Mark Hunter (ozma914) wrote,
Mark Hunter

column: Floor Finisher Fails Finals

Office floor finishing - Mark


Recently I decided to move my home office from the dining room into the downstairs spare bedroom. It seemed like a great idea … until my fiancée decided we needed to refinish the bedroom floor, first.

The decision to move was fairly easy. The home’s front door empties into the dining room, which means everything that came into the house emptied into my office. Coats. Groceries. Piles of paperwork. Small animals. Homeless people. If I’m going to have a desk, I want to see it.

Emily, like me, is a writer, so we needed a place dedicated to our business and vocation. Organization would be nice, too. I used to be organized, but then I had kids. Since then, “organized” has meant half my belongings are on the floor of the car, and the other half piled on every flat surface in my office.

Why the downstairs bedroom, and not an upstairs room? Because my office furniture is made from cherry wood. It’s nature's steel armor. When I bought that desk and computer hutch, it took six guys and a forklift to haul and assemble them. After that they were pretty much immoveable (both the furniture and the guys), and all seven of my regular readers know better than to think I’m going to take things back apart without better insurance.

In other words, my office furniture isn’t going upstairs. Ever.

I had, however, devised a clever method for getting heavy stuff moved across the downstairs: Utilizing a crutch, fake cast, and pitiful expression, I’d call around looking for soft-hearted volunteers. That only worked a few times, so I came up with another method that involved half carrying them, half dragging them across the floor on blankets. (The desk and hutch, not the volunteers.) This usually resulted in me utilizing a real crutch and a real cast. And a real pitiful expression.

The downstairs bedroom was once, as near as I can tell, a sewing room. As a result, it had extra electric outlets, the largest closet in the house, and a built in cabinet that could hold office supplies. It’s the perfect office if not for being a little small, in the same way the Gulf oil spill is a little drop.

The new office would be capable of holding the desk and computer hutch, a filing cabinet, and two chairs, assuming the chairs didn’t have arms. That’s it. Also, whenever Emily and I are both working in there, we have to scoot in close to our keyboards to keep from causing a two chair collision. Still, overall we were pretty satisfied with the place.

Except for the floor.

It’s the only room in the house with a hard wood floor. Well, maybe that’s what I have in the other rooms, too, but that carpeting has been there for so long that I suspect it’s holding the place together, so I’m loathe to peak underneath. But there, in the office, was what once was a nice, well constructed hard wood floor, but came over time to resemble that beat up clunker on cinder blocks in the side yard, formerly a proud new car but now a home for small animals and bee hives.

Emily said, “We should put something on that floor before we move stuff back in. Maybe stain, and a sealant.”

I said, “No. That’s home improvement work. Things break when I do home improvement work – things, and people.”

She said, “But it’ll just deteriorate more if we don’t protect it now.”

I said, “So will my back and knees. The answer is no.”

She said, “Let’s go get supplies.”

I said, “Okay.”

I have a feeling conversations of that nature are going to be repeated many times in future years.

I have to admit, the result was relatively anticlimactic. Sure, there were missteps based on the fact that we had no idea what we were doing, but other than two ruined sets of clothes and a trip to the chiropractor, it didn’t go too badly. Two days of cleaning, scrubbing, applying, wiping off (“We have to wipe it off? But we just put it on!”) And there the floor was: still scratched up, but looking almost rustic in its cherry wood colored glory.

Yes, cherry wood. I wouldn’t have thought of it, but Emily has some sense of getting things to match, which means she’s got her work cut out for her in the rest of the house.

Then, as I stood there, stooped and sore, hardly able to hold myself up, she looked into my eyes and said:

“Now let’s apply the sealant.”

I said “No.”

You already know how the rest of the conversation went.

Overall it was just like painting the side of a house, except on hands and knees; if this was a “Karate Kid” movie there would have been an 80’s power song going on in the background. Then we finished, and I used my genius blanket dragging method to get the desk and hutch into the room.

Which left two long, deep gouge marks across our freshly finished floor.

And that, dear reader, is why when a man loves a woman, he should do everything in his power to please her – but just in case things go wrong, he should always keep an extra blanket and pillow by the couch.

This can also be found on the Albion New Era website, here:

office floor finishing - emi
Tags: column, emily, new era, slightly off the mark

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