24 Nov

Missing Parts & Perfect Mates

black entertainment stand

Yesterday I went to see Brian for an individual session. Last week, he wrapped up our ‘chat’ by asking me to make a list of what I wanted in a husband. The assignment was odd because, hello, I already have one of those. It’s a tad late to create The Husband List don’t you think?

And what good would it do to pen a wish list of attributes that may or may not apply to a guy I’m already hitched to? Unless I only jot down traits and qualities Dave already possesses I’m pretty sure the areas he falls short on would stick out like a sore thumb.

I’m not naïve enough to believe that if I write it down the universe will somehow make it so. If, in his professional opinion, the shrink feels I should shitcan this relationship and start over well there’s no guarantee anyone new would check all the boxes on the list either.

So, I opted not to open that can of worms. Instead, I found myself comparing my husband to discarded furniture.

I spend most of my time in the shop. It’s in our basement and the whole space is home to tons of furniture that has been around the block a time or two. Most pieces are on their last leg. I rarely rescue stuff that has much life left according to society’s standards. When most folks look around the space all they see is junk.

The pieces hanging around my shop are usually missing something – a leg, an arm, one or more drawers, shelves, doors – but are still in salvageable condition. Some truing up here, gluing up there, swapping this part out for that one and structurally they’re as good as new. Sure, it takes a little more work to uncover their beauty but once I do I’m certain they’ve never looked better.

And then I send them out to live purposeful lives again.

You know what I don’t do during the course of any of my furniture reinventions?

Never have I written a list of what qualities I wished a dresser possessed. Nope, I haven’t ever rattled off all the things that would make a dining set ideal. I just take the pieces as they come and listen to what they have to say. What hurts? What needs fixing? Which part should be the focal point? What areas should be obscured?

I don’t waste time thinking about what isn’t there.

The art is in working with what I’ve been given. Besides, working around those missing pieces usually sparks ideas for reimagining new uses for those old items.

Let me ask you this – aside from product labeling what makes a buffet different from a tv stand?

Is it in the wood that’s used or how the wood is used? Technically, both provide a large flat surface to display things and each has ample storage to stow stuff out of sight. Either can be painted or stained to suit the décor so what is it exactly that differentiates one from the other?

Because the way I see it, I’ve got a finished buffet I have no use for.

black buffet

And I’ve got a lame tv stand taking center stage in my living room. Schematically speaking, I see no reason why the former couldn’t be modified a bit to replace the latter. Would it mean a little more work? Sure. Could mistakes be made? Certainly. Might I be happier in the end?

There’s something about spending time surrounded by the fruits of your own labor that make all the effort worthwhile.

black entertainment stand

I guess that’s why it seems more productive to see Dave like the furniture in the basement. Sure, he’s got some wear and tear and might be missing a few parts. But he has a lot of potential. With a little work and some reimagineering I’m sure he can find renewed purpose.