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 been helpful.
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 the job.
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, baby!
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.