I’ve now hit rock bottom. I have degenerates coming in and out of my apartment. I have a boyfriend I don’t love. I rarely have food in the house. Not because I don’t have the money, but because it’s a production to get to the store. Finding someone to take me, and they can’t be doing their shopping as well because I only have about a 10 minute window before I’m going to have an anxiety attack. Also, I’m about 5 blocks from Target. I can spend about 10 minutes there and still plunk down $100 in that time easily. And that’s my high.
I can’t pinpoint how it started my decision to start playing with wood. My dad is an expert woodworker, he makes gorgeous boxes, furniture, and he was making custom order stirrups for cowboys for awhile where he’d inlay their brand in the stirrup for them. One day I woke up and said I want to make things! I bought a wood working book and started looking for plans online. I realized that I didn’t have any of the tools I needed. Larry suggested going to some garage sales. He did not understand my fear of the outside AT ALL.
One Saturday we get in his car, I’m in fetal position in my seat. The first one we find actually has a box of saws. Bingo! He pays, I run back to the safety of the car. We try a few others, but he is starting to realize how uncomfortable I am.
Larry looks at some of the little projects I have chosen; I’m obsessed with the cutting board. Most of all because I need a router. He says I don’t, I can sand the sides. I honestly don’t believe that’s true. In one of my magazines I see an ad for a smaller router than usual – a palm router, coming out in a week. I am buying that router.
And, I do. Not before I have set up an account on EBay and PayPal and an online bank (remember I’ve already had a normal checking account closed the previous summer). I’m ready. I’ve bought about 5 beginning woodworking books. Subscribed to 4 woodworking magazines.
You may be asking yourself, this girl lives in an apartment where is she going to be doing this “so-called” woodworking? Well, my kitchen has what I guess would be called a breakfast nook. It’s huge. Because Larry can’t say no to me, we go to Sears and but a very large work bench and a table saw.
Now that I have the basic set up, I sign on to eBay. Search in the tools section. OH MY GOD. So many! And wood as well! Exotic wood that my dad loves. I have bought the palm router and have been playing with it. I have a skill saw. I make my first project – the cutting board. Boy was that fun. I love the router. I don’t really know how to make too much yet. Its coming up to Mother’s day so I find some nice Maple cut it into squares on the table saw and route the sides into pretty shapes, presto! Coasters!
Father’s day, I bought a few pieces of Paduk. I found instructions for a Boy Scout troop to make a hanging message pad holder. I make about 5 practice ones, it takes some brain power to route the right sides of certain pieces. I finally make the perfect one. Dad loves it, but says – seems like a waste of a perfect piece of Paduk.
There were of course other things going on at this time. They were easy to ignore, because all I cared about was in my “shop.” The reprobates were still coming around. Because I was unmedicated I’d have manic periods and be up at 3 in the morning, so they would assume I’d want to purchase their product. I’d tell them why would I pay for it when I get this feeling for free? Of course in my case, I do pay for it with 2-3 days in bed.
Then there was Larry. I cringed when he touched me, let alone tried anything else. I calculated I could put him off for about two weeks each month, then I had to give in. I needed him though; he helped me financially when I made stupid manic purchases. My mother was always lecturing me about how good he was to me. But, she didn’t know the whole story. I was now a sort of courtesan. I felt like I was using him, leading him on. I did not want to spend the rest of my life with him. One morning we were talking on the phone before he went to work for some reason, I asked him if he could drop off some cigarettes on his way. I had no idea what I was going to do when he got to my place. None at all. He gets there gives me the cigarettes and sits down. Out of the blue I say “Larry, this isn’t working. I love you, you know I do, just not in the same way you love me.” Long pause. He says “I know, I thought you could learn to love me. Anyway, I knew how much you hated sleeping with me.” Silence (I’m fuming). “Well” he says “I guess there is nothing more to say, goodbye.” He leaves the apartment.
I’m furious because for a year he has known I’ve been doing something I’ve hated, but it’s made him feel good so he didn’t care. But, then again I’ve taken his help for years. Five minutes later he calls and says “I can’t believe you asked me to get you cigarettes on the way to your house to get broken up with.” I tried to explain it hadn’t been my plan, but he’s hung up.
OK back to eBay. I needed a biscuit jointer, clamps, electric hand planer, 20 piece router bit set, oh and that complete set of screws and nails. Oh, yeah I want that block of walnut, and the cherry. And the router table for the full size router I just won. (Getting the picture?)
Now, once I got the laptop the internet opened up to me as it never had before. I ordered every free sample I could get my hands on. I was starting to feel like looking at MA programs again. I had a plan. I wanted to study something wide open – Liberal Arts. So, I had been finding online programs all over the country and they were all sending me brochures. Basically for the last year, maybe, maybe one day every other week I’d have a no mail day. I went away for 5 days once, put my mail on hold. When I came back they had to bring it to me in one of their baskets (which was full). Point of that little story? I knew the Postman’s route and exactly when he would get to my house. When he would park, I’d run out of my house and ask him if there were any packages. There usually were and he’d give them to me. Yay! Fed Ex, UPS, or even DHL, were trickier but I soon learned to know those drivers as well. Then I get the notice – PayPal can no longer cover my purchases, my bank account is closed. Damn.
At least I had a fully stocked woodworking shop in my kitchen. So far I had made, besides the aforementioned, two planter boxes, a paper towel holder, but most of my time was spent on a set of bookshelves I had seen in one of my magazines. I made two sets before I was somewhat happy. I’d still like another try.
Was my life all woodworking? No. Like I mentioned I was looking for a MA program. I found two that I liked, but one had already closed their acceptances. I could try again in January, but even then they only took 12 people. So I chose Texas Christian University. There is a wide range of topics, and despite the name of the university, not conservative at all. I was accepted and had two months to get my head together (as much as I could without any psych meds) and play with my toys.
Will this be possible?