Sunday, February 27, 2011

The sofa conversation-

Full disclosure, this was actually an argument. It got seriously out of hand and he ended up screaming at me, then acting like a child by not replying to anything I said, at all, for hours. When I finally got him to answer me, he was short and still shout-y. But, after a few hours, he stopped behaving like a child and listened to what I had to say... and it worked. Because 90% of the time, when something doesn't work, my suggestion is the logical solution that is... well, the solution. Also, this is really long. Really long because of the backstory. But there are pictures!

About a year after building the sofa of awesome, DG decided it wasn't comfortable. More than one person has said that the sofa was not entirely comfortable. It was a little too upright and it slanted slightly to the front, so the sitter felt as if they were sliding forward. Plus, under the cushions was a slab of plywood- while firm- was too firm. So, he finally built a new one, using the springs from the old sofa (the one that the new one replaced, not the handmade one). First, he tried to put the springs into the currently-made sofa, but they wouldn't fit. It was too much of a gap to be able to rig in any way, so he said he'd build a whole new sofa.

He finally finished it and it looked lovely. It is slightly different than the current handmade one. The arms aren't as wide, the whole thing overall was a bit sleeker and more modern. (not quite so "heavy 1970s style three-piece sofa set"). Except it was too high. If I sat on it straight, my feet didn't touch the floor. I'm not incredibly tall at a whopping five feet, four-and-a-half inches, but I was wearing my Docs, which give me another inch-and-a-half. Everything else about the sofa was fine- the springs added a nice bit of smush to the cushions and he had a bit of a tilt in the back part that made it more comfortable to sit in... so, I suggested he just cut the legs down an inch or so.

Guess what...

Custom handmade carpentry doesn't work that way. Turns out, it wasn't that the legs were too long, it was that he put the cushion-holding area up too high. And being that it was custom-made, he couldn't just take that out, move it down, and bolt it in place. He'd have to start over from scratch. Honestly, he didn't look too upset about it in the least.

There was a cold snap for a few days and when his shop doesn't warm up, he doesn't like working out there (I don't blame him). He decided to rearrange the living room. Our living room is small. The person who designed this house was a lunatic. I'm not kidding. We have one bathroom (and it's upstairs!) and the door opens out into the hallway. The kitchen, before we had it remodeled, had two spaces of countertop, the oven was blocking two drawers and two cabinets. The fridge was blocking a large pantry cabinet. (when we moved in, we had an electric oven, so we disconnected the gas one and moved the fridge to the porch and put the oven near where the fridge had been. So we had two extra drawers and cabinets, plus we could use the pantry cabinet and the fridge was only three extra steps away). Also, to show some of this lunacy... the side of the house with the row of pine trees is? Yeah, the person put a staircase there. The side of the house where the driveway is? That's where the living room window looks out on. Yeah. Not the golf course and pine trees. The driveway and the neighbor's driveway.

But I digress... the living room is small. The entry door is right in the middle, with a window on each side of the door. But not right next to the door, there's a gap of wall space. Then there's another window (overlooking the driveway) and the wide-open archway for the dining room (which is larger than the living room and where I currently sit). At the other side is that staircase. So we have one workable corner and only one wall that is significantly large enough to use for anything. Our furniture was arranged the same way for years, not because we liked it, but because it was a necessity.

A while ago, DG made this huge TV cabinet with a DVD cabinet. His original plan was to put them together into one giant wall unit. Except that doing so would block the one and only window I had access to open in warmer weather. The other is blocked by the loveseat and another was blocked by the fish tank (cabinet he built). So, he left them separate. As pictured below.

As you can see, the window is still half-covered. But, I could open it, block that area with a pet gate (Gypsy likes to bark at people) and we'd get a cross-breeze.


And a reminder of the DVD cabinet in all its glory.



So, DG's idea during that cold snap, was to rearrange the furniture in expectation of the new-new sofa. Oh, speaking of the new sofa- the one that was too high- here are some photos of that...

