Saturday, March 07, 2009

West Elm sells Legos.

Our new bed is made of Legos. Large and tasteful (well, a catalogue marketer's idea of tasteful) Legos.

Today was my second Saturday of economically induced leisure (laid off like so many burnt kitchen matches, in other words) and the parental hut, the master bedroom-cum-sushi bar that has been under construction since October is nearing completion. The general contractor has been amazing -- attentive, flexible, and agreeable. He's also anxious; after this job, well, there isn't. Work has dried up, so he's going to lay off his guys.

Anyways, enough. Yes, we all know. On to beds.

Specifically the bed that has sat under my wife's desk for two months, in pieces in a 7 foot long cardboard box that my kids have been using a mural surface. It's from West Elm. You no doubt have received the catalog: vague, unmemorably tasteful furniture.

I pulled that crap out today, wondering if I'm going to have get the scary yellow DeWalt drill out.

Nope. I was assured in the directions (the English directions. The French directions came out first, and I was alarmed) that all I would need for the Chunky Dark Wood Bed Frame was a Phillips screwdriver.

And it was true. I put together this bastard in forty-five minutes, as I'm sure that thousands of other bloated suburbites were doing this Saturday afternoon with various IKEA, West Elm, Pottery Barn SKUs. Mass produced esoterica, gauranteed to spark a vague racial memory of Tuscan Danish Shaker Basque Provencal Kenyan Dorset Balinese workmanship and a warm afternoon in cotton sheets drinking tea and reading the Herald Tribune printed on the local linty foolscrap.

Only you don't drink tea and you read the Onion online. And all you have is a screwdriver.

West Elm and their ilk sell efficient shipping and clever modularity. The aesthetics don't happen until the copywriter sits down to write the catalogue, to build the narrative that make these allen-wrenched, machine painted monstrosities be something more than what they are.

I'm not saying anything new, I know. That's just what I was thinking in my pajama pants and t-shirt this morning, swearing at each new batch of plastic wrapped bolts, each matte black and slightly oily to the touch, waiting to be allen-wrenched into place.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous repliderium.com said...

At least you got instructions... and hardware... lego's a bitch without the hardware.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Walking Spanish said...

This Greg too was laid off like a burnt match.
2 days before my birthday.
I'm shitting my pants.
email me at brandroyal@aol.com

GD

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