Ode to A Big Hunk

LizzieLou | memoir,nablopomo | Friday, November 4th, 2011

Many years ago I lived in Atlanta and had some friends that had a yard sale to raise some money for some other friend’s kid’s aunt’s brother’s medical bills or something like that. I helped out and I bought some stuff, including some teeny tiny glasses that we utilized just this evening. One of the other things that bought, for a whopping $40, was a giant secretary’s desk. I thought this was the best thing I had ever seen (having not seen Lolly yet, of course.) It was a sturdy oak and iron oddball that weighed a ton, and although I lived in a second floor apartment with no elevator, I just had to have it.

It had potential! I had seen some like this at the antique market selling for hundreds of dollars. How cool would it be to refinish and patch it up and sell it myself for hundreds of dollars!

Well, like I said, I lived in that upstairs apartment and once the desk was there, it would have been way too messy to try to do any sprucing up of it. Then in my next apartment (now with more Lolly) we used it to hold her television (it was a perfect fit and surely a sign of our being destined to be together) and our VHS tapes, which fit perfectly in the drawers. Then, much to Lolly’s chagrin, we brought it with us across the country to Seattle, because I still believed that some day I would refinish and patch it up and sell it for hundreds of dollars, maybe even more dollars now that it was even more antique than it was when I got it. However, we moved into a fourth floor apartment and we were using it to hold a television again, so its big rehabilitation would have to wait some more.

But still I loved it.

Then we bought a house, and it came with us again. Finally! I was going to be able to work on it and make it beautiful. But, damn if it still didn’t need to hold the television, and the stereo components, and those VHS tapes. (Why did we still have those?) And Lolly started hating it more and more. She talked openly in front of it about getting a “nice” entertainment center; she stood right in front of it and said what a huge, ugly, piece of crap it was. (If I were that desk, I tell you, I would have dropped that television and spit out those VHS tapes and walked right out of the house right then.)

Now, I’m making myself sad. I shouldn’t have just anthropomorphized it in that way. Because we got a new TV last month — one that doesn’t need a herculean support — and the time came to make a decision. Keep the desk and pay someone to move it into the basement where perhaps I will finally refinish it and patch it and then pay someone to move to whatever place would take it and sell it for hundreds of dollars (not bloody likely) or just have it stay forever in the basement, unused and in the way? Or… have someone come and take it away to recycle or sell or save to a foster home?

After waffling back and forth for most of a day, I was finally ready to make a decision. I had to reconcile myself to the fact that I was never really going to refinish and patch this desk any more than I am going to break my high school javelin record or do half the other things on my ‘to do list.’ So I called some guys and they came and took it away. “Wow. This is a great desk!” they said.

“I know.” I said, “I know.”


  1. I think I come off as the villain here, no matter what I say.

    But I would still like to point out that the phrases “we brought it with us across the country” and “it came with us again” actually indicated two separate and significant financial outlays JUST for the “Big Hunk”, both of which were approved by me too, but ONLY because I didn’t want the author of this blog post to feel saddened by the loss of said Big Hunk.

    But I am not sad to see that Big Hunk go. He was ugly! And, he was buggin’ me! (Fans of the show Treme will appreciate those last couple of sentences more.)

    You warmed my heart with that “next apartment (now with more Lolly)” thing, though. That sorta thing is why I was willing to tolerate that Big Hunk in the first place, babycakes. I love you.

    Comment by Lolly — November 4, 2011 @ 7:42 pm

  2. That was kind of an awesome desk…but mostly I want to see your new television.

    Comment by Linsey — November 5, 2011 @ 7:43 pm

  3. You have a javelin record?

    Comment by Eelaine — November 10, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  4. Also, I remember that desk from Atlanta. Not well enough to attach any sentimentality to it. MyFriendDeb has a similar behemoth of a desk, in a second floor apartment, and I’m convinced the reluctance to move it is her best excuse to stay in the apartment which is otherwise a really ugly, outdated shithole.

    Comment by Eelaine — November 10, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

  5. Sadly no! I didn’t have the javelin record! I missed it by several feet. I guess I did call it “my javelin record” but really it was somebody else’s. But if I HAD broken MY record it probably would have been the school record too (in 1988) as it was pretty close. At least that’s how I remember it. I wouldn’t be too surprised if someone who knew better was to find this blog and correct me by saying was I actually off by 20 or 30 feet. I would be more surprised by someone finding this blog at all, really, as I am very accomplished IN MY OWN MIND. Someday probably I’ll be writing about how I had legions of people following my very popular and award winning blog.

    Comment by LizzieLou — November 10, 2011 @ 7:55 pm

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