Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Beating Up Tables & Giving Our All

To assemble Agnes' junk pile last month John and I visited just about every thrift shop in the greater Orlando area, which meant I picked up a LOT of unrelated goodies. Including a new dining room set. (WHAT.)(It was only $200!)

So once MegaCon was over, we turned our attention to getting rid of our old table and chairs - a set we bought used over 15 years ago as newlyweds, and that's been drilled, epoxied, painted-on, hammered, and otherwise beaten up since. (We've also refinished and re-upholstered it many times, so it doesn't look QUITE as bad as you're imagining.)

We tried to donate it to the same thrift shop we bought our "new" set from, but they couldn't pick it up for another 10 days... and we're not that patient. So John listed it on Craig's List for $50.

Beat up as it is, it's still a lovely set, and John found a buyer within the hour.

So the other night when I was out in the living room playing Tsum Tsum working, and I heard John scrubbing down the old table, I didn't think much of it. Then I heard the vacuum going. And more scrubbing. Some scraping. Then the power drill.

When I finally wandered over to investigate, I found John had mixed up a custom color-match enamel, and was painstakingly covering the myriad dings, chips, and scratches on the old table top. (We're former faux finishers, and John always was the master at furniture touch-ups.)

"So..." I said, bemused. "Fifty bucks, huh?"

John handed me a tiny artist brush and the bucket of enamel.

"The lady coming for the table is a teacher," he said. Then, almost apologetically, "And I'm probably not going to take her money, either."

We spent the next hour touching up all 8 chairs and the rest of the table together, laughing over the various battle scars. ("When did we use red paint?" "Are you sure it's paint?") By the time we were done, that old set looked better than the newer one we just bought.

And later, when I got to tell a delightfully sweet high school teacher that we didn't want her money? Well, heck, that was worth more than $50, right there.

Seventeen years of marriage, and John is still teaching me about giving your all for the people you love - even in the little things, even for loved ones who don't know you, who don't expect it. Maybe especially for them.

Thank you, John, sweetie. Here's to a lifetime of beating up many more tables, and giving our all.


Farewell, old table & chairs, it was fun! Now to work on steampunking up the new set...

72 comments:

  1. Relationship goals. Right there. That is all.

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    1. Right?? Thumbs up for tearing up at work twice in one day!

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    2. absolutely that. You guys are such an inspiration =)

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    3. In love with shinyJune 8, 2016 at 8:51 PM

      Another vote of agreement here!

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  2. Just when we thought we couldn't love John any more...

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  3. Paying it forward just doesn't match it... this was more like paying it forward, coming out on the other side, taking two right turns and paying it sideways on top (and once again after a screeching U-turn).
    Faith in humanity +1 =)

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  4. Thank you for being the good in the world. :)

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  5. You and John just consistently make me feel good, for reasons like this, for Agnes, for so MUCH. Even when you post about the sad things, it's always positive because you give those sad things a profound voice that tells us we're not alone. You're both incredibly special people.

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  6. D'awwww! You two just made my day! And also, will you come to Wyoming and refinish my kitchen table? It suffered when I accidentally spilled nail polish remover on it, then a battery leaked on it as well. :)

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  7. Big smiles reading this! I just finished earning my teaching credential and I realize that, as a long time reader, John's respect (and yours too!) for his mom and her profession is part of my inspiration. So, thank you! Your little ripples of good will reach far and wide.

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  8. You have a mighty good man there.
    This has nothing to do with John, but did you see that Build A Bear is going to have Ghostbusters? Bear in uniform, Slimer, and STAY-PUFT! Thought that might be relevant to your interests.

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  9. D'awww. Does john have any brothers?

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  10. OMG I love you both so much. Someday I hope I can give you both bear hugs!

    Epbot is definitely my online happy place :)

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  11. Could you two be any more wonderful? Is it weird that I love you both?? Like, you are among my favourite people on the planet, and yet we've never even spoken. Please don't ever change!

