Queen for a Day

It is no secret that while Dearly Beloved and I play well together, working together is a different story entirely.  You may remember that our division of labor is decided by whether it involves my tools:  brushes and paint, or his:  screw drivers and duct tape.  Occasionally, there is overlap, as with the Goodwill bed saga.

In January we bought a new queen-sized mattress for one of the guest rooms, to make it more comfortable for the tall adults in our family.  The four-poster bed already there adjusts for double or queen, so it was a simple process.  The double (full) mattress set went into “The Grandson Room.”  Finding an inexpensive double bed headboard and frame should be simple,  since everyone buys queens these days…right?

I started at consignment shops, sure they’d have double beds stacked up at giveaway prices.   Huh uh.  The few they had carried the same price tag:  $350.  I headed for the thrift stores.  Only Habitat even had one and they had received the price memo:  $350 for a plain, ordinary double bed frame.  No thanks.

By the third day, I was desperate and was spending the bed money for gas as I drove to the surrounding towns.  At a Goodwill store in a town about 20 miles away, I found a bed with this tag:

Full bed $59.99

The bed was big, black, heavy, badly scratched, and totally unsuitable for little boys.  Viola!  The clerk charged me only $45.  Hot damn!  I drove around back to their loading area and got the first hint of trouble.

A neat, tightly wrapped bundle of boards had been lying near the headboard in the store and I’d  given it little notice, not realizing it went with my bed.   The loader assured me that it did and loaded it into my car.  It looked like enough wood to build a playhouse.

At home, DB unloaded it all and I went out for paint because the big black bed definitely needed serious work.  I set the various pieces all over the back yard and sprayed away.  When my neighbor saw what I was doing, she asked why I hadn’t let her know I was looking for a double bed.  She had one in her garage we could use.  (sigh)

The spraying took some time as there weren’t many 50-degree days during that cold spell, but finally the now blue bed was ready for assembly.  I turned it over to DB and his screwdriver.

Toolman called for my assistance almost immediately and I responded, bringing my opinions with me.  The tension mounted, faster than the bed.

The bundle contained 14 wooden slats and 51 screws.  Could all of that possibly go with this one bed?  Indeed it could.  We were still speaking –barely– by the time assembly was complete.   Those slats were linked so closely together that the boys could just lay out their sleeping bag on the platform.  We had a mattress, however,  and the darned thing was going on there.

It went on, all right, with enough extra room to sit on the side of the bed frame.  AAAACKKK!!!   It was a queen sized frame!!!

The mattress and box springs went back on the floor, the screws were removed , the 14 slats re-bundled, the frame disassembled, and the partridge was sent back to the pear tree.  The whole shebang was taken back down to the basement.  What now?

Call the neighbor to take her up on her offer, then load the blue bed back into my car to take to the beach-house-not-on-the-beach where we had a queen sized bed, but no headboard.  I did the calling,  DB the loading.

I drove it down to the beach with the bed in the front, back, and storage bay of my station wagon–all  seats down but mine. The car smelled like paint.  DB drove Miss Piggy down, so his car smelled like dog farts.

At the beach, Dearly Beloved brought all of the pieces inside, grabbed his screwdrivers,  and began his work.  Minutes later… minutes, mind you,  he called to show me the result.


Waaaaait a minute.  Something is fishy here.

He ‘splained that the current bed frame was sturdier than the one I’d brought down, so he’d just put the headboard against the wall.  Look at that 14 slats picture.  See anything wobbly there?

I didn’t follow his reasoning, but I thought of that first assembly and all the muttering and grumbling.   Maybe this was okay, after all.   Just one thing. . .


Anyone want to build a playhouse?


12 thoughts on “Queen for a Day

  1. Giggle, snort, snicker.
    OK–got that out of my system.
    Now, serious comment–are you a fan of Craig’s List? Or even Freecycle.
    I am a Freecycle nut…I’ve blogged about it too.
    Freecycle is a great way to get rid of no longer needed stuff. You just can’t BELIEVE what people will take. I know a woman who has become a woodworking demon, and she loves odd pieces of wood she can make into only lord knows what.
    As for Craig’s List–a place to look for purchasing items.
    Of course the only hitch on either of these places is you do have to make connections–either the picker up person comes to you, or if you are getting/buying–you have to go wherever.
    Anyway, loved your story.

  2. cw

    QUEEN FOR A DAY – LOVE IT!!:) Woman, you are sooooooooo clever!:)
    Love that shade of blue on your headboard, too – gorgeous room!:)

  3. Jincey08

    You and DB have a good, working partnership . . . as long as you stick with your respective talents. Or ingenuity! Funny story.

  4. I am so glad you shared this story. The headboard is beautiful. I love the blue.
    A good marriage relies on a respected division of labor. HOWEVER! I just can’t stand it when My Hero takes shortcuts. Especially when I didn’t think of it first. Actually. What I hate even more is when I think of the shortcut and then he won’t do what I suggest….but we have managed to get some major projects done together and we are both still alive and married to each other.

  5. I share your pain. Especially about the prices that thrift stores are charging now for used furniture. When I go into our local store I feel like I’ve suddenly wandered into an antique shop by mistake. And most of the high priced stuff wasn’t that great to begin with!

    Wow, those bed slats make the bed look like a Viking ship. Take it to the thrift store and tell them that’s what it is and that you found it washed up on the beach. Should be worth at least $350, in my opinion. 🙂

  6. You should have saved all that gas and trouble and just gone to IKEA…..you would have annoyed DB all the same as IKEA instructions aren’t really clear but along with all extra screws you always get the complimentary Allan wrench!

  7. Everything here looks just perfect!

    Sorry for the late visit but I’m glad I could come and enjoy your great pinks!

    Have a wonderful week!

    In Shoes We Trust,
    Maggie Mae
    “Do these shoes match this purse?”

  8. I love the blue. LOL.

    I can’t comment anything else. Whenever there is a “project” I herd the kids out the door so they are not exposed to the F word.

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