The new-new sofa

The accents

The back

By comparison, here is the old-current sofa and the new too-tall sofa's armrests.

hardwood,heavy wood,sofa,wood frame

I'm not sure if you can see the difference, but the arms are narrower and sleeker overall.

The arm of the new-new sofa

Anyway, I begged him not to rearrange the furniture. It would be too much work. Don't do it. He did it anyway. He moved the fish tank to where a bookcase was and moved the bookcase (and completely messing up the order of my books) to where the dog bed was. BUT, it freed up that window the fish tank had been blocking. Then he removed all the DVDs from the giant DVD cabinet. We have more than a thousand by now. We stopped counting at around 800.

Here is a photo of most of the DVDs (there were more on the loveseat).

Then, he took a spacer he built of matching wood, connected the two pieces into the giant cabinet... except by then, I'd gone to bed. It took him all day to do just this little bit of work. (he refused help offered and would only ask for it when it came to moving the real heavy stuff). What I awoke to was an atrocity that any housewife would have freaked out over. The giant cabinet was taking up the whole wall (blocking an entire window). The sofa was moved over to the stairs- which is fine- and the loveseat was in front of the sofa. It was against the wall, but blocking half of the sofa. Anybody sitting on the loveseat would be partially blocking the TV view for who would be seated on the sofa. Plus, it was right there- I could put my feet on the loveseat from the sofa. The arm of the loveseat was an arm's length from the sofa. I really wish I had taken a photo. It was awful. I don't even remember where the chair was anymore.

Hours later, DG is up and I ask him what the hell he was thinking. I mean, if this was a temporary solution for the night, fine, but it damn sure wasn't staying this way. Now, the giant cabinet, while facing it (from the sofa view) was TV on the left, DVD cabinet on the right. I asked why he put the loveseat where it was, blocking the sofa. And he went off on me. Yelling at me that it would be fine to leave it there, it wasn't bothering anyone, I'm the only one complaining about it and I should just shut the fuck up about it as I "never" sit in the living room anyway (not entirely true).

I said, "Whoa! What the fuck are you yelling at me for? I just asked a goddamn question!"

And I can't recall all the words he was yelling at me, but he was swearing and gesturing wildly about the cabinet. "The fucking doors won't open if the loveseat is there and its fucked up! It will stay here because it FITS HERE!" and his voice kept raising. And I'm a bitch... you can't out-bitch a bitch. So, I yelled back. I admit it.

I asked, in a raised voice, why the DVD cabinet was on the right instead of the left- as was originally planned. "BECAUSE I ALREADY DID IT THIS WAY! IT WENT THIS WAY FOR A REASON!" and there was some swearing in the screaming.

I took a breath, I tried not to totally lose it. "But when you did this originally, you had it on the other side. Why isn't it on the other side?"


Me: "But why isn't it on the other side? I don't get why-"

DG: "ARE YOU FUCKING STUPID?" (say what? like I'm gonna let that go?) "I PUT THE FUCKING SPACER THERE!"

It went back and forth like this for a few moments, including him getting up, opening the DVD cabinet to show me how the doors wouldn't open with the loveseat there. And each time, he wouldn't answer my question about why. Why that side?

I got him to stop yelling long enough to listen to me ask: "Why didn't you put the spacer on the other side?"

DG: (after a pause) "BECAUSE I DIDN'T THINK ABOUT IT!" Finally! A Disabled Guy answer.

So, I asked why he couldn't change it. The yelling resumed about the spacer and how he cut it at the bottom to accommodate the bottom of the DVD cabinet. Except it wasn't quite as well-put as that. He was screaming about it and using a condescending tone, as if I were a child. He dropped that "are you fucking stupid" line a couple more times. So I got up. And I acted just as immature as he was. I gestured the same way he was, at that spacer thing, and asked, "WHY COULDN'T YOU BUILD ANOTHER ONE FOR THE OTHER FUCKING SIDE THEN? HOW MUCH FUCKING WOOD COULD THIS TAKE?" (the problem with the Disabled Guy is if you present him with a two-part question without giving him time to answer, he loses the plot and forgets what he was trying to say, but I was tired of his yelling and calling me stupid).

