Sunday, March 25, 2012

When thrifting, may the odds be ever in your favor.

Much like heroes and Hobbits before me, I've just started on a quest of Xtreme importance!  You can tell it's important because I spelled 'extreme' with an X.   It's a quest that your children will tell their children about around a holographic fire because it's a long time in the future and that's what future people probably do.  A quest - *over-dramatic gesturing* - to zhush my dining room.

Not that it needs it compared to the rest of my house that is lacking in oh, I don't know... lampshades or a stable floor.  Compared to that it's awesome in that it is fully functioning with a table and chairs and is ready for all manner of No Expectations parties.  In fact many No Expectations parties have already been held there with no one getting sick because of the drab environment which is totally a successful party by my low/no standards! 

But small tweaks are easier than stabilizing a floor so let's get our down to biznasty!

In addition to not wanting it to look like the Apartment Therapy house tour reject like it currently does, I want it to relate better to the kitchen.  That's that area off to the left that is soooo white next to the dining room that is soooo brown.  If I could type 'brown' with a frowny font I would.  

It has a really cool mid-century table which is one of the first pieces of real furniture I bought but it's super brown (frowny font) on the floor and I'm kinda over it.  I also have a shit ton of ugly chairs in there that I picked up at a yard sale for $20.  Hey, I needed chairs.  They all have chrome legs and it's like a couple of shiny octopussies are having the sex underneath the table.  I need to get rid of the "slum of legs" that's happening.  And the octopussy sex during dinner is starting to freak out my friends.  

I've got a rug that might jazz up the place and I could round up some wall sconces for better lighting... I would like a more modern white dining table that I could probably get on the cheap at IKE-Rah.  In my brain, these CB2 chairs:

would bring some of the grey from the kitchen into the dining room and the rooms could be better friends.  They want to be friends.  They NEED to be friends!  Also, a cushioned seat for my guests would be nice because I'm super concerned about their comfort.  The chrome cantilever still has SOME shine (my favorite color) and maybe it'll compliment the "Brno" chairs that I'd like to keep in there.  

[MS sidebar: I got these "Brno" chairs at a junk store for $15.  Yes, the PAIR!  They are covered in goat? deer? ewok?  And have been mauled by a bear in some parts but irregardless they were fifteen-motherfuckin-dollars, y'all.]

So this is my dream and will look perfect and cost no more than $12 in my worst case scenario, of course.

Fast forward a few days to me shopping at one of my regular thrift store-cum-homeless ministry last week when I ran across this:

Not the thrift store - that's my house as you can tell by the mint green siding.  I suck at unveiling a story through pictures... 
Zoinks!  Is that an upholstered cantilevered chrome set of four dining chairs that comes with a table that I don't even need or want?  Why yes it is!  I bet this came straight from someone's beige breakfast nook that sat next to some oak cabinets and almond appliances.  I'm really taking this past week's unintentional '90s theme and beating it to death with some heavy-bottomed Doc Martens.  

Apparently when you open up your dreams and wishes to the universe, the universe responds with shiny, cantilevered, easily-reupholstered chairs on a sidewalk that you might have to gently beat some chatty abuelas out of your way to stake your claim.  It's destiny.  It's just like that time I had the dream about the black purse with the leather ruffles and then two days later I saw it in a vintage store so naturally I had to buy it.  When the universe talks, I listen.  But only if it's about stylish things.

Or ugly dinettes once belonging in a breakfast nook...
Was this your original home, dinette set...??
I asked the thrift store if I could take it home in two stages and she said "We're not responsible if it's stolen from the sidewalk overnight."  Well... thank you for your honesty.  I'm a risk taker so I hoped I could fit the chairs into my car and leave the table hiding behind the fake oak tv center and that's sagging in the middle and the desk with three legs and no one would get it.

I pull up to start loading and four possibly homeless ministers/meth addicts come to help but I wasn't prepared for their eager good will and the chaos that followed.  I wasn't prepared for large purchases that day because I had no idea the universe works so fast ESPECIALLY when Mercury is in retrograde so my car looked like a travelling hoarder exhibit.  

I was hurrying to fold down seats and desperately trying to move all the really embarrassing junk to the front seat but they were just too damn fast.  All the doors were flung open and old mail and tampons (Really, Self?  Really?) tumbled out onto the sidewalk next to the abuelas.  I threw winter coats and flip flops and masking tape and Christmas decorations into the front floor board.   Lamps were every where because I always seem to have lamps in my car.  They're like Tribbles and just keep multiplying!   At one point some dude handed me a dirty travel mug followed by an old Starbucks cup and his disgust.  It was like my dirty soul was laid bare before him.  The SHAME!!!     

