I will preface this post by once again reminding you that I am not eloquent (let’s see how many typos, syntax and grammatical errors you can find in this post alone) nor am I graceful. My middle name is actually Awkward. Yep, my name is Jennifer “Awkward” Erickson. I understand this may be funny to you and here is where I get to clarify that it is funny (and embarrassing) for me, too. Awkward situations follow me around like a shadow and this past weekend seemed to remind me of this simple fact.
On Sunday Matty and I invited a gentleman and his wife over for dinner. The gentleman (does anyone actually use this word anymore when referencing a dude?) graduated with Matt from the pipeline (aka: the three year training stint Matt went through to become a Combat Rescue Officer) and had been working at the Portland RQS (Rescue Squadron) up until a few weeks ago. He and his wife moved to Alaska last week and he will now be working with Matt. So, we had them over for dinner on Sunday. Matt made some killer ma-po tofu and I made a kickin’ asian salad (and a few other sides). Dinner was lovely and I cleared the table of a few items so we could begin dessert. Matt also got up to grab something from the kitchen leaving one of our guests at the table (the other was up from the table). No sooner did I get up from the table when I heard a giant crash and see a wine glass go flying across the dining room. In that split second, I had about five things go through my head:
1) Oh my gosh!
2) Did the giant pendant fall from the ceiling onto the table?
3) Is Binky ok? (our dinner guest)
4) I think I peed my pants a little
5) Crap, all that food is destroyed (not to mention obvious dish ware)
When I turned around I witnessed the culprit. The back of the bench had fallen forward onto the table squashing everything in its path. Amidst the shattered wine glasses, serving dishes, etc. sat my dinner guest in disbelief. It was quite embarrassing. I was thankful (and in shock) that nothing had happened to her since the serving dish seemed to disintegrate upon impact and went everywhere, except in her eye! We spent the next ten minutes cleaning up the mess on the floor and leaving the table alone so we could spend the rest of the evening with our guests. Ha! We all agreed that this will go down in the books as the best “this one time during dinner…” moments. Oy!
I tell you all of this to stress how awkward situations follow me around and also to segue into the dining room crashing. Ha ha – I made pun-ny. Let’s take a look at my dining room bench. Matt made the bench and I bought foam (that stuff is expen$sive, so I bought it when it was on sale with a coupon) for the cushion, but I have yet to find fabric that I
like is within my price range. Matt and I also upholstered a piece of plywood with foam/fabric and have let it sit unattached to the back of the wall for the past two months (oh the shame!). The actual reason for leaving it unattached is because I needed to create buttons for the back and attach them. I had let a friend borrow my staple gun and I recently got it back (after our dinner guests were here on Sunday). Therefore, I wanted to wait until the buttons were on to attach the back to the wall.
Yesterday I tufted the back of the bench with contrasting color buttons. I made the buttons about a month ago (with the help of Matt) with a fabric swatch from potential fabric for the bench cushion. I am glad I chose contrasting fabric otherwise the buttons would have been lost in the mass of pattern.
The back is attached with a mirror cleat. The brand of the hanger is OOK and we also picked up a bag of 3/16″ plaster screws that hold up to 75 lbs. We want this puppy to hold! After doing a lot of research on the best way to attach the back this seemed to be our best option and with our little mishap over dinner we knew we wanted to get this thing hung ASAP. I will refrain from posting how I measured the wall and the back of the bench. I believe in the “less is more” approach, and you can follow this link to a blog whose tutorial is what I followed precisely to recreate the back of the bench.
The bench is centered to the wall and so I made sure the back of the mirror cleat was exactly to the center of the wall as well and then I drilled that bad boy into the wall. I then did the same thing on the backside of the bench back with the opposite cleat.
As it stands currently, I am awaiting Matt’s return from work so he can help me lift this sucker and put it on the wall where it will stay for-ev-er (Sandlot anyone?!) and never ruin a dinner party again.
Side note: I followed this tutorial for creating my upholstered back. This was the only example I found that used a mirror hanger and it is smart! Plus it is super sturdy.
I will post photos later tonight with the back secure in all its glory. Until then, what is the most awkward dinner situation you have experienced? Any dining room “crashing” tales you want to share? I am all ears!