Last week I made a valiant (and somewhat misguided) attempt to turn my basement upside down. It’s looking pretty upside down to me now whenever I walk through it to get to the laundry room, so I guess you could say my efforts ended in success. But knowing the details might make you rethink that conclusion.
I’ve been reluctant to tell this story because it makes me look like an idiot. So I’ll just tell you right up front I have other excuses. I’m old, for one thing. Officially now, because the government said so. They will be sending me money at the end of this month to remove all doubt. Old people do some weird shit, and it’s not because they’re intrinsically stupid or anything, it’s mostly because they forget that there are things they’re simply not physically capable of getting away with anymore.
Here’s the background. Don’t worry, it’s short. Our television set is ancient and my son offered to wall mount his previous flat screen TV (they have a new and improved model) in our family room and hook it up for us, thus getting us back into the current century as far as home entertainment goes.
He can do this only if we move the monstrosity of a wall unit/entertainment center piece-of-crap furniture (which looks like a prop from that 70′s show) away from the wall where the new TV will go. He suggested we throw it out. But I’ve made silly promises to myself about things like that, so I can’t do it. Besides, I must have somewhere to store our thousands of VHS tapes and DVD’s. And other assorted crap which has no other home. Sigh.
He also said moving it was part of the deal, and in no way or at any time did he suggest I should move it on my own. He also didn’t give me strict orders not to, perhaps because it didn’t occur to him that I might try. But I’ve been moving furniture around by myself all my life. Often up and down stairs. I know how to empty things completely and remove drawers and take things apart until they’re manageable. The trick is to take it slow. Do it a bit at a time. Preferably not in your bare feet. That’s experience talking, right there.
The first thing to come off the wall unit was the TV which I slid carefully on to a sturdy end table kind of thing with a top surface at almost the same height. So that was easy. It did involve some unplugging of things but I was able to get everything reconnected and working again, so if W comes home in July to a still completely messed up basement, at least he won’t go off the deep end about having no TV.
A couch, two chairs and a coffee table are now stacked high with wall unit contents. This includes two heavy drawers full of heavy things. I am saving going through all this for another rainy day when I’m wearing shoes and have stocked up on garbage bags. Or when I’m organizing a colossal garage sale. I haven’t decided. I could have stopped here, of course, and waited to move this thing across the room, but I had already moved other smaller things into the toy room to clear a big space and the sliding thing had gone so well. I decided to slide the top half of the wall unit on to two end tables placed at either end. This was trickier because of its length and having to go back and forth inching it off evenly a bit at a time. Then the bottom half was easy to slide across the carpet to the new location. I should have stopped at this point too. But now I was cocky and confident enough to move the top half across the room by moving each end table a foot or so at a time. The tops got very scratched up in the process, but they were already in need of a good sanding down. Or a good throwing out. Another project for another day.
With the top half in front of the bottom half, all that remains is to WAIT FOR ANOTHER PERSON to lift up one end while I lift the other and set it gently back where it belongs. That’s how things are sitting right now as we speak. However, there’s another little episode to relate here in which I briefly believed I was superwoman and could lift this huge thing on my own. It didn’t end well, except for the part where I didn’t die. It toppled over and fell face first on the carpet. On the way down, one of the little glass doors opened (did I mention those stupid glass doors?) Well, to make a long story slightly shorter, one of them made it to the garbage bin intact, but the other one went there in a gazillion pieces. A lot of it got sucked up by the vacuum cleaner.
The good news is, the carpet has probably never been so well vacuumed in years. And I’m WAY smarter than I was before. Plus alive. And we will never again have to wipe dirty finger prints off those two pieces of glass. Not that I remember ever doing that, but still. I’m trying to feel like slightly less of a moron by looking on the bright side.
Yesterday I wanted to change some things around in the bedroom because I’m tired of where the computer is and I wondered if moving it somewhere else would inspire me to sit down at it more often to write. I stood in the middle of the room for a very long time considering the possibilities. The feeling passed, and I didn’t move one damned thing.
Older and wiser! At last, that could be me.