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Tuesday, January 16, 2007  

Rude Awakening

It's amazing how quickly we forget that we're living in new construction. Our upstairs bedroom is our new haven, our new second bathroom means no more calling dibs when we arrive home in a rush, and M. Small is safe and secure shuttling back and forth between his new bedroom and his new playroom. It's still not 100% finished, by any means. The new bathroom still doesn't have any towel bars up or cabinetry up, because we've been putting it off. There's also no door on the shower stall as of now, so if we were to shower up there, a lot of wiping up would have to follow, and then we'd have no place to hang the many wet towels up afterward. Overall, though, it's sometimes hard to remember that only a month ago, we couldn't even come up here without putting shoes on first.

Occasinally, however, we get a slightly more forceful reminder.

I don't even remember what I was dreaming about or what my first thought was when I heard the crash at 3:15 this morning. Maybe that the side of the house had been struck by a wrecking ball, or perhaps an F-14. You know how sometimes you're awakened in the middle of the night by the sound of your cat knocking something to the floor? Imagine your cat is Gamera.

Trash claims I "bounded" out of bed, although my reaction time seemed pretty slow to myself at the time. Trash was right behind me, but only because I sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door and I had a head start. We first checked M. Small's room two doors down, and were relieved to see that not only had his crib had not spontaneously collapsed, but he had slept peacefully through the cataclysm. I noticed nothing else amiss on the way back to our bedroom. Trash, who had been sleeping on her good ear and therefore hadn't been as thoroughly rousted as I had, went back to bed. I turned on our closet light.

Our closet hardware consists of a hanger bar attached to a narrow shelf in single unit. We've been making use of this since a couple of weeks ago, with about half of Trash's clothes hanging there so far, and some of my random clutter spread on the shelf. Like I said, the bar and the shelf are all one piece, and the entire assembly had, of its own accord, come free of the wall and crashed to the floor. Clothes, hangers, shelf contents, and all were on the floor. Five feet from my head. Which would explain the racket I'd heard. The formerly lovely "Secret Garden"-colored back wall now sported a series of ragged craters where the wall anchors had ripped themselves out. I told Trash what happened, and started to bend down to do…I don't know what. Pick stuff up? Try to fix it? Trash told me to leave it until the morning. No argument from me. They're her clothes, anyway. We could wait until morning to pick them up and brush off the fragments of….well, whatever the idiots who originally built this house in 1950 used instead of sheetrock.

I think that's probably what happened. The contractor, who has been scrupulously honest and trustworthy all along, never warned us about any weight limit that we should abide by, so I assume he had no reason to think the shelf wouldn't hold. It was attached to an original wall, not one of the modern new 5/8" gypsum wallboards, which is always an iffy proposition unless you bolt stuff to a grappling hook spread out wide on the inside of the wall's surface. And I'm not worried that the contractor will fix it, or how. Honestly, I don't care how it gets fixed. By the time he's done, it can have support pillars and suspending straps for all I care.

I'm just really glad it didn't happen when somebody was in there; Trash getting her clothes, or M. Small getting into trouble, or one of the cats getting some Z's in a sock hamper (which I don't see happening again any time soon). 3:15 A.M. was probably the best time for this to occur. We could be sure it hadn't been caused by any specific event, yet nobody was on that side of the doors to maybe get squished. This way was for the best.

At least, that's what I told myself when I was still trying to get to sleep at 3:45.

posted by M. Giant 9:05 PM 4 comments

4 Comments:

That's a very refreshing glass half-full outlook. I'm also glad nobody was hurt. =)

By Anonymous Ryan, at January 16, 2007 at 10:40 PM  

Right after we moved into our house last year, we were awaken by a loud crash in the middle of the night. We didn't have to hunt around to figure out the source, though. The curtain rod right next to our bed had ripped out of the wall and crashed to the ground. So not only were our hearts beating out of our chests, the light shining through the window kept us from getting back to sleep. We hang everything now with those giant wall anchors.

By Anonymous Betsy, at January 17, 2007 at 7:51 AM  

Slightly off topic, but regarding the new bathroom and the shower that you are unable to use until you get a shower door... You can get an inexpensive tension rod and put up a shower curtain as a temporary fix. And no more calling dibs when you have a shower rush, if such a thing happens in your household. Glad you're all safe and sound!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 17, 2007 at 1:16 PM  

That sound you described?? Happened in my house a few months back. Around 5 am. (Why is it always in the morning!!?) Awesome part about it is, I now have the closet I've always wanted. Double hanging, a shoe rack that girfriends pay to see, and room to grow. Not a bad trade-off for 2 mins of my heart stopping.

By Anonymous C--, at January 22, 2007 at 2:04 AM  

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