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  12. I learn a lot reading your blog and often or not, about myself. Thank you.

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  13. You guys are awesome! Ah, there are those onion-chopping ninjas again! *sniff*

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  14. And people wonder why I love both of your blogs. You're good people, you and John. I send you the highest of fives over the interwebs.

    Also, I kind of want to be you when I grow, which probably won't be for a while since I'm only 28. ;)

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  16. I'm not crying; YOU'RE CRYING!

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  17. You know, I had a tough year last year: our house burned to the ground one month after we found out I was pregnant with our first child; at the beginning of my third trimester I developed potentially life-threatening complications, so our son had to be delivered at 29 weeks and 1 day ("average" pregnancies are 40 weeks); I ended up having to choose between my job and my baby as he spent the next 2.5 months in the NICU (so I'm now a stay-at-home mom...). And of the two dozen or so sites I followed before all this went down, I now only still follow two: my favorite knitting blogger (Yarn Harlot FTW!) and this one. Because of posts like this one and the one before. You and John are forces of positivity in this world -- and, just as important, you treasure that trait in one another -- and it helps more people than you know. Thank you, so very much.

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  18. I just love you both. (In a completely non-creepy, unstalkerish way. I just want to repeatedly tell you how awesome you are.)

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  19. *sniff sniff* why are my eyes leaking?

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  20. I love those type of finds! And kudos for helping a teacher! They are so important but so often underappreciated! Can't wait to see how the new/old/refurbish will turned out?

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  21. I'm going to create a Kickstarter so we can clone John and Jen. The world needs a lot more people like them. Who's with me?

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    1. Shut up and take my money!!!

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  22. That is so sweet. Good for him! And I hope your new set turns out delightfully steam-punk; I look forward to seeing what you do!

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  23. You guys are just the best. <3

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  24. While John is resting, maybe he could consider doing a few tutorials on faux painting and touch up tips? (Is that too much to ask after that story?)

    Also: Giving free furniture to teachers has earned you your special place in heaven.

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  25. Tears. You two are just so cool.

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  26. Libbie Appleby-LeoJune 8, 2016 at 4:00 PM

    Love it! You two are some of my relationship heroes, along with Chip & Joanna Gaines ;-)

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  27. Beautiful. Thank you.

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  28. Awww, you go guys!

    Also, I have been meaning to do an easy "craft" that might help keep your new table from being so (accidentally) beat-up! My Mom made crafting mats when I was kid from old calendar pictures glued onto large pieces of card-stock and then laminated! You could totally craft on top of inspiration pieces! Actually, remembering this makes we want to take this excuse to buy some geek art that I've been hesitating about!

    Anyways, I'm excited to see what you do with the new table!

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  29. I'm in a long term, serious relationship with someone I really, truly love. And yet... I sometimes I just want to marry John. :P What a sweetie!

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  30. As if I needed another reason to admire your sweet husband, he loves the teachers. Yay, John!

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  31. Awww, you made me smile. Big smile!

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  32. Your stories about John always make me smile. I think everyone needs someone like that in their life.

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  33. This just made me cry and restored my faith that there are good people out there. :) Kudos to you both and especially to John :)

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  34. This just made me cry and restored my faith that there are good people out there. :) Kudos to you both and especially to John :)

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  35. Wow....I just......you guys! *goofy smile*

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  36. Dwaaaaaaaa! I love being a blessing like that to someone. Thanks very much for sharing that Jen. Well done to both of you.
    Maureen S

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  37. *sniff* That is so friggin' sweet!

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  38. Awww... I love you guys!!

