It didn't need to be anything fancy. I was even surprised to find that I didn't really care all that much about the design or color. I just wanted something functional. [Did I really just say that? Outloud?] A place to sit to have my tea on the weekends. A place to put my feet up while Mommy bar-b-que'd and the kids played in the yard. Just really getting tired of Amy and I always have to put out the folding camping chairs every time we wanted to sit outside. [God, I'm suddenly feeling ancient.]
And, yes, we do have our patio furniture, but our patio is downstairs, below the deck and out of the sun, and really just too chilly to spend any quality time. And the bbq pit is upstairs because, well, it just makes the most sense for it to be right off the kitchen. But the deck up there is not big enough for the patio furniture we already have. Hence, my dilemma, people.
Man, the layout of this house is really screwy. Good thing we're renting.
Anyway...I wasn't gonna pay an arm and a leg for something I don't really consider to be a centerpiece anyway, but that, apparently, is the going rate for such a bench at Target or Costco or Home Depot. $149??? Are you kidding me? And that was the low-end model. It's a bench, for pete's sake. An aside. An afterthought.
That's just ridiculous!!!
Enter Big Lots!
Hatehatehate the store itself. It's like a combination of a dollar store and a flea market, but with even less help, less organization, zero aisle elbow room, and no beer kiosk (that would be the flea market, not the dollar store).
But wouldn't ya know, they had exactly the bench I needed. And for only $40 bucks! What a friggin' steal!!!
So, this little old man, Larry, helps me out with it, and as I'm loading the kids into the truck I can hear Larry grunting and huffing and puffing from the back. Certain he's about to keel over, I rush over to help him and proceed to direct his every move. "No, sir, if you just try tilting it this way, you can usually get another 1/2 a foot of room back here." "No, no...there...now try turning it to the right...no, the other right..."
He was not happy with my particular brand of generosity. Amy loathes my innate need to direct, too. But it's really only because I have a better spatial sense than most, and can almost always get the leftovers to fit perfectly into the tupperware, and it just drives her crazy that I'm always right about these things. I mean, I can see why, but still. It just is what it is. Accept defeat already.
[And yes, once he stopped fighting the inevitable, it actually DID fit in there just right.]
I've got the monsters grabbing their crotches with both hands now because they've had to pee for the past half hour. And, luckily, we make it home just in time for the kids to zoom into the restrooms while I prop open the front door and open up the back of the truck.
"Now what?" I think.
And yes, 4" heels and all, I grab the 6' x 4' box by those plastic strings and not so delicately maneuver it out of the truck and onto the driveway. Then up the stairs. And up the walk. And up more stairs. And into the house.
"Wow, Bubba, look at Mama!" she says.
"Mom, is that heavy?" asks Chago, as he munches on an apple.
And then it's up a few more stairs. And out the back sliding door onto the deck where I proceed to drop it onto my toe. [Yes, my shoes were fine. Thanks for asking.]
Locate one of Amy's box knives and rip the box to shreds trying to get it open. And then, to my pleasant surprise, it's in a bezillion pieces. Tiny pieces. And I'm thinking that $149 one that was all put together is looking pretty good right about now.
So, I spend the next hour wrestling with the various pieces and parts, and get it (mostly) all put together, except for these "support" brackets that are supposed to go at the bottom of the seat somewhere, but as I couldn't find the holes and have not charged up my Ryobi, looks like we're just gonna be living on the edge with that one.
Hey, it's done...enough. Back off.