Poof! Happened and So Did Phooey!

Mr. Frank Churchill did not come. ~ Jane Austen, Emma


Emma was not at this time in a state of spirits to care really

about Mr. Frank Churchill’s not coming… ~ Jane Austen, Emma


Remember what I said about the furniture and assorted stuff in my living room maybe going Poof! and disappearing?

A couple of things did.

The recliner, for one. David, who normally sits beside it, got a long look at it head-on and asked whether we should dispose of it immediately, before getting a replacement.

Oh, my, yes.

Poof! It disappeared.

The chair was a good and faithful servant, but it should have departed about the same time George W. Bush did.

The search for adequate lumbar support that followed lasted the rest of Monday and all of Tuesday,  and it wasn’t pretty. I despaired of being able to get out of bed the next day without a forklift. But I could and did. And the living room looked better. And that was a good thing.

Tuesday night, after listening to considerable moaning and groaning on my part, David asked whether we should shop for a chair Wednesday instead of waiting until Friday, and we did, and bought the one I’d coveted ever since I first tried it out, about four years ago, and he assembled it and the accompanying footstool, and, after I’d tried to poison us all by spraying the cushions with Scotchgard (I’m waiting for people who know me well to say, “Why did you get beige?”), in an inadequately ventilated space (It was raining), things turned out pretty well. I stopped moaning and groaning and concentrated on keeping Ernest from making biscuits on the nubbly fabric.

So far he hasn’t expressed much interest in sitting there. He’s tried it only once. After about fifteen seconds he moved to the nearby rocking chair. Relocation was possibly due to the rocker’s new green seat cushion, purchased during our shopping trip–it matches his eyes–but I like to think he responded to my schoolteacher glare.

William, who does not respond to schoolteacher glares, in the new IKEA bathtub
William, who does not respond to schoolteacher glares, enjoying the lumbar support of the new IKEA bathtub

As to the other item that went Poof!–it didn’t exactly disappear, because it was never here in the first place.

Like Mr. Frank Churchill, the carpet cleaner, who was scheduled for “sometime after 9:00 a.m.,” did not come.

Unlike Emma, I did care really that the carpet cleaner did not come. I waited for him almost as long as Emma waited for Mr. Frank Churchill.

And I waited with a backache.

Well. It seems the carpet cleaner canceled because of the rain. That was sensible.

But somehow, through no fault of his, I didn’t get word until my ability to extend immediate forgiveness had passed the point of no return. Too little sleep compounded by the mother of all backaches propelled me in the direction of the most convenient scapegoat, and the carpet cleaner was first in line.

So file that part of the day under Phooey!

As soon as my new chair was ready for occupancy, however, sanity returned and unconditional forgiveness reigned supreme. I am once again a veritable Pollyanna, spreading gladness to all I meet.

Which is another good thing, because the carpet cleaner is scheduled to come next Monday “sometime after 9:00 a.m.”

William resting on an old blanket covering the new IKEA footstool
William resting on an old blanket covering the new IKEA footstool


Waiting for Poof!

Tomorrow morning, or, to be exact, later this morning, the nice man with the loud motor and all the hoses and the soap will arrive to clean our carpet.

There is nothing we need more. There is nothing I desire less.

Because before the nice man comes, I have to move all the living room furniture into the dining room, which is already filled with a table, chairs, a sideboard stuffed with china, and a stationary bike. Some of the furniture will spill into the kitchen. If I’m not careful, I won’t be able to get to the cabinet for a glass, the sink for water, or the refrigerator for whatever is in there.

Worse yet, before the nice man comes, I have to pick up everything else that is on the floor. The furniture is nothing. I’ll drag three chairs, two tables, and two lamps onto the tile and tell the nice man to work around the piano, the electronics, the couch, and possibly the bookcases, depending on how hard I want to work.

The tables are a bit of a challenge because I have to move their marble tops separately, and marble is heavy. One of the lamps is old, an oil lamp wired for electricity, that I’ve always loved. It’s a challenge, too, because I’m obsessed with its fragility. My mother bought it in Maryland in 1946. We coexisted peacefully for my first forty years, but since I inherited it twenty years ago, I’ve been afraid I would break it. Someday I’ll post a picture of it, but first I have to remove the cobwebs. In case of breakage, I’m counting on cobwebs to hold the shards together.

But, as I said, all those things are really nothing. David will help. He’s home for Columbus’ Day. He might even be looking forward to the experience. He was furloughed–or, as I prefer to call it, shut down–two weeks ago. He doesn’t appear to be growing restive, but cooking breakfast every day is bound to get boring. Variety is a good thing.

The big deal is that I have to pick up all the books and papers previously stacked and now collapsed all around my chair. Books I need to read, books I have read but need to read again, books that were on shelves until I had the impulse to put them where I could reach them. Notebooks of every shape and size and color, a different one for each purpose, and all now multipurpose because I can never find the right one when I need it. Paper paper paper comprising manuscripts of, it seems, everything I’ve ever written. And other stuff. I suspect there’s more other stuff than anything else. I expect to find several items already given up for lost. Especially another pair of socks. They have to be around here somewhere.

Remember the piece Fancy Fairchild posted on the 15 Minutes of Fame blog, about the cloth-covered boxes stacked behind her couch that she’s trying to pass off as an end table? I have some of those too. But without the cloth or the boxes.

So why, you ask, am I writing about getting ready for the carpet cleaner when I should be getting ready.

Denial, that’s why. Just plain denial. If I look at the monitor rather than at the–stuff–it might tippy-toe over to the kitchen all by itself. It might disappear. Vanish. Atomize. Poof!

Stranger things have happened.


The dining room pictured above is not mine, more’s the pity.