the back door of her car and the light of Heaven shone down upon her backseat and I swear, I heard angels.

It may not look like much to you, but it's furniture nirvana for me. It's small, yet it holds everything we need it to hold, it takes up one itty bitty corner and doesn't tower over the entire living room. The room is opened up now and Paul sat in his recliner and watched deer frollick on the pond bank last night. Everybody's happy as a puppy with two peckers.

Of course, we weren't happy yesterday when we started moving furniture - furniture that hasn't been moved since 2002 when we got new carpet. The entertainment center, book case and gun cabinet have literally not been moved in 5 years. Do you know how much dust accumulates under, on and behind large pieces of furniture in 5 years? A dang lot, that's how much. I grabbed the extension hose on the vacuum and had Paul tilt down one of the towers so I could remove any dust before we moved it out. Instead of finding a coating of dust, I found what appeared to be the lint you remove from the filter of your dryer - you know what I'm talking about. It looks like a little fuzzy doll blanket. We also found fuzzy dust blankets similar to this under the gun cabinet. It was comical but at the same time just really sad.

We spent the afternoon dismantling the TV, VCR, DVD player, stereo, PS2 and Super Nintendo, capturing dust blankets, finding about two dozen Nerf darts and rubber balls, sneezing, cursing, flipping each other off when the kids weren't looking and laughing. Paul had to run the antenna cable around the tack board, being careful to hide the cord to my liking, spent 30 minutes fixing a busted hooky uppy thing, only to find out after to got everything hooked up that the antenna doesn't work on that side of the room. He was royally whizzed, but I told him that we'd just call DishNetwork and get the locals tacked onto our package for an extra $4.99 a month, which teed him off further that we have to pay for something that's broadcast freely and has been for years. I explained to him that starting in 2008 they were phasing out analong anyway and it was either now or later and hey, how nice would it be to watch So You Think You Can Dance without squinting through static and wondering if the pasa doble is supposed to look so, um, squiggly.

It was an exhausting day, but entirely productive. And when the rain finally quit long enough to allow it, we hauled the monster entertainment center to my mother's where she can enjoy and eventually resent it, but hey, it's her problem now. No takebacks.


Going Like Sixty said...

OHHHHhhhh gawwwwwwwd... I had a big grin on my face until I hit
"Everybody's happy as a puppy with two peckers." and I lost it.

She-at... tell me why I had to clean under the friggin' washing machine when we got a new one???

We got the same deal with our furniture arrangement, except she bought the entertainment center. We have a sofa with a recliner at each end, her recliner and my recliner, and the dog's recliner and a recliner in the bedroom that is for clean laundry to be ironed.

Bless mama.

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Hey, I used to have a sweet TV stand just like that, until it burned up in our house fire. Wah.

Glad to hear y'all did room rearranging without killing or maiming each other. That's the mark of a great weekend!

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