"Ma'am, is this your half-eaten bag of organic jelly beans a copy of Us Weekly opened to the page with the hot guy from the Hunger Games that I will now deduce you are having some kind of jelly bean magazine pathetic lunch date with when you aren't thrifting?"  SHUT YOUR FACE SOMEONE LEFT IT IN MY CAR!  I don't need your judgment, Tweaky McSpeedsalotforjeezus. 

I think someone slipped a tract into my car but it may have been part of the junk mail mountain and I wouldn't know...

But I guess the universe was on my side again because the table comes apart and we were able to fit everything in my car with the junk AND the lamps but probably a few less tampons.  One of the chairs rode shotgun with me the rest of the day which felt really weird.  Like I was reenacting 'Lars and the Real Girl' except it was 'Lacy and the Pollen-Coated-Possibly-Infested-With-Horrible-Things-That-I-Now-Infested-My-Vehicle-With-Omigawd-I'm-Going-To-Get-Bed-Bugs-In-My-Car Chair.'  

I have less of a mustache in person...
But on the bright side, I have chairs and the universe likes me!  Kinda...  The chairs need to be reupholstered but I can totally learn how to do that in five seconds.  I also have an extra glass table that will go into storage because I hate glass tables because I have no upper body strength until it comes time to set a drink on a glass table and then I turn into the Hulk with a Hulk-sized anxiety problem.  Now all I need is a table I want and some sconces and fancy art that someone will have to pay ME for because I'm already $58 over budget on this quest of Xtreme zhushing importance.  

I'm now on a quest to find a bow and arrow at the thrift store so I can learn to hunt and then trade my kills for a goat and then use the milk from that goat to make soaps and cheese to sell and then use that money to buy a dining room table that I don't have to worry about smashing with my Hulk hands of destruction.  

Get on this, Universe. 


  1. Hahaha this post made me laff hard. So did you tip the homeless method head with half eaten organic jelly beans and old Starbucks?

    Upholstering shit is really not that hard just watch a whole lot of Youtube videos and BAM! Upholstering expert!

    1. I didn't tip them at all because I'm a horrible person and I never carry cash.

      That's pretty much how I make myself an expert on everything - youtube and google search for 5 seconds!!

  2. Learning how to upholster these chairs will make you armed and dangerous with a staple gun...and guys have to think that's kinda hot.

    If you want to go look for sconces, I'm going to try and go to the architectural exchange next Saturday & hit up Chattanooga Auction house. I rarely buy things but it's fun and there is wine!

    1. Usually my skillz with power tools has the opposite reaction but maybe I am picking the wrong tools... ; )

      I'd love to go scavenging! Email me and we'll get our wine date on!

  3. You can get good deals on furniture from hotel/motel surplus sales too. I wouldn't buy a mattress from them though. But chairs, dressers and night stands would be good. Lots of stuff is still in good shape.

    1. I have picked things up on the side of the road. I have no shame.

  4. So, I gotta know: will you be upholstering those chairs with goat-skin? Fur still on, even? Because that would be cool...

    1. If there was such a thing as pale grey goat hide I might consider it. Wait, is there...???!?!?!?! I must go google...

  5. Did the tampons match your new decor? Did the tract mention laws of the universe? These are the important questions.

    1. 'Gawd no' and 'Probably but I don't read those things anymore unless they have really funny pictures on the front and this one didn't, sadly.' Important answers.

  6. Oh hell no! I bought that dinette set last year! I was totally going to redo it last summer. My stupid family ganged up on me and made me buy a cb2 vintage '50s metal version to use instead. Something about me having no "time" or "experience" in reupholstering and a "newborn" to take care of. Blah blah blah.

    Just because it was fabric and couldn't be left outside was no reason to squash my dreams. Bastards. They sold my beloved dinette set at a garage for double what I paid. *sniff* Your post makes me realize I should have stood my ground. Yes, it would still be in the basement and we'd have nothing to sit on, but a cb2 repro? Really, family?

    1. Well at least I know that if someone else felt the power of the '90s dinette then I'm not that crazy! You should really look into selling your family at a garage sale because they are not recognizing your awesome power of thrifting.

      And while I certainly don't have any "time" or "experience" and I have a "cat" to take care of I'm going to drink some wine, put on my big girl panties and reupholster this bitch like I've been doing it for years.

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