In a moment of questionable judgment and desperation, I bought a
used cherry wood dining room table, sight unseen. On Craigslist. In
a town 70 miles away.
And I made my husband get it.
With the formula for disaster clearly in place, one sadly
neglected and chewed-up table was ultimately deposited in my dining
room. The seller's description of it being "in great shape" did not
align with my definition of the words. I anticipated a few nicks
and minor scratches. Maybe a small stain on a chair or two. It
wasn't as though I expected or desired a "perfect" table, but a
simple head's up that Cujo used the table as a chew toy would have
The damage was extensive. Each one of the upholstered seats was
discolored or had unraveling fabric. While it was true the table
was a bargain, potential costs for refinishing and reupholstering
would wipe away any planned savings. Worst of all? I am not handy.
Not even close. Think of a handy person and then think of the
opposite of a handy person. Then multiply by 10.
Part of the wonderful world of blogging is reading about handy
people who can turn an empty coffee can into a three-piece leather
sectional. The whole Do-It-Yourself crowd has always amazed me. So
that's exactly where I turned to find a local mom who would take
Meghan from Ryders
Rehab fit the bill. She wasn't a trained carpenter,
upholsterer, or rehabber, just a mom capable of doing a way better
job than I ever could. After I dropped off the set, she told me to
swing back with whatever fabric I wanted. Her timeline for
completion? She expected to finish the staining and upholstering
that very day. I immediately offered to run away with her to
Tahiti, but she declined. My love was that instant.
After arriving at the fabric store with the kiddies, I started
to sweat. What kind of fabric was I supposed to get? What colors
would match my dining room? And most pressing, how could I get the
boys to stop unraveling every bolt of fabric they came across? The
lady at Jo-Ann Fabrics eyed me suspiciously.
In an effort to hide from her, I accidentally stumbled across
the "Patio Furniture Fabric" aisle and the choice became obvious.
With three young boys, why not get a fabric designed to withstand
wind, rain, and the full force of Mother Nature? Patio furniture
fabric it was!
In a matter of hours, my table went from looking like this:
You can totally spill and the fabric won't run! Water resistant,
So thank you to Meghan for working her magic, to my husband for
risking life and limb to pick up a Craigslist table, and to the
marvelous people who invented patio furniture fabric and allowed me
to buy it with a 50% off coupon.
On a separate note, I have been grounded from Craigslist.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
What to do with your weekend, delivered every Thursday.
Great deals and chances to win prizes, delivered every Monday.
Exclusive offers from our partners,usually delivered twice a week.
Resources for parents of children with special needs,delivered the second Tuesday each month.