Friday, January 12, 2007
The Cobbler's Children. Er....Wife
I gave my wife a piece of furniture for Christmas. Am I a great guy, or a jerk?
People often remark to my wife that our home must be swimming in fine furniture, since I have a furniture business. A look comes over her face that's somewhere between bemused, and Where are the big knives?
You see, when you're running a business, especially one involved in making things, you are not your customers. Your customers generally have more money than you. If you make the mistake, as many contractors do, that the things you see in the houses you build are appropriate for your own life, you can get in a lot of trouble. I've seen many such cases.
If I make a piece of furniture and sell it (I do) I get money to buy things. One of those things might be furniture, it's true. But I'd like for us to be eating twice daily, four and a half days a week before I go splurging on the meubles. I'll leave it to you to determine why one of the other definitions of meuble is "unstable," and what that says about me.
Anyhow, when I'm makin' that copie de meuble ancien, I have to sell it to make the argent. And so my wife does get furniture -- rather a lot of it-- but there's a problem.
She gets the whoopsies. She get the prototypes that were a little too proto. She gets the one that I made while the Patriots were on the radio, beating the Steelers in the playoffs --off-tackle at the forty...the forty five... fifty... forty five... one man to beat...
Whoah... the sander!
She never complains much, my wife. I have to figure it out on my own. And so before Christmas, I rationed out a little time from the meager supply left after being the president and the janitor of Sippican Cottage Furniture, and Ernest "Goes To Camp" Hemingway, and somebody's father, and made her something that isn't made out of packing crate lumber, or has an odd number of legs, or any other thing that would make it hers normally.
I think she likes it.
I think she likes me.