Sunday, December 16, 2012

This Wasn't Supposed to be My Bedside Preference...

Let’s start with this: I've never understood people who openly assert the side of the bed on which they prefer to sleep.

I just… WHAT? It’s a bed. I get it, if you wanna be on the side that’s closer to the bathroom, but that depends on the room layout. Nothing actually changes about the way you sleep, depending on the side of the bed. These people are kind of in the same league as that girlfriend of yours that insists on changing everyone’s formation just before the picture is taken, so she can showcase “her good side.”

1)      Why have you studied your face so closely, that you know your better side?
2)      In case you didn't notice, the guy with the camera is pretty much shooting straight on. Which means both sides of your face get equal screen time right now. Now you just look like a socially awkward diva for making everyone switch with you.

Allow me to address what should have been a second part of that sentence, three rabbit trails ago: “I never understood people who openly acknowledge which side of the bed on which they prefer to sleep… UNTIL NOW.”
I’m a left-side-of-the-bed sleeper, ladies and gentlemen.
Now perhaps my reasoning is the same as all the other uselessly pretentious people who assert their preference, but seeing as it took me weeks to figure this out because I’d never heard anyone mention it before, I’m gonna say that there still must be some elusive reason that is only known to the Uselessly Pretentious (maybe that comes when those select few GET THE MEMO… I wouldn't know). But here’s my reasoning: I need the bedside-table-lamp to be over my left shoulder.
Now if you didn’t release an audible sound of understanding and awe at my genius just now, STAY WITH ME. We’re gonna get there, I promise. I also promise that you’ll categorize me with the Uselessly Pretentious by the time I’m done, which is always entertaining for all parties.
In short: Because I’m right handed, if the lamp is over my right shoulder, there’s a shadow cast over the line on the page on which I’m writing, and it drives me nuts.
No, I’m not an average journal-keeper, but I occasionally write down a line or two in my “Day in the Life” Lilly Pulitzer Journal – yes I said Lilly Pulitzer – I promised Uselessly Pretentious – we’re already halfway there!
And speaking of Uselessly Pretentious, time for a disclaimer: yes, I do think it’s utterly outrageous to spend this much time talking about my darn bedside lamp, but how could I turn down a chance TO ENTERTAIN THE PEOPLE, by sharing what a moron/how slow I was on the uptake with this one?
So initially, I arranged my bed like this:

(I've said it before and I’ll say it again: I refuse to indulge in adult décor and adult habits like MAKING THE BED. I just won’t do it yet. JUDGE ME.)
                So I’m aware that something is vaguely annoying about the light, so I put a few thick books underneath it – who doesn't love a good booster seat? (I should probably add that I found this lamp in a container in the garage, along with a myriad of other things that Davey brought back from college that are totally useful, but for some reason, he didn't take them to law school. Wait - I'm sorry, but if I'm not taking a detour to talk about George Bailey, I'm taking a detour to talk about West Wing, and speaking of West Wing, Davey and Law School, are these two NOT one and the same:

ANYWAY, in that picture, the lamp is sitting on top of a container of drawers that I got from the Covenant Church annual garage sale, and it housed my crayons on the drive across the country (and no, they didn't melt inside the drawers, in the backseat while Shelley sat in the sun when Big Daddy and I hiked the Grand Canyon – I WAS CONCERNED.) So every few nights I would get irritated and add a few more thick books to the pile, trying to elevate the lamp, but never being so irritated that I found it necessary to thoroughly investigate.
                Well obviously at some point, I became severely irritated that I couldn't construct a Jenga stack of books that was high enough to make me feel like I wasn't getting carsick while I wrote at night, from watching the shadow move in front of my letters, AND I SET OUT TO FIND ANSWERS.
                Now in my defense, there’s no way I could have known this trivial fact about which side the lamp needed to be on:
1)      I’m no lighting designer.
2)      I’m no physicist.
3)      Growing up, my reading lamp was clipped to the top of my headboard – technically it was on the right side, but it was so high that there was no shadow over Little Grace’s hand (ok, “Little Grace” is an exaggeration. We all know I was chubby.)
So upon making the discovery of the engineering glitch that had been plaguing my literary efforts, I vigorously patted myself on the back for my brilliant discovery, and switched my bed to look like this:

And yes, as you can see, now the art on the wall looks not only like a third grader created it, but like a third grader was responsible for nonsensically arranging it on the wall, as well. Not to mention the bed is about four inches into the window frame, which means when I throw myself around on the bed in the middle of the night like a toddler, I shuffle the blinds and wake myself up- it’s all a vicious cycle…

So I moved the bed back to its original position, and now we enter a deeply-artsy phase I like to call “Spidey Lamp.” Where the lamp was all-but-Duct-Taped to the wall.
Seriously, I secured the light to the spidey arms of the big lamp with a hair rubber band, then wrapped another rubber band around it that was tacked into the wall, in case it decided to fall over in the middle of the night.

The lamp was now on the utilitarian side of the bed. I was ironing out my engineering problems, one by one, sans Bob the Builder. I could do this. I could MAKE A HOME for myself.

But yet, the lamp was perched so high up, that when I went to turn it off at the end of the night, I practically had to stand on my bed to reach it. And if that were the case, why even risk the death-by-lamp in the middle of the night, when this risk so egregiously outweighed the (lack of) benefit, when I was practically having to do a handstand to turn it off, anyway?

A SHELF. I needed a low shelf, on which to park the lamp, so it was within easy reach.
That's when this happened:


(I wasn't using power tools unsupervised, don’t worry.)

So I went to Target, in search of one of those solo shelves that gets parked in the wall by itself. Yes, there is a lot of socially awkward potential, when you leave a single shelf in the corner to fend for itself, with no other shelves to make it look cool or relevant, but something told me it would have no trouble fitting in with my room décor.

And as it turned out, maybe it wouldn’t have to be a Bachelor Shelf, after all: I found a set of those 3 dimensional squares, all different sizes, practically too trendy to be true. (Or too trendy for my room, anyway.) I was so impatient to solve my lighting conundrum that I settled for a set of “espresso” colored blocks, because they were out of black and oh, I happened to have half a bottle of black craft paint at home and could paint them black, myself. From whence the paint came, I truly do not know. I think I got it for crafts that I made around senior year of high school, because it was in a miscellaneous craft bag that was stuffed in a miscellaneous craft drawer, all through college.

I consulted my Handy Man neighbor, Josh, to see if I could borrow a stud finder and a drill and upon seeing the directions for installation, he offered, “Um, you might wanna let me install this..”

Grace: I CAN FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. I CAN USE POWER TOOLS. Okyeahfine who am I kidding? I would literally take down an entire wall if I tried to do this.

At which point, his wife Amanda threw in, “Grace you should make him teach you how to do it.”

Grace: YEAH! YEAH THAT’S RIGHT! SO THEN I CAN BE SELF-SUFFICIENT AND- okyeahfine will you just come do it?

............You know that SNL skit, “I’m on a Boat!” ?

Now the lamp is singing “I’m on a SHELF!”

Yes, it is adhered to the shelf with industrial strength Velcro, but when there's no Bob the Builder to be a buffer (ie: if it fell in the middle of the night, it would hit my skull, not BtB's) I HAD TO TAKE MATTERS (ok and lighting design, craft paint, dry wall screws and velcro) INTO MY OWN HANDS.

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