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  39. You guy are just so awesome! As a high school teacher that lives in a state where teachers are very undervalued, I think this is beyond words. I have loved both your blogs for years, and every time I read your stories like this one, I love you guys even more. Not in a creepy stalker way but in an aww, that's so sweet way. Your posts about dealing with your illnesses gave me the courage to start talking about my mental illness, your post about bras brought me the best bra buying experience I've ever had, your posts about corsets made me feel better about my love of them, and your posts about the love the geeky-nerdy community shows one another help to restore my faith in humanity. Your blog has been so inspirational for me. Plus, pics of Lily and Tonks always make me smile. :)

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  40. Thank you for re-affirming my faith that there ARE good people out there. It has been a little shaky lately. John - you did a really good deed and have a huge heart. You are so fortunate to have found each other and been there for the good and the bad. Thank you for sharing your lives with us!

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  41. Wow, that brought a little tear to my eye. What a wonderful human being you married 👍😊

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  42. Curse you Jen and my new found addiction to playing Tsum Tsum!

    In other news, what a great husband! Your quick post was great for a mood lift at the end of a long day.

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  43. you guys are amazing. As a high school teacher myself I can say it would have been very much appreciated... we're much more used to tantrums and being accused of failing kids for no reason. It's so nice to see others in my profession being recognised for the hard work they put in. You are both so very amazing and inspirational people!

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  44. You just brought tears to this teacher's eyes. Wow! Thanks for doing that for a fellow teacher. I got my dream table and chairs, slightly beat up, for a great price made all the better by the discovery that the one selling it turned out to be an old apartment-mate from grad school. You can bet your new friend will proudly show off her new table and chairs and tell visitors of the nice couple she got it from.

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  45. Aw damn my eyes are leaking again.

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  46. Totally random question (thanks for the happy tears this morning though!)......do your kitties have access to the steampunk room with all its lovely breakable knick-knacks? Or do you limit their access to more kitty-friendly rooms? After years of picking up and putting back together my collectibles, I now have one room designated for things that make me cry when they break....and no kitties allowed. :)

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  47. I've never met you or John, but you are two of my favorite humans. I want to be you when I grow up.

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  48. my heart!
    thanks for filling up my faith in humanity cup. you two are such good eggs.
    love to you both.

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  49. You guys are totally the best - how awesome for the teacher that got the table and chairs and how awesome for all the warm, fuzzy, faith-in-humanity-restored and pay-it-forward vibes you put out in the real world and the interwebs for all of us to share.

    You guys set the bar high for all of us like-minded individuals. I try to keep up...

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  50. You guys are amazing! I had someone do something similar for me once, and I will never forget her. My husband and I had just moved to Philadelphia, I was in school and he didn't have a job yet, so we were pretty broke. My husband got very sick and I was trying to balance school, my work-study job and taking care of him. I was at a little corner store when I just started crying, not knowing how we were going to make it. A woman saw me, took me back to her house, gave me some tea and big container of soup she had just made. She hugged me and told me that it would be ok. I never learned her name, but it was the kindest thing a stranger has done for me.

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  51. Thanks for the reminder that there are good people in the world.
    (PS you are two of them.)

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  52. Awww, that is the sweetest!

    So, uh, question for the crowd: I've recently removed the paint from my 89 y/o fireplace mantel, and was hoping to refinish it so it looks fairly natural, but there's a lot of paint caught in the seams and such that I just can't get out (and other misc dings). I don't have a ton of specialized tools. What do I do? Where do I even start??? Any ideas?

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  53. Thanks for being you and sharing it with us.

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  54. First of all, how awesome is it that you guys have shown your appreciation for teachers in a tangible way? So awesome! But I have to (sheepishly) admit what really blew me away was how your dining room looks. It amazes me that, while you craft and collect all sorts of crafting items for later, that room is nice and neat and stylish. How? While I am working on a project, I leave everything out till I'm done (so I'm not derailed from working on it out of reluctance to drag it all out and put it away again). Even though I clean up when I'm done, I still have stuff stashed around the house that really has no good place to go. Do you just manage to regulate it all to one closet or room that looks like a scene from hoarders and keep the rest of the house beautiful?

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