So, he sat down and crossed his arms. "I'm done! I'm fucking done! I'm not talking about it any fucking more!" and that was it. He turned his head away from me even.

When Ceej asked me a question about the other sofa- which I couldn't answer- I asked him (it was a basic question, not related to anything we'd just argued about). He refused to answer. Even looked away. I said, "You can stop being a fucking dick and answer the goddamn question."

So he did, with two words. I asked a follow-up question. Again, no answer. So I said, "I'm not talking about your precious cabinet of doom, you can answer the fucking question."

It went on like this for a while. And when Ceej dared to ask why the loveseat was blocking half the sofa, he went off again: "FINE! I'LL PUT IT THE FUCK BACK! EVERYBODY CAN SHUT UP ABOUT IT BECAUSE I'LL PUT IT BACK!" and he stomped around for a bit.

Now, we don't know what set him off. We have no idea why he was so pissed off about the whole thing. Normally, he only gets like this if I'm picking at him and I won't stop. Not nagging, but close. But that day, he just totally lost his shit for nothing. As I'm typing this, I'm deep into my nightly pain meds, so I'm sure I'm leaving some stuff out and forgetting the sequence a bit, but that's how this all went down. I don't remember where I had to go, but I left for about forty-five minutes and when I got back, he'd gotten all the DVDs out of the cabinet and was removing the spacer (he'd been working for longer than forty-five minutes, that's just how long I was gone). When he got the spacer out, he paused and looked at. Then he turned it and looked at it again.

I stepped over and I said, "Don't let your cheese slide off your cracker, but listen..."

He listened. "Why can't you just flip this over and use it on the other side?" I asked. I even showed him. "You've got scrap wood you can use and fix this- [I pointed to the groove he was talking about] and you can just flip the cabinets."

He said, "That won't work! It'll look like shit."

I replied, "Who is gonna see it at the bottom of the cabinet?"

A few minutes later, after I sat back down, I said, "Can't you just take off that piece of wood and put it on the other side?"

After all this... after him screaming at me, this is what I got:

I got a fibro flareup that caused my skin to start itching so bad it made my eyes water and I got a half-hearted mumbled, "I'm sorry" for the screaming freak out he had.

But, I also have a whole window I can open up, an almost-finished new-new sofa, and a giant mega-cabinet that takes up one whole wall and blocks a window that used to be blocked by a loveseat. (which is to the right of this photo).

The giant cabinet

These DVDs don't count the bunch Ceej and Jase have in their rooms or the handful Kat has in her apartment in the town where she lives. Also, there are two shelves in the bottom of the TV cabinet that are full.

DVD cabinet, open

The Disabled Guy-ism in all this is when I ask him now what the fuck flew up his ass that day, he tells me: "I was possessed."

I ask: "By what?"

DG: "An asshole who can't rearrange furniture."

Me: "If he comes back, I'll sic the blankets on him. Then he'll be sorry." (The Killer Blanket Story)

We had another discussion last night about how the blankets attack him in his sleep. Which is why he's constantly piling them onto me. Apparently, with my two arms, I can better fight them off than he can.

Also, the Disabled Guy realizes his eyesight is getting worse. From the sofa, he can't see the TV so well. Good thing he has that chair to sit in that's closer.


Lettie said...

Aw Gee, Patty.

That was too sad to be really funny, though it did have it's funny moments. Poor guy. And poor you. I don't know how the two of you keep your sanity. His little mumbled "I'm sorry" about did me in, but I laughed when he said he was possessed. I don't know which would be harder -- to be the person who goes off for no reason, not really meaning to do it, or to be the person who knows it's unintentional but can't help being so frustrated at times. After all, it's only human to feel that way.

Good vibes headed your way (for both of you. ♥

Anisah said...

I wish I lived closer to you. I would definitely order some custom made furniture from him. He does awesome work!