Thursday, July 24, 2008

Oh, Forget It. Just Pass Me the Black Trash Bags and A Roll of Duct Tape.

Yesterday, I forced myself to address an item on on my to-do list that I've been puttin' off because this particular task involved at least one REALLY INTENSELY IRRITATING component, and I am in touch enough with myself to know that even though I really, really do want the pictures and mirror hung in the guest bedroom before Nana gets here to help out when the Peanut's born, I had better be in a near perfect place emotionally before I start that project.

(Which I was NOT, by the way.)


Because I bought the pictures at HomeGoods.

Which is a fine establishment! I frequent it, um, well, frequently. Prolly about once a quarter I go in there and load up a cart with Goods. For my Home. Because you can NEVER have too much stuff to dust, can you? (Eyeroll.) Nor can you ever have enough bed linens. Bed linens are my Achilles heel. Well, bed linens and throw pillows.

SIGH. OHMYGRANNY, I do love me a throw pillow.

Wait. I'm counting in my head.

I have FORTY SEVEN throw pillows currently in use in my home.

(And they continue to multiply like rabbits, people. By the end of next week, there'll be at least sixty-two. Mark my words. One of those red ones on the sofa's gettin' bigger by the day and looks like she could deliver any minute. I try to keep them separated, but do YOU know the proper way to determine the sex of a throw pillow? Harder than it sounds.)

But back to my story, which constitutes a bit of a warning. Or a public service announcement.

Have you bought a picture or a mirror at HomeGoods lately?

If you have, you're keenly aware that there is a plot to drive middle-class American housewives right over the edge.

And our children, planted firmly at the helm of that plot? Have wised-up and enlisted HomeGoods to help them get the job done.

Oh, it all seems innocent enough on the surface, but look closer. The evidence cannot be refuted:

Those heavy, dense protective cardboard triangles machine-stapled not once but MULTIPLE TIMES into all four corners of every piece.

Those sticky, gunky, once-there, forever-there price tags stuck NOT ON ANY OF THE FOUR HOPELESSLY UN-DETACHABLE PROTECTIVE CARDBOARD CORNERS. Not on the back of the piece. BUT ON THE GLASS. OF THE PICTURE. IN THE FRONT!

So that in order to hang a picture she's bought at HomeGoods, a woman must have the following items on hand and at the ready:

- The picture
- A fancy picture hangin' gizmo or at the very least a rusty old nail she has dug out of the bottom of the toolbox and decided will (have to) do
- A hammer (for hammering in the gizmo)
- A tape measure (For measuring the picture, the wall, the piece of furniture the picture's supposed to be centered over, and the circumference of the belly, just for fun)
- A calculator. (I don't do picture-centerin' math in my head. Actually, I just don't do picture centerin' math, which is why my whole house appears to be leaning just a liiiiiiiiiittle bit to the left at all times.)
- A pencil (For careful marking at first, before the process becomes too laborious and time-consuming and the kids are circling and marking goes by the wayside to make room for good old eyeballin' it and guesstimation, which are, let's be honest, the way about 99/100ths of a housewife's work gets done, in the end. OH, YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE!)
- A screwdriver (To pry the many staples out of every corner of the picture)
- A pair of pliers (To grip the mangled staples that bent and broke off in the picture frame when you tried to pry them out with the screwdriver)
- The hammer, again (To bang the little razor-sharp shards o' staple that the pliers left behind back into the frame.)

Hold on. I feel the need cuss, just rememberin'.


Okay I'm back.

- Adhesive bandages and peroxide (For First Aid, grrrrrrrrr...)
- A plastic bag with no holes, please. (Good luck finding one) (for discarding the fortyleven stupid shredded staple parts and ALL. THAT. DURN. CARDBOARD.)
- A razor-blade window scraper (To scrape the price-tag off the glass on the front of the picture.)
- More adhesive bandages and peroxide (Ahem.) A tourniquet.
- Cotton balls and fingernail polish remover or straight acetone (The scraper won't work on these labels. Should have known any plot dreamed up and run by kids would involve at least one sticker that has managed to adhere itself molecularly to a non-sticker-approved surface.)
-Soap and water, nail clippers, more acetone (Careful of those wounds!) (To remove sticky, gooey adhesive from under the nails of both hands and one foot. Don't ask.)
- More soap and water (To clean the gunky, grey cloudy sticker-and-acetone residue off the glass.)
- Windex and paper towels. (To remove the soap and water residue from the glass.)
- One of those wood stain touch-up pens (To re-stain the picture frame where the acetone ate through the finish and left a weird orange mark in the shape of Delaware.) (I think, but I am not geographically-inclined so it could be Oregon, I don't know for sure.)
- An atlas (It was Rhode Island. The coastal edge is a little off, but the resemblance still quite remarkable.)
- Valium (Self-explanatory.)
- Compresses (Hot and cold, for alternating.) (For the brow.) (Also used to wipe black marks off freshly-painted walls from all the measuring, nailing and centering/balancing.)

(Leave all supplies out and available for later use. When hubby gets home, he's going to point out that if you plan to put drapes up in this room, two of the new pictures are too close to the window.)

Hmmm. On second thought, who needs drapes?

(Scratches off another item on her to-do list with a mighty flourish.)

