Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Another item that had been on my to-do list for a very long time, along with completing an advance health care directive, was to have various pieces of wooden furniture refinished. It had finally sunk in that this is my actual life and my actual furniture. Honestly, I had been thinking, “Oh, well, I’ll be dead in thirty or forty years, at which point this will be moot,” which is reasoning that can be applied to many, many things. Dilbert or someone else in his cartoon world talks about a “Wally Period,” which is the length of time before it becomes unnecessary to do a given task. Like if your boss tells you to do something but is guaranteed to forget all about it in half an hour, the Wally Period is 30 minutes. If you can not do the task during the Wally Period, you never have to do it. I was regarding my entire life as a Wally Period.

But I nonetheless could not help but notice how not-nice my unfinished wooden furniture looked, so for years, I’d meant to have a small table refinished, and if it came out well, to have the matching table, my old chair, and my big bookcase done.

The refinishers brought my bookcase, chair and second little Ikea table back a week or so ago, beautifully redone. Pickup and delivery were free! They’re not far from here. Everything looks gorgeous except for a tiny rough spot on the top of the table, where it looks like a few specks of something blew onto it while it was drying, and also it appears we had a miscommunication about the color of the chair. I said I wanted it to be the color it was, and maybe from that Li thought I wanted it to be the color it would be without intervention—the color it was—so it appears they labored to strip off the darker stain and restore it to something closer to the actual color of the maple, which is not how it appears in my sentimental memory, nor in this photo of myself seated upon it in 1965:

Here’s how it looks now:

(Click photos to enlarge.)

’s my beautifully refinished little table behind it, by the way, plus one of my many little fans. I must admit the chair looks fantastic in this photo, but it's because it was sitting directly in the sun. Under the less exciting light in the kitchen, it looks a bit denuded, so I’m going to give Li a call and just inquire, and then maybe I’ll live with it for a month and see if I can come to appreciate the more butterscotch-like aspect, and if not, I’ll pay to have it redone darker. I should have provided a photo of exactly what I wanted it to look like. The refinishing job itself is smooth and beautiful, ditto the other two items, with the very minor exception noted above. The refinished bookcase, with its slightly shiny shelves, hugely improves the appearance of my living room.
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