Thursday, March 15, 2012

A desk for the boss of no one

    For years I have been writing and working from my perch facing an old desktop computer stacked on a lousy computer cart. I've been irritated by the sight of this work station for years but haven't wanted to replace it with another piece of junk (otherwise, absolutely no pressed board, assemble it yourself crap from China. Period.)  So I've been patient.  I practiced intention.  I visualized my future grand desk with a spacious surface made of real wood the color of deep honey.  I knew that this desk was going to be old, because I prefer wood furniture with a history.  I also knew that the type of desk I wanted was probably going to be expensive.  It might be the kind of desk you'd see in an old library.

    At Knees and Paws, I am the boss --the boss of no one.  But even the boss of no one needs a work space to stay organized.  The writer in me wanted this desk more than the boss in me did.

     One day this week, feeling a brief respite from my cold, Elliot and I ventured out for groceries.  I was feeling happy, and sometimes a feeling of happy makes me want to shop for other things besides food.  So we stopped to browse the stinky old stuff at Goodwill.  It's closer than the mall and strangely interesting...with just a touch of pathetic.  But we love it.  Emily hates to go in with me, but Elliot enjoys it.  A boy after my own heart.

    On this carefree day, while standing in the midst of old exercise equipment and bean bag chairs, I saw THE desk of my intention.  I peeked at the price tag, fully expecting it to be way out of my range.  But when you are a student of intention, there's a little spark of knowledge that tells you to go for it.  I'd been saving for a kayak and had just enough to take it home, without completely demolishing my kayak egg nest.

     When I pulled up to the loading area, the men patiently explained that they refused to put it into the back of my Ford.  One came out with a measuring tape, saying that if it fell out on the way home I would do serious damage to the back bumper. (I'm thinking, not to mention the car behind us!)  All of this talk just felt false, like an excuse not to do heavy lifting.  I knew there was plenty of room but sometimes people here only respond positively to men.  I've experienced this countless times in auto repair shops, with exterminators and with home maintenance technicians.  Usually laborers are surprised that I can speak their language as I was once a maintenance apprentice and have experience in carpentry, electricity and plumbing.  Still, they love to wriggle their way out of tackling a job until they meet and directly speak to Richard.  (King Richard as they have named him at work...not very nice but he does have an air of authority about him).

 The men at the store told me to come back with a flatbed truck with no cap on top.  I was sure this was b.s. but with other things to do I left with my receipt, not entirely sure that the desk would still be there the next day. This has happened before when there's a really valuable piece that could easily disappear after hours.

  The following day, Richard returned to the store with our receipt in the same vehicle I had been driving the day before.  He instructed the men to turn the desk upside down, and it slid right in, with only a few inches exposed.  Victory!

    At home, Richard and I worked together with a hand cart and managed to get it in the house by ourselves.  My husband is usually not appreciative of any spending that's not for essentials, but even he was very impressed with this find.  We enjoyed opening all the drawers and searching for secret compartments.  We imagined the previous owner having lunch at this desk, because one of the drawers smelled like pickles.

  After all of this writing, I'm not entirely sure why I felt it was important to share this story with you, except to spread my giddy excitement.  There's a reason why patience is a virtue.  Not having something immediately is good for the soul.  It sweetens the experience of receiving the ideal.  Was it intention at work, or simply a random coincidence?  Whatever the case, I'm sitting here enjoying the result.



  1. You kidding? This was the perfect blog post, Jenny! I loved it. It's filled with valuable lessons. For one thing you demonstrated the power of coming from intention. I swear that if you program your brain on the way to the crowded mall there WILL be a great parking space waiting for you. You also told us that you felt like shopping for things other than food because you were experiencing happiness. It's so true. When you are depressed you can't think of a single thing to do that would bring an ounce of joy. When you're happy you feel like experimenting, exploring and hunting for treasure in places off the beaten path. Another truth revealed in this post is the unequal treatment that women receive from male workers at places like auto repair shops. Your experience at Goodwill would have made an excellent hidden camera investigation on NBC Dateline. I can picture the tenacious wire haired terrier Chris Hansen returning with you to confront those uncooperative men! Another important point here is that you can indeed find some great values at stores like Goodwill. Mrs. Shady and I found a beautiful table for our breakfast nook. The desk you found is handsome and I know that it will feel as comfortable to you as your favorite old pair of slippers.

    1. Dear Shady, this ranks among the most spectacular comments I've ever received. Thank you for recognizing the little bits of my thoughts within the lines.

  2. Gosh, what a terrific find! It was sitting there waiting just for you. The color is gorgeous and it looks so solid and ready to go to work for you.

    I've encountered that some- where the men respond better to a man because a woman probably doesn't know what she is talking about. Good grief.

    I wish you many hours of creativity, peace, and organization at your new desk. What fun you are going to have with it!

    1. Hi Shelly,
      I wonder if there are magic words to empower ourselves in these situations. I'm also vertically's a stretch to say that I'm 5'2. I've heard it said somewhere that short people rarely win negotiations. At least I have back up!

  3. Wow - Good find. Real wood,sturdy, in good shape. Just waiting to be put to good use. You should post an after picture in six months when it's piled two feet high with stuff. Or at least that's how it works in our house.

  4. LOVE IT!! What an awesome find!

  5. I used to have a desk JUST LIKE THAT! I also used one like that when I worked at Boeing before the "cubicle world" invaded. They are wicked heavy but they have so much room! I miss it. I bought a small roll-top desk when we moved this time and it's OK but not nearly big enough to enjoy sitting at. It hold the bare essentials but nothing else. If I had room, I'd have one of those desks again. I've seen them for sale for around $50 here.

    Great find and congratulations!

  6. It's a beautiful desk! And now it has found a good home. I wish you much happiness and organization :)

  7. I love solid, old furniture. It lasts forever and usually looks wonderful. I love the pull-out boards and the many drawers. If it were up to me, I would have nothing but old furniture, but my hubby likes new things. They just aren't made to last. I'm happy your dream of the perfect desk came true!

  8. Isn't it great when you find exactly what you want - and at a good price to boot? That's awesome! That's kind of how it was with my desk too. One day we were out and about and - serendipity! - there it was at a store that was liquidating. We got it for an amazing price. Love it when that happens! Enjoy your find.


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