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  1. Could a used this post in March! I have a number of pictures with a number of holes behind them. Didn't have all the necessary supplies handy. :)

  2. OMG! It might be the bloody mary, but I think this is one of the most hilarious posts I've read of late. The flash backs of my own picture hanging background experiences came screaming to the front (hence the bloody mary).

  3. I was just hanging pictures last night so I feel your pain.

    We have two battered throw pillows with live on the couch and we REALLY REALLY need to replace them and get more for our bed, blah blah. I am TERRIBLE at remembering things like that!

  5. I, too, am a throw pillow addict. I just snuck two yummy deep chocolate brown ones into the house yesterday to add to my collection!

    As for hanging pictures....I eyeball it! Works for me!

  6. In case you have more of those picture frames or mirrors that need price stickers removed I'm going to save some small shred of your sanity and share how I get them off.

    As long as the sticker is on the glass pour some oil (baby, mineral or vegetable will do) on the sticker and let it soak overnight. In the morning the sticker and all of its gooey glue will lift right off.

  7. That is too funny. I have had the same experience with items bought at Home Goods!

  8. Maddening and hilarious!!

    I also hate dealing with opening packaging from children's toys, it is also some kind of plot aimed to get me to show bad behavior in front of my children as i struggle with the many ties, plastic and unfriendly packaging!!

    Where have the simpler kinder days gone :)???

  9. lol. Well, I'm right there with you on the throw pillows.

    And what IS the deal with the cardboard stapled in the corners? What ever happened to the good old days of tape? :)

  10. Sounds just like how all my household projects attempted without husband within yelling distance go.

  11. I hate hanging things!! I always have to have a level, otherwise everything is crooked. Maybe it's just me...

  12. Two words - - GOO GONE! Solvent made from citrus that will removed stickers very easily. I also found that it removes HOT PINK silly putty from car upholstery (and smells better than WD-40!)

    I also dread hanging things. I tend to get a bit too anal about measuring (what do you expect from an engineer!) and spend hours and hours trying to get them perfect. Lately I've been eyeballing things and it seems to work SO.MUCH.BETTER (but it drives my mom crazy when I eyeball in front of her!!) Wonder where I got my "anality"

  13. I haaaaaaaate throw pillows! We have some and they are all stuffed in the back of one closet or another. I have things that have been waiting to get hung for years because I get so angry when I do it (or when anyone else attempts to do it, for that matter). Those are also sitting in the backs of various closets. Hmm.

  14. I like your new comment box, by the way. Very handy.

  15. Goo Gone is good stuff. I have a carpenter husband who is awesome at hanging pictures. But it takes forever to get him to do it. I have a picture of my babies that I want hung in our bedroom, that they will probably be in college before he gets it hung. ;-)

  16. yeah... my husband says i'm not allowed to hang things on the walls anymore by myself.
    it results in way more holes than necessary and usually a band-aid. ;-)

  17. I feel your pain. WHY do they do that. But I love Homegoods, too - I just discovered it this year. My weakness is DISHES, and they DO multiply, right there in my very small cupboard!!

    I don't know how you can stand the throw pillows - or is Bean "throw-pillow trained?" Oh, honey, you just wait. That boy is going to make you hate those throw pillows. My girls never EVER jumped on the sofas. They couldn't even get up there til they were 4 or somethin'! But Jack, Jack came out bouncing and he was jumping OFF the sofas at age 15 months I think. Pillows, pillows everwhere - for forts, for jumping on, for throwing for no good reason. He still walks by the sofas, and just grabs one at random to fling, even though I tell him umpteen times, "pick that up off the floor. WHY do you want to do that???"
    I am SICK TO DEATH of pillows on my floor. 6 years of it is quite enough!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Enough. So, you'd better go find a closet for your 60 throw pillows, girlfriend. For a few years, anyway.
    Just a friendly warning. ;)

    (and just in case you're wondering: boys are destructive, yes - but Lord help me, I still revel in his very boy-ness! I roll my eyes and think, "that boy." Would you want them any different? Gotta love him.) :)

  18. FYI, when I first saw your title, I thought you were going to write about having nothing to wear.


  19. I will be forwarding this post to my husband. He hates hanging pics so much that he waits until my Dad comes to visit:) Oh, I don't hang either. I am very familiar with that road you just took us down, though. Not traveling there again!!

  20. Let's not forget to mention those pictures that have two hangers on the back of them that are NEVER placed evenly into the back of the picture and will require even MORE measuring and guesstimation!! I love picture hanging--or not!! Have you tried Goo Gone? It works great to get that sticky stuff off and doesn't take the finish off of anything that I have come across. I use it on everything!

  21. I haven't told you lately how big a crush I have on you, have I?


    Oh, dear...procreating throw pillows, your "need" to cuss, medical supplies, atlases...You were in the zone Miss!the!zone!


  22. Ok girl, you actually had me LOL'ing ferreal (cos' we all know we type that allthe time & don't actually do the laughing) ahem.

    Great post, I totally resemble that cept that I don't actually hang the pictures myself. I think about it forever & try to figure out the exact perfect spot for everything until I am incapable of making a decision.

    Then Chris hangs them anywhich way & they look fine...not great, not perfect, but fine - and I actually keep my mouth SHUT for once!

  23. So when do we get to see the pictures of your pictures on the wall???


  24. Oh how you make me laugh! I'm rollin' on the floor - literally!