Some thoughts on the idea of Father’s Day.

As per usual, I am a day late and a dollar short when it comes to these ‘themed’ posts. You can most assuredly count the fucks I give about that on one hand.

Fatherhood, let alone parenting, can seem like an insurmountable challenge at the best of times. As men, we are genetically predisposed to the societal conditioning (e.g men work while the women stay at home) that fucked up our predecessors. The challenge lies in finding a navigable path between the pomp and the piss of the past. 

We need to be sensitive while not being insensitive. We need to be accepting of others differences while not  being totally dismissive. We need to accept the fact that we (the current generation of ‘young’ fathers) grew up in a different world than our children are currently living in and as such we need to not let our own past shadow our children’s future. 

I conversed with my friend, The Rock Farmer, the other day about those challenges and we surprised ourselves when we realized that we were cut from the same bolt of cloth

Our motivation for getting through those challenges? Anger. Not fuck stuff up, ‘Hulk-SMASH’ kind of anger but the type of anger that won’t settle for the ‘it is, what it is’ attitude that the 21st centruy has birthed and is hungry for change, for progress. 

The next time that these ‘appreciation’ holidays roll around (specifically Mother’s Day and Father’s Day) it might help to keep in mind that the titles ‘mother’ and ‘father’, are not only nouns, but verbs. To mother or to father is to do your best in raising the next generation that will not only take care of you, but also (hopefully) add value to the world at large. 

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I gave my wife wood for Mother’s Day.

Yes, I know Mother’s day has come and gone. No need to be a pedant about it. 

Regardless, I would be remiss if I did not walk you through the ‘punishment’ that I put myself through because of it. 

Mother’s day (along with Father’s day) has always been hit or miss with my wife and I. It’s not that we don’t care about either of those days. It’s also not because we think the other doesn’t deserve a day to call their own. 

Speaking for myself, I think that it’s because we didn’t have a good idea of what those days were really about when we were growing up. This was the direct result of both of us coming from ‘broken homes’. Kind of hard to know what Mother’s day or Father’s day was all about if mom was talking shit about dad or vice versa.

The hit and miss of these days for us has resulted in poor planning and a light touch of misery throughout the day. 
This is not to say that all of them have been miserable. They just haven’t been as great as I thought they should have been

I am a fan of turning negatives into positives. This year, my wife was going to be out of town for Mother’s Day so I decided to capitalize on that and make her something that she wanted: patio furniture

As luck would have it, I had the materials I needed right under my nose. 

  
That’s right: I got the bright idea to repurpose old furniture into new furniture. 


Enter the parts of our sofa
that our kids fucked up. There are two parts. For some reason, the corner piece didn’t get a picture snapped of it. Sorry about that. 

“How hard could it be, right? All you have to do is de-upholster it and see what you’re working with. I ought to be done with this well before she gets home”, I thought. Famous. Last. Words. 

Here’s what the skeleton of the couch looked like. 

   

 

Obviously this was the easy part. See all that white, cotton-y, shit? That’s what was left over from the upholstery. All of what you’re looking at is held in by staples. So many. Fahking staplessssss. 

People who build furniture for a living (presumably in a factory environment) are not shy with the staples. For reals: it took me the better part of a day and a half just to remove all of them. And there were still some I didn’t catch until the very end. 

  
After the clusterfuck with the staples, it was time for me to remove everything else that would interrupts one’s ass from hitting the floor. Above, you see what that looks like. I knew right away that this piece would be a ‘seat’. All I needed to do was to shorten the width of it. 

  
Like so! Basically, I cut the motherfucker in half and left a chunk out of the middle of the original design.  To measure, I used a yoga mat since my wife was out of town and essentially none-the-wiser. The corner piece was a bit of a sticking point for the repurposing basically because it was so goddamn awkward looking. 

  
As you can see above, I made up my mind and turned that odd-ass couch piece into an extension of the original ‘seat’ idea I was struck with. 

My reasoning was simple: Don’t want to lounge, turn that motherfucker sideways and you got a table. 

To finish out the construction of the ‘seat’ piece I used wood from the original sofa corner piece. This posed a bit of a problem as there wouldn’t be enough wood to finish out the ‘extention/table’. However, it was a problem easily fixed by an old pallet. 

  

Ta fucking Da!
I couldn’t stop here, though. As previously mentioned, I live in Florida (aka the ball-sac of the east coast). If I were to put these two pieces outside, as is, the sun would go “OOOOOOHHHH HOW CUTE” and then crush all of my hard work with all of it’s burning hate. 

  

Enter the sander.
Why sand? Because when you’re working with wood that is going to be living outdoors, you need to protect that shit with the weather seal of your choice. My choice was the Thompson’s Water Seal that you can spray on. ($6 dollars a can at Home Depot if I’m not mistaken.)

How much to sand off though? This wood wasn’t meant to be ‘exposed’. It was meant to support cloth and cotton, and all other sorts of nonsense. Yes, that’s right, I fucking guessed. 

  
The top half of this photo is unsanded. I reasoned that as long as there was a slight, noticeable difference in color and texture of my wood, then it would be ready for the sealant. 

  
So far so good. Luckily, when my wife came back to town and I showed her what I had been up to, she was really psyched. 

In short I invested 3 weeks (because I was operating without a plan and it was hot as fuck when I set about this project) and $60 (That is for the sealant, a box of screws, and the cushions. The cushions were the most expensive part!). 

What I learned was that making shit is really, really satisfying. Also I concluded that the meaning behind a given holiday doesn’t matter. If you’re happy and the people that you love are happy, then it’s all goood.