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Monday, October 19, 2009  

The Dresser

Five years ago, when we learned that M. Edium was coming to us early, one of the first things we had to do in the rush to get ready was fix the hand-me-down dresser that was in his room. The drawers were off the tracks so badly that some of them didn't even open. And the ones that did fell clear out. I went and got some little boards and some hardware from Home Depot, and patched it up. The following months may have been studded with new-parent fails, but that dresser held up. For weeks. And then M. Edium came home from the hospital.

I haven't fixed it since. But we did discover over the years that having the drawers full of clothes (whether it's a dozen pairs of 5T pants or three hundred preemie-onesies) acts as a kind of ballast, preventing them from being too dangerous. The drawers that got stuck again, we simply yanked free by brute force, because getting a preschooler dressed in the morning is no time for finesse. And any fears we might have had of M. Edium hurting himself with it proved unfounded, as it turned out that he hated the thing so much he never touched it.

By now you've noticed that I'm speaking of this piece of…furniture in the past tense. That's because EyeHeartPizza, who just moved back to Denver, didn't want to bring her five-drawer dresser along and gave it to us. She was even apologetic about little stuff like the broken handles on a couple of the drawers. I don't think she realized how much we appreciated the giant step up to drawers that slid out instead of tipping out.

This was last Thursday night, when she and Chao came over for dinner. We had the old dresser out by the curb by the time The Office started. Given the way the Jawas operate in our neighborhood, I figured it would be gone, drawers and all, by the time Jim and Pam said their vows. Even though three of the drawers were still in the house.

But it was still there the next morning. Huh, I thought. That's weird. Maybe it'll go faster if I bring the drawers outside and put them next to it. No, I didn't put them in. It was cold, okay?

Too cold even for Jawas, apparently. It was still there on Saturday. Coming home from an errand that day, I thought I saw what the problem was. I had placed the dresser facing the street, so that anyone driving by could see the bashed-in fiberboard that comprised its backing. It looked like I'd shoved someone's head through it, and who wants to pick up a used murder weapon up off the curb, free or not? I probably would have put the drawers in right then, but I think it was still snowing.

Sunday I put the drawers back in. At first glance, it looked like a perfectly serviceable item. Anyone driving by fast enough wouldn't even notice that half of the drawers had their faces cast disconsolately down at the street. Surely the Jawas would not be able to resist this prize. And after all, maybe they just hadn't made the rounds yet. Monday is garbage day, and Sunday -- the day before, and a weekend to boot -- is the sweet spot.

Monday morning, Trash watched out the window as the garbage man picked it up and tossed it into the back of the truck, where it was instantly crushed into splinters. The rest of the way, I mean.

We were kind of ambivalent about its end. We prefer to either donate stuff directly or park it on the curb to give away in situations like this, and it felt like we'd committed some kind of environmental fail by letting it get squished. On the other hand, it had been out there for four and a half days. The reclaimers had plenty of opportunity, if they'd wanted.

But I think what bothers me the most is that if this was what was going to happen to it, I would have liked to do it myself. Preferably with an axe.

posted by M. Giant 10:49 AM 2 comments

2 Comments:

I had the same dresser experience in South Mpls this summer. Crappy dresser but it looked GOOD. and they wouldn't take it and it ended up being crushed and disposed if and it made me sad too.

By Blogger Theresa, at October 19, 2009 at 1:36 PM  

We have a tendency to keep most things to the point where, whatever it might have started out life as, it's on the verge of complete collapse by the time it exits our life.
That never stopped anyone from adopting it when we lived in Denver, but since moving to one of the suburbs, we're alarming stuck with our stuff.

Just tell yourself that it was re-purposed, the time had come in it's life to return to the soil from whence it came. Sort of like the chair in my garage. I'm going to have to take that thing downtown if I ever want to be rid of it.

By Blogger Land of shimp, at October 21, 2009 at 9:50 AM  

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