Monday, August 14, 2006

The Bright Elusive Closet of Love

Blogging is slow this month, for me and for a few of the blogs that I read. I think the heat wave made my blood thicker and it's running more slowly. I've even put aside some of the heavier tomes I've been plowing through in favor of brainless, fun stuff like In Style Makeover Magazine. Hey, skull and crossbone motifs are in this season. Cool. I can go to work dressed like a pirate.

Saturday afternoon was gorgeous, though, and I spent eight hours looking in what felt like every thrift store in the city for the elusive "Wardrobe closet that's exactly what I want."

One closet was attractive, but about eight feet tall and eighteen inches deep, dimensions that would have required it to be bolted to the wall lest it fall and flatten myself, my loved ones and my pets. I want something as sturdy as the Rock of Gibraltar, or about six feet tall by two feet deep. Besides, the shoulders on my winter coat are wider than eighteen inches.

Another was about forty-two inches wide, which, given the size of the average NYC apartment, would have required rearranging every piece of furniture in my entire apartment. Not out of the question, but not what I had in mind, which was thirty-six inches.

Another looked like something in which Henry the Eighth would have hung his extra raiments. If Prog Rock were furniture, it would have looked like this cabinet. "Ladies and Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake and Closet."

I like furniture with clean lines: Either Scandinavian or Shaker style. And I'd like to have a mirror on one door. And make it a color that wood actually can be in nature.

And yet another one looked perfect from the outside: It was dark wood with blond inlays, and had approximately the dimensions that I wanted. It even had a mirror on the door. At $1,100, it was a bit more than I had intended to spend, but would have been that one piece of furniture that makes you visitors go, "Wow! That's an attractive piece of furniture!" But when I opened the doors, it had non-movable shelves and no hanging rod. I don't trust my DIY skills enough to fool around with antique furniture, and right now I don't know anyone who does.

Frustrated and despondent, I stopped into Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up one of those portable clothes racks with a canvas cover. But then I thought, once I don't need this anymore, where will I put it? In the closet? The store was having a sale on cleaning supplies, so I bought a brush to clean the grout in the bathroom tile. At least I would accomplish something.

Sunday I did merely a perfunctory sweep of the thrift stores on 17th Street, and then stayed home to rest and take care of some chores. My mother called at about six and I told her about shopping for a closet. I'd thought that she would say "You're being too picky" or "That's too much money" or "You're not trying hard enough," you know, the kind of stuff your mother says to you when you're a kid because your parents are afraid you'll grow up to be a ward of the state or live with them the rest of their lives.

"Why don't you hire somebody to make you a closet," my mother said. "You know exactly what you want."

"Yes, that's true."

My mother's getting on in years. "The old girl ain't what she used to be." Well, we all change.

I used to be able to run around non-stop from Friday evening to Sunday night. Now, if I'm out Friday evening and all day Saturday, I spend Sunday cleaning my grout.

Time to look for a carpenter.

I'm a nyc knitter and blog lurker and enjoy your blog! Try for great recommendations for NYC apt dwellers specifically. Bet you could find a good carpenter through their listings!

I'm an Apartment Therapy regular and have been checking out their listings for carpenters. There is also a friend of a friend who's not available right now. But thanks!

BTW, I used to knit obsessively, I'm talking 20 years ago before it was "retro-hip," and I've still hung onto my collection of knitting needles through numerous closet purges, so maybe I'll take it up again soon.
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