Who needs a bed when you can have a ham­mock?

The Hamilton Spectator - - LIVING - LOR­RAINE SOMMERFELD www.lor­raineon­line.ca

Now that I am un­mov­ing, I find I have to re-fur­ni­ture.

I told the kids to take what they wanted when they moved out be­cause my new life was go­ing to be down­sized and I imag­ined ev­ery­thing I could pos­si­bly need would fit in a thim­ble. The act of not ac­tu­ally mov­ing, but hav­ing kids ac­tu­ally take things, means I have to re­boot.

Lor­raine 2.0 is much more stream­lined, much less clut­tered.

Lor­raine 2.0 has guest rooms, guest rooms that don’t have suit­cases stuffed in the clos­ets or cat cages un­der the beds. One room ac­tu­ally has a dresser with a te­quila bot­tle with ferns in it; I de­cided it looked arty. Mark the Cat de­cided it looked like salad. The ferns lasted a day.

I needed a bed frame for the smaller room, as I’d com­mit­ted the ex­ist­ing one to the cot­tage. I went on­line, found a suit­able frame, and drove to the store to get it.

On the way to the bed de­part­ment, I tripped over a silly ham­mock thing in the sum­mer sec­tion.

I sat in it. I swayed gen­tly and tried to imag­ine if this ridicu­lous thing would fit on my new deck.

I de­cided it wouldn’t and told my­self to stop be­ing so stupid. They were out of the bed frames and told me to come back to­mor­row.

The best way to avoid im­pulse pur­chases is to come back to­mor­row. Ev­ery­body knows that. I knew the feel­ing would pass, like when you con­sume bad sushi or good vodka and wake up know­ing you shouldn’t have done that.

I re­turned to the bed frame store, which they still didn’t have, and bought the ham­mock.

The in­struc­tions con­sisted of a leaflet with dire warn­ings about wind and fire and ham­mocks writ­ten in nine lan­guages, then a se­ries of ex­ploded di­a­grams with no writ­ing what­so­ever. The thing was so heavy, I had to open the box — af­ter dump­ing it out of the van onto my front lawn — and carry the pieces one at a time to my back deck. The cats were cu­ri­ous, if a bit wor­ried.

I care­fully lined up and counted all the bits. My im­pul­siv­ity ends where rules be­gin. As I se­lected the first mon­ster piece of the base, I glanced at a warn­ing I’d missed.

“Assem­bly re­quires two peo­ple and a steplad­der.”

I had one per­son, three cats and a glass of iced tea.

I de­cided I would progress un­til I couldn’t. As I was care­fully thread­ing wash­ers onto a bolt, one dropped be­neath the deck.

I crawled un­der to get it, scratch­ing my left knee be­cause I was wear­ing art­fully torn up jeans that fea­tured no knees. If you feel the urge to pur­chase such jeans, just put on your nor­mal ones and crawl around un­der your deck. You’ll get the look with­out the cost.

My sis­ter Roz called and asked what I was do­ing. I told her I bought a ham­mock and I was as­sem­bling it. I ad­mit­ted I was one per­son and a steplad­der short. Roz ad­heres to in­struc­tions. I could hear her shud­der through the phone.

“Ouch,” I yelped as a wrench slipped. “What are you do­ing?” “Wrench­ing. It slipped.” “So now you’re do­ing it all wrong while you’re on the phone?”

“I didn’t want to be rude and hang up.”

I don’t like speak­er­phone, and my neck was get­ting a kink in it from hold­ing the phone while I tried to hold up one sec­tion with my knees and an­other with my shoul­der.

“I’m gonna let you go,” she sighed.

I sent her a pic­ture later. She called it a con­trap­tion. Two peo­ple and a steplad­der? Bah.

PETRENKOD, GETTY IM­AGES/IS­TOCK­PHOTO

The in­struc­tions con­sisted of a leaflet with dire warn­ings about wind and fire and ham­mocks writ­ten in nine lan­guages, then a se­ries of ex­ploded di­a­grams with no writ­ing what­so­ever.

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