What have you been up to of late?

Recently, we shed ourselves of a fridge (still going and it was made in 1990) and a dishwasher (never use it – our water is very lime heavy, dishes never look clean so we end up hand washing everything anyway) so it freed up space.  The dishwasher is “portable” so it had a nice butcher block top, and ended up being the resting place of the ice and ice tea makers.

So, we thought, we’d buy ourselves a new, nice, cabinet for that space.  And then we thought, we’d get a rolling kitchen island.  Most of them are small enough for the space (less than 36 across, 30 deep) and would be pretty.  Classy, even.

Now, I have built every type of boxed furniture you can name.  Ikea?  Bah.  Easy.  Sauder?  Piece of cake.  Better Home and Gardens didn’t even break a sweat.  I could go on, but why brag of my conquests?  I am, after all, a lady.  

Until I met this little vile creation of horror, here:

You can see how I was seduced by it, right? So dainty yet so practical!


Look at it.  Innocent, sweet.  Pretty.  And utterly possessed.  Beware, the Small Black Kitchen Cart with Drop Leaf from Big Lots! Beware!  It will bring you so ever low.  You will curse.  You will contemplate escaping into the sweet embrace of a bottle of rum.  Do not do it.  Run away.  *Ahem*  Well.  Anyway.

Oh, it started out innocently enough.  I was not satisfied by the cams, really, they did not seem to turn enough to lock, though I fixed some of those by loosening the screws so they’d have more to grip.  But the wood was slick to the touch (though man, I never realized how printy that black surface would be) and heavy, and I thought, I can deal.  The important parts feel really high quality.

I had it up on its wheels, the butcher block top on, the doors securely attached exactly in the pre-drilled dimples (you couldn’t really call them holes) and I was securely in the home stretch when I noticed that the doors didn’t close quite right.  That’s ok, the hinges would adjust to fix it.  So I followed the instructions…and the hinges stopped keeping the doors on.  No matter what I did, the hinge, especially on one door, would come apart.  Sometimes with a magnificent whump because the springs on the hinges were actually quite good.  I managed the tighten them all down – mum went and got me another screw that kind of kept the worst hinge attached, and after a lot of careful adjusting, I got the doors to shut right, though they were a little crooked.

And then one of the hinges exploded.  One of the screws shot out, and I had to deal with that all over again.  I stole one of the screws from the drawer pull, and managed to get it fixed.  Then the worst one gave away again.  So I fooled with it until it behaved itself.

So, I finally got it to the point where I felt secure that the doors would be o-kay-ish, and turned my attention to the drawer.

I put the drawer together carefully.  I got calm, because it was easy.

And then it would not go in.  It would go on the glides, and then it would stop before actually shutting.  I looked at the instructions.  Basically a picture of you pushing the drawer in. 

I made sure I built it right.  Yes.  It was OK.  The drawer side that said “right” was, indeed, on the right.

I tried to put it in upside down, just in case.  No.

And then one of the little screws holding the glide to the inside of the cabinet – and when I say little, I mean, they are only a little larger than the screws that hold together your glasses – popped out.  And I cursed, because I’d been careful.  I’d not tried to She-Hulk the drawer in, no matter how much the idea of “Cindy smash!” was starting to appeal to me.  

I attached the screw again in another hole, making sure it was flush and would not catch the glide.

No luck.  No luck at all.  The only thing that happened was another screw popped out.  I looked online.  I looked at other drawers in my house. 

After many hours of frustration (at one point I dimply recall kneeling in front of the cabinet, laughing like a bedlamite, chanting “It won’t go!  It just won’t effing go!” ) and one shower to calm myself down later, we took the thing back to Big Lots.  I had tried to call to see if I could get replacement parts, but it was impossible, so we gave up.

Then we went to Lowe’s and bought a base cabinet.  We will have to refinish it – even at the sale price (yes, we got 25% off!) we went the cheap way – and glue a finished side to it.  (I actually like staining and varnishing.)  We will also have to cut a counter top because they don’t sell 30” counter tops.  But we will not have to build the damned thing. 

And right now, that is music to my bruised and broken soul. 

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