Flat pack dreams

Last month I ordered a new desk.

I was listening the Beyond the To Do List podcast a couple weeks back and the host Erik Fisher said he had a desk for working at his laptop, and a desk for working on paper. That seemed like a really, really good idea to me. Since November last year I’ve been doing some journaling and planning by hand, but because currently the paper has to be directly in front of my laptop sometimes my fingers slip onto the keyboard and knock the letters G O O D R E A D S . C O M and I accidentally end up enlarging my tbr list instead of writing.

So I figured a space to actually write while not looking straight at my laptop would officially be A Good Thing.

Challenge: my existing desk is barely big enough for my laptop, and I don’t have room for two desks. So I ordered a new desk. A cheap desk. The kind that swoops around a corner, but is still compact.

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I actually drove a not inconsiderable distance in order to buy a flat pack desk and take it home and set it up that day but I am apparently not the only human who wants a swoopy desk, and the store was sold out. Every branch was sold out. Even the floor models. Maybe Aucklanders are suddenly all going analogue. So I back-ordered the desk, and paid for it up front.

The desk had a matching credenza. And realistically, who can turn down a piece of furniture called a credenza? Not me, that’s for sure. So I bought one. Instantly I became the kind of woman who owns a credenza. Next I’ll be drinking red wine from a real glass, and putting on clothes not made of cotton knit and lycra.

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I assembled the credenza myself. Last time I bought flat pack furniture I hired a guy who markets himself with an illustration of a Care Bear on his business card. But this was only one piece, and the box didn’t look so big. I figured I could do it. I’ve been assembling flatpack furniture since 1983. My first piece was a computer desk for my Commodore Vic-20. Wow, I got old.


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A Commodore VIC-20 in a computer museum. because my life is now museum-able. Photo by MKFI on Wikimedia commons.

Anyway, what I learned was to ask, in future, when buying flat pack furniture, is what kind of hinges any doors have. Because my credenza has doors held on by two half-inch plastic nubbins. Sure, no one expects flat pack furniture to be handed down to your grandchildren, but I did expect it would last longer than the perishing date on plastic. Which, given the NZ sun, could be a couple of months. And I couldn’t be assed taking it back because;

a) New Zealand stores do not have the same generous return policies as American stores apparently do. I see people on You Tube all the time who buy makeup, try it for a week, and then take it back because they don’t like it. This must be Nirvana. Once I bought a chair and the legs fell off before I even got it home. Three store clerks argued with me for an hour before they begrudgingly gave me a credit note.

b) the credenza matches the desk. The desk I don’t have.

I called for an update on the desk’s ETA, and they have no idea. One man told me over the phone 8 May. I rang back to see if I could pick it up from a different branch, and that time they told me June. Maybe June. But the desk better arrive eventually because I am a sucker for matchy matchy. When I have a swoopy curvy desk – creating, in effect, a goddamn real life journaling nook – and a matching credenza, then surely I’ll instantly be a proper grown up and I’ll be able to deal with all the shit that currently leaves me spoonless by 8 p.m. and shoving pizza in my face before crying in bed, wearing my narwhal t-shirt, watching grav3yardgirl, and clutching my ventolin inhaler.

In many ways, this means waiting for the swoopy desk is far preferable to having the swoopy desk. While I’m waiting for it I can dream of my post-desk life, where I wake refreshed at dawn and eschew sugar-free energy drinks and triple-shot espresso, and instead start the day with fresh juice… no, wait, tea. White tea, brewed in silk organza tea bags. Where I work each day in two perfect three-hour blocks, taking a short walk at the beach between them, before doing admin and accounts when my energy wanes in the afternoon.

This is what’s gonna happen, right? Reality can fuck right off. *nods*


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