A few days ago, the lamp on my office desk ‘sparked’. There was a loud popping sound and despite my best efforts to bring it back to life – it was officially gone. Apparently I’m not GE, I could bring a once good lamp back to life. My mother gave me that lamp years ago – and well, it was special to me. However, I must admit, I saw this coming, all the warning signs were there. First the light would flicker occasionally. A few weeks later, I had to turn the knob ever so gently to the right…then quickly to the left and back right again, while standing on one foot, facing east, while singing “This Little Light of Mine”, to get it to turn on. Then, there were my late night working sessions when I would talk to the lamp while performing the above in a desperate attempt to get it to work….
“You know you want to shine, yes you do….come on little light bulb, you damn f@#!ing filament…WORK ALREADY”
Yes, I know, a bit ridiculous – but then us creative, sentimental, sensitive types often are.
So yesterday I set out to purchase a new lamp – I dreaded this outing. I decided that I wasn’t going this alone, so I enlisted my daughter to join me on this less than exciting excursion. Gionna had about as much interest in going with me to buy a lamp as I did in listening to the new Taylor Swift song she played – repeatedly – on the way to the store. We make compromises in life, this was mine – for the decade. So I did my best to… “Shake It Off”.
There were aisles of lamps at the store – and they were hanging from the ceiling! This was not going to be easy. Apparently now when buying a lamp, you can mix and match the lamp base to the lamp shade. Lovely. I hadn’t taken my Adderall that day – this was going to be a task of monumental proportions. I walked up and down the aisles twice, surveying my choices – and I was overwhelmed to say the least. I wanted my old lamp and like a small child who wasn’t getting her way, that’s all I could focus on for a few minutes.
“Christ! Just pick a damn lamp already woman”, I said to myself.
Fifteen minutes later, I had chosen the perfect lamp base. Ok, we were making progress. Well, I was anyway. Gionna was buried in her iPhone – probably live tweeting this entire experience from hell that her mother dragged her to.
“My mother is talking to herself in the store, OMG! #soembarrassed #whyme
I placed the lamp base in the shopping cart and proceeded to search for the perfect lamp shade. Given that my color choices were biscuit, mushroom, oatmeal and cafe au lait, this would be easy. Except now I was hungry and wanted to go to Starbucks.
“Gionna, let’s go grab coffee and then come back and oh look, they’re having a special on lightbulbs!”
“Focus mom – you don’t even have a damn lamp shade yet, just forget about the lightbulbs and the last thing you need now is espresso”. Gionna scolded.
I finally found a suitable lampshade, more in love with the price than the color, and my work was done. Except it wasn’t. When I brought the lampshade to the shopping cart, I noticed that the tag on the lamp shade had a giant “C” and the tag on the lamp base had a giant “A”. Immediately the song from Sesame Street played in my head….
“C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me
C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me…”
Yeah, I’m a hot mess without Adderall – and I was hungry, I forgot to eat that day.
But I digress…
Right there in middle of the lamp aisle, I figured it out.
“Are you friggin kidding me” – I said louder than I had wanted, prompting an unwanted glare from a young mom. It seems that you have to match the letter of the lampshade to the same letter as the lamp base. What sadistic, sinister, son of a bitch thought this was a genius marketing idea?!? I wanted a damn lamp, with all the components already put together – that’s all. That is not asking too much. I yanked the lamp base out of the cart and searched up and down the aisles looking for a lamp shade with a giant “A” attached to it. I found such lampshade and of course its color was called “Oyster”. Holy Mother of Monikers, do they feed the marketing department at whatever company decides these names. Now I needed a cup of coffee …..by the bay!
The New Lamp
Back home with my purchase, I went into my office and saw my old lamp. I knew it wasn’t going to sell on eBay, but I just couldn’t toss it out either. I moved it from my desk to the office floor, and later that night, from the floor to the garage. I often dispose of inanimate objects in stages – it’s a process – yes, even the disposal of lamps. Love me, love my quirks.
My new lamp took its place on my desk and quite honestly, I don’t like it. But it works and serves its purpose, and I suppose in time, I will grow to like it. Whatever. I was still left with what to do with the lamp my mother gave me. And that’s where things take an interesting turn.
If you have read even half of this blog in the past few years, then you know I enjoy gardening. It’s my therapy and if I can’t spend at least one hour a day in my garden, I feel a little lost. So today, while watering my plants and just sort of putzing around – I kept passing the lamp that had now taken up residence near the garage door that led outside. I knew the next stage of the process was the garbage can and I wasn’t ready for that. I started fiddling with the lamp, taking it apart, removing the cord – and then it hit me. I was going to use the base of this lamp and turn it into a planter. This must be what Sir Issac Newton felt like when he discovered gravity! I felt a surge of creativity and energy surge through me and I couldn’t get started fast enough. I was rather proud of myself for figuring out a way to save this lamp from the depths of some dumpster – it would now be with me forever, just in a different form. As I cut and painted and planted, I couldn’t stop smiling – this was turning out even better than I was imagining it in my mind’s eye. And my imagination is rather wild and exciting.
I’ll let you be the judge…
“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”