Monday, March 24, 2008


Just to show you how humble I am, I will let you know that I have discovered something about myself that many of you probably don’t know. At least I hope you don’t know this about me. (Or maybe it’s totally obvious to everyone but me, which is entirely more likely the case…)

I am what people would call behind the times. Ack. I said it. I admit it. I didn’t know just how out of synch I apparently am.

I had NO IDEA how much it cost to buy a dresser.

Back when we started getting Jesse Yong’s room ready, I envisioned dropping maybe $100 on a dresser, maybe $150. And this would be for something shiny and new. Obviously I’m rather obtuse, or living in the wrong year, because here I am still reeling from sticker shock. Next they’re gonna tell me that spandex, socks-over-pantlegs, and big hair are no longer in.

For a while I was trying to figure out how to avoid the $400 (gasp!) that the rest of you people “in the know” knew it would cost. So, in desperation I sent my hunter-gatherer on the scent of Craig’s List and Uncle Henry’s to sniff us out a bargain. This is a task that can take many hours and much obsession but normally it’s something he can pull off, generally astonishingly well.

Unfortunately, either nobody’s in the mood to sell or they are keeping all their leftover dressers to store their spandex and Aquanet, because nobody had ANY dressers up for sale locally. So after several weeks of scouring the web – yes, weeks – we finally acquiesced and decided that there’s no time like any time before Jesse starts thinking the floor constitutes "putting away his clothes," and started searching all the unfinished furniture stores. (That was when I started to give way to bitterness of spirit after said sticker shock.)

In an act of stubbornness that would rival my niece, I crossed my arms and stalwartly declared that I was going to hold out for a miracle bargain dresser – and for the day mint green and gold eye shadow would make a sparkly and glorious comeback. So after much prayer and further scrutiny, Jason found a new post on Craig’s List Friday night for a bureau in Wells (very near us!) for the low, low price of…drumroll…$50!!!! I whooped a proper good whoop, pumped my jelly braceleted fist in the air, and off we went Saturday morning to pick it up.

The woman even dragged the dresser downstairs into the great outdoors so it would be ready for us (or so I thought was the reason). The dresser is awesome! Even better than in the picture. It definitely has a few small points of…shall we say, character. But it looks perfect in our home, which is also full of…character (although substantially fewer amounts of “character” than before we started remodeling).

It’s perfect for Jesse’s room and we are very stoked about it.

One excellent selling point that I will note to all of you who, like me, grew up with sticky dresser drawer syndrome from antique monoliths that outweighed me by 300 pounds: these drawers SLIDE out nicely. Not the wrenching wrestling match that used to occur when I would pull the drawer and half of it would come out, then I’d have to yank to get the other half to squeak out, and when that doesn’t work shove the drawer back in – partways – and then start again, a little more gingerly this time, desperately trying to avoid 1) pulling out my shoulder, 2) scraping my hand inside the iron rings that constitute drawer handles (which, because they are old and no longer properly affixed, spin and gouge my hand), or 3) pinch my fingers and/or hand inexplicably somehow in the process, adding another blood blister to my collection.

So if you are looking at the picture, you might be wondering, why are there still mountains of clothes on the dresser top, on the bookshelf beside the dresser, and on his bed?

Well, apparently the woman who sold us the dresser and brought it down for us was not just being friendly but practical as well. It was not until we dragged/shoved/pushed that dresser upstairs and into his room that we realized it REEKS of cigarette smoke. I mean SERIOUSLY bad. Like in the 1950s movies where everyone woke up with a cigarette and chain smoked all day long.

It was so bad I even pulled open the drawers and put baking soda in them to try to absorb the smell and left it overnight. When I went back into the room yesterday, the dresser no longer smelled like smoke. But that’s only because by osmosis the whole room now tasted like an ashtray. Obviously the previous owners must still smoke like it’s going out of style.

Oh wait…

It’s good to know I’m not the only one a little behind the times.


The Aumanns said...

Hey - now that you'll be parents, you'll probably love this site: You join a Yahoo group in your area. Then read the posts. If you have something you don't need anymore, you post it to the group, someone emails you that they're interested, and you arrange for them to come get it. Likewise, if someone posts something that you'd like, you email them and arrange to come get it. It's so cool!! We've gotten things from gently used kids' clothes to a dining room set! Oh - we also just got a gently used sectional! Of course you have to be careful as some things aren't so gently used. But there are some great finds!! :) Check it out!

Karin said...

You might want to try putting bowls of vinegar in the dresser or in the room. It is supposed to absorb smells better than baking soda. :) (or so I've been told...ha)

Jason and Emily said...

Thanks, Mindy, for the freecycle info. I'd heard about it, but wasn't sure how it worked.

Thanks, Karin, for an alternate smoke-free solution...We've since heard dryer sheets work pretty well, too. We'll give 'em a shot.

Carol Li said...

Hi guys!

I love how detailed your blog is, I think that you have done an excellent job in filling everyone in on the exciting journey! When are you going to China?

Firstoff, I wish that glam rock was not dead, you have to admit that it is at least slightly more appealing than the popular musicians that we have nowadays (at least their hair and shoes were really awesome)! Wow, I did not know that dressers could cost up to $400, that is crazy! I am so glad that you found one, although I am so sorry that it smells like smoke. Here is a website that may be helpful:

Also, bars of soap are REALLY helpful in eliminating any odors. I put two bars (still in their boxes) in each drawer to keep my clothes smelling fresh (I usually just squeeze them into my clothes and the scent just spreads).

Jason and Emily said...

Thanks to everyone for their ideas! We have used baking soda, vinegar and a PineSal mixture... It's smelling better already. After it airs for a little bit I'll add some soap or maybe dryer sheets and I think we're golden...