Thursday, March 27, 2008

Avalon, Thy Name is Crate and Barrel

Got quote for painting bedroom, and decided I'd rather face the peril. "So, how would your people go about removing the paint-covered wallpaper?" I asked casually. When the reply indicated I could rely on my good buddy Home Depot, I determined to do the deal myself.

Met with Floor Guy #1 tonight, and got a good quote. Showed him the spec sheet for the low-VOC floor urethane I'd carefully researched. He took one glance. "No," he said, handing it back to me. "No good. Is water. Floor has been done before in oil. Cannot put water over oil. Oil over water yes; not the other way."

We then discussed the power he'd need for the buffer; I took a breath and mentioned the apartment's amperage. His face got a very careful expression, and then he asked whether he would have access to the basement to replace fuses if necessary. He was happy when I pointed out the GFC outlets. ("Oh good; I reset from here.") I explained that I was meeting with the electrician on Saturday to address my power issue.

His quote, a quote to buff the entire apartment, apply a coat, buff again, then apply a second coat, was almost half what I was quoted to paint the bedroom. Explain this to me.

I may not need to talk to Floor Guy #2.

So while I have been poring obsessively over Crate and Barrel catalogs, slavering over glass-fronted doors and buffet/hutch sets, I know that in reality I will be going to World Market and the myriad used furniture stores in the neighborhood.

And you know, part of me wants to register, send a notice to my friends and say, "HEY! Buy me shit!" Even if I do get married some day, I won't use it as an opportunity for legitimized looting the way many do. A friend here has registered for two-hundred-dollar sheets. She actually feels OK asking people to pay $200 to buy sheets. It would be one thing if the happy couple were screwing for the first time in their lives, which will be cut tragically short by the recent discovery of a mutual terminal illness, but come ON.

My rule now is that I don't buy anything on registers that is nicer than what I own. I am not the fairy godmother to anyone over 28 who has a job.

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