Moving the Man Cave

Dearest Rachel –

It wasn’t that long ago that I thought I’d make a man cave out of the basement; all that space seemed like the perfect place to put a couch and a flatscreen television/computer combination like we’ve had in the family room for ages. Daniel could keep the family room (which for all intents and purposes also serves as his bedroom, ever since the loft bed/desk combination we all thought was a great idea when he was a little kid turned into a literal headache, as he can’t even sit up in that bed without banging his head against the ceiling), and he and his friends could watch whatever they wanted to while I retreated to the basement to stay out of their way.

But over time, as Jan and I sifted through all of your memorabilia (as well as everything else throughout the house), it turned out that there was a lot more that I determined to keep then I’d expected, and it needed to be kept in the basement. By the time we were done with the house, there was neither wall space for a television nor floor space for a couch. So the idea of making the basement a hideaway went by the boards.

But there were always other alternatives.

For starters, there’s the yellow room upstairs, which the couple we were we bought the house from were using as their master bedroom in any event. What with the remodelers coming in the spring to work on the kitchen and the laundry room, the work on the latter might very well render the master bedroom uninhabitable for a while. So, setting things up in the other room might just be exactly what I need to keep myself comfortable in the meantime.

Now, you probably remember the desk (actually, little more than a table with a pedestal of drawers underneath it) that’s been taking up space in the bedroom. It’s been a bit of a nuisance for the past few years, especially after getting the rocker/recliner my side of the bedroom; I can’t lean back in it without hitting the table. So this past Wednesday, when Kris was here to clean up, I asked if she could help me all the table at least upstairs to the yellow room.

In the process of moving the table, I also discovered that the window to the left was cracked open by at least a half-inch, and probably closer to a full inch, for who knows how long. No wonder it’s always been so cold in that room; and we never saw it, because it was hidden behind the lowered blinds. Needless to say, I shoved that thing down right away.
It took a bit of shoving around, because it didn’t really fit the door very well, but we finally managed to get it in place here.

I get that it doesn’t look like man cave material, but that table struck me as the perfect place to set a large flatscreen television. So I went about looking for one, and found one about the proper size, which cost only about two weeks worth of Jan’s help back in the day. So I promptly ordered it, knowing that it would arrive the next day thanks to our Amazon Prime subscription.

By ‘free next-day delivery,’ I basically assumed that it would arrive sometime this afternoon or evening. What I hadn’t counted upon was receiving an email before I even left for ‘work’ today, telling me that my order has already been dropped off on the porch.

And sure enough, when I looked out the door, there it was. Guess I’d be getting in to ‘work’ late today. Don’t want it sitting out there in the freezing cold, after all, and once it’s inside, I might as well set it up, right?

So I hauled the box in, and dragged it upstairs. I made the mistake of pulling off those plastic straps before doing so, however…

Turns out, most of the box came right off. Thankfully, it didn’t happen until I got it into the yellow room where it was to be set up; any sooner, and it could have been something of a disaster.

In keeping with the instructions (yes, honey, I read the instructions… eventually), I set it screen down on the bed in order to install the feet. I then found myself ransacking the house for the better part of ten, fifteen minutes, trying to find a Phillips screwdriver of adequate size (the first one I came across was an absolute monster), but finally managed to secure the feet and carefully set it on the table – it was a challenge, because I wasn’t supposed to be touching the screen itself, but that whole side is nothing but screen.

But I got it up there single-handedly – well, not single-handedly, it took two hands – and it fits the table pretty well.

You’ll notice the plug there, and there’s a bit of a comedy of errors with that as well. For whatever reason, when I tried to turn the television on, nothing happened. I actually thought that that particular outlet wasn’t working. You’ll recall the overhead lamp in a previous picture; I determined that I needed to plug that surge protector into the outlet where the lamp was plugged in, in order to actually get any juice. Well, when I did that (and I plugged the lamp into the surge protector as well) neither thing switched on. Turns out the problem wasn’t the outlet, it was the fact that the surge protector wasn’t switched on. Live and learn, I guess.

Even once the television was on, there was more setting up to do. You see, we haven’t been in the market for a new television for at least a decade now, so we’ve never had to deal with a smart TV before. This thing connects to the Internet directly, rather than requiring me to hook up a computer to it. All I have to do is put in the password for our Wi-Fi, and it’s good to go.

Needless to say, I went directly to YouTube, without passing ‘Go’ or collecting $200.

The only disadvantage to all this, is the fact that the television doesn’t have any ad blocker on it, like all of our computers do. That, and with a computer hookup, I’d be able to switch to games or whatever else I might use the computer for. But that’s something I can work on at another time. I figured I’d watch a few things before heading out, just to make sure that everything was in order. So I tossed a few pillows onto the bed, and climbed up, only for it to tilt on me.

Turns out, in the process of moving the bed so as to get to the electrical outlet, I had separated the headboard. As a result, the wooden supports underneath fell out.

I was struggling with this for at least 15 minutes, trying to figure out how to get it together, and how to keep the boxspring from falling over on top of me, before Daniel came out of the bathroom to discover my plight. He held up the boxspring thereafter, while I tried to find a hammer to pound the dowels back in. You would probably know where the hammers were, because I can’t find any – one more reason to miss you.

I gave up looking for any hammers, and went back to trying to pound it in with my bare hands. It was at this point that the headboard came loose from the sides – I didn’t know I could do that. But it allowed me to set the headboard on its side, and force everything together. And well it did take some effort, getting the side beams back into the headboard thereafter was a lot easier. Of course, then we had to put the mattress back, cover it with the sheets and blanket, which was awkward but at least not overly exhausting.

I don’t recall when I’ve exerted myself that much over a bed. And before you get all cute and remind me about certain details (believe me, I remember them, honey), consider that it takes a lot more effort to put something together that to knock it apart.

That goes for the rocker/recliner, too. The folks were getting rid of one of theirold ones, and had asked a few months ago whether we might want it (Daniel’s your boy; he hates to see a cherished piece of furniture go). Naturally, we said yes, but didn’t have a place for it at the time. Come to think of it, you might have been in on that conversation. I know it was a while ago, and we’ve had room for some time now.

Anyway, bringing the chair in – in two pieces, of course – was the easy part. Putting the back into the slots, now, that was another story. I eventually had to summon Daniel back to help me out.

But we finally got everything together…

…and now, we can rest and enjoy our new setup. After dinner, perhaps.

Wish you could see it, honey. You’d probably not be pleased with me messing up the bed, but I’d like to think you’d be okay with the final result.

Anyway, I’ll talk to you later; until then, keep an eye out for us.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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