Recommended sip for today’s entry: In honor of my husband’s 50th birthday, I’m going to recommend a fun beer, as he is a beer guy. How about Samuel Smith’s Pure Brewed Lager Beer. We “discovered” it when we were in London years ago, supposedly sightseeing, but actually wandering through Notting Hill trying to spot Julia Roberts, which was my then-nine-year-old’s choice of things she wanted to see in England. No, we didn’t see her. But Jeff and I enjoyed a couple of very tasty Samuel Smith’s in the interest of immersing ourselves in the European culture. If you’re a beer lover, pick up a four-pack!
Today I stayed home all day (well, almost) and cleaned the house! This involved vacuuming for more than 2 hours and putting away clothes that have been stacked in the laundry room, waiting to be sorted, for quite some time. And I solved a mystery: I found out why no one could find any swimsuits for the second half of the summer.
Anyway, one of the tasks that I’ve been procrastinating about was putting a slipcover on a chair in the guest room. Because I am being very — no, VERY — careful with money in this precarious economy, I “repurposed” a chair that the cats lived on in the great room for a long time, and moved it to the guest room (you know the progression: Great room-Guest room-Goodwill), but it looked slightly heinous because it was cranberry/green/deep yellow and the room is creme/brown/aqua-ish. I lived with it like that because I am very thrifty. And because I never go in the guest room. But the cats started to refuse to sit on it anymore, so I knew we needed to update.
Still being frugal, I ordered a slipcover from J C Penney online. They promised that this would fit any chair from like six inches wide to six feet wide, and my chair was within the parameters. W-e-e-l-l, I’d like to see Martha Stewart make this sucker look good.
It was the size of a six-man tent, with gathers and darts and ribbons to tie its excess yardage into attractive hunks of cheap fabric. Because if something doesn’t fit right, pulling a bunch of its ugliness into the four corners and putting a big bow around it to draw the eye to it makes perfect sense.
Once I got it in position, tucking most of into any crevice I could find, I stepped back and looked. Well, I could see the little checked cranberry/green/deep yellow print through the off-white fabric. Hmmm… so I moved it to a darker corner of the room. Much better.
Then, realizing it was wrinkled, I thought about trying to pass it off as “shabby chic” but I could hear my husband’s voice in my head calling me half-assed, so I did the right thing. I got out the STEAMER. Yes, I have a steamer. It sucks and I hate it. I am thinking that because it is sitting in the guest room right now it will be at Goodwill tomorrow.
The stupid thing left about four burn marks on me. Everything I tried to do, it spun around and spit hot steam on me. Once on my neck. It was like a girl fight in middle school gym class, when the little monkeys latch onto you and are all arms and legs and pulling hair. I couldn’t get it off of me and I was screeching and all the cats came running.
But I persevered and finally got it as unwrinkled as possible.
I have to admit, it looks really nice. I AM TOTALLY LYING. IT DOESN’T LOOK ONE BIT NICE. It is hideous. Because I was mad at it, I left the house before I did something irrational like setting it on fire. So I went out and shopped just a little bitty bit. I haven’t looked at it in a few hours, and now I’m going to pour a glass of wine and go up and look at it before I start making my husband’s 50th birthday dinner.
I’m going to look at it like I’m a guest in the guest room…
I’m back. From one side, it looks like a chair in a ghost costume.
From the other, it looks like a flat-chested preteen wearing her voluptuous sister’s hand-me-downs.
This whole frugality thing is ugly. Ugly chair, ugly steam burns on my neck and arms, ugly, ugly, ugly.
The first person to ask me if I have a hickey on my neck will suddenly remember girl fights from middle school gym class.