Friday, December 10, 2004

The Tale of the 3 Dressoirs

In June of this year I bought a teak dressoir (buffet table) as a birthday present for myself, in effect it was also a gift for the flat. The design was in the lines of minimalism – modern, simple, functional, yet aesthetically with a streak of sophistication. I complemented it with a 2-meter mirror, it's 2.5 inch framework exquisitely done in silver. Massive!

The idea was to create an atmosphere of tranquility, space and co-habitation with nature in our living room. Walls are immaculate off-white, which I would hate to taint them with reckless paintings and knick-knacks. So, the 2-meter mirror is supposed to capture the breathing nature outside due to the fact that it faces the window wall, which by the way displays a spectacular view in the evening with all the lined up buildings across the highway. The city lights make me alive, it makes me - ME. I don´t think I can ever live in a normal house. I have always lived high up and intend to live the same. If I win the lotto (reminds me that I need to start buying the tickets!), I will buy a huge penthouse in the middle of Amsterdam Centrum. I am nothing less than an incarnate city girl, and so is the Dutchman, a city boy.

Here´s the tale of the 3 dressoirs, which I laboriously waited, for an unprecedented 7 months (Or could be more? Hope not!).

Hartog Wonen, the meubel bedrijf (furniture company) has a 2-3 months wait period for build to order furniture. Relent not, well I did, arguably because I lost already so many months in this lengthy dressoir search. I felt like I was on a perpetual hunt for something that probably never existed nor was I willing to subject myself to buy those uniformed dressoirs bedecked in the window stalls of every dang furniture shop. God, I hated that, I was so tempted, and still am, to write a complaint letter to whatever association that holds them together. They need to rehash their design teams, employ fresh blood and not copy each other!

So then, September, a shy of 3 months from the date we ordered it, came the letter that the item is ready to be delivered. Dutchman volunteered to receive it since there was little or no chance for me to get a free day. I have eaten up all my holidays for the upcoming trip.

The surprise: The dressoir won't fit in the lift!

It was too huge and heavy, 2.20-meters pure teak wood. The delivery men didn't even consider bringing the piece manually since we are on the 10th floor, which if translated to the standard building floor count outside Europe, is factually on the 11th floor. The only possible solution was to hire a crane and elevate the dressoir to the 7th floor ONLY, after which it has to be taken by hand to its final destination.

The Dutchman in panic quickly got on the phone with me. “I did not expect it to be this HUGE!” He screamed into the line.

“So, what´s the plan then?” I asked him.

“I will complain about expectations.” He quipped and hanged up.

My phone rang again after a few minutes. “Hartog is willing to replace the dressoir at zero cost for a smaller one, about 1.80-meters. Is that fine with you?” He asked.

Me, thinking… “Sheeeet, why do I have to make decisions like this so fast? I spent half the year searching for this dang thing, and now I am being tasked to decide in a split of a minute if I want the smaller size. Don´t men know that we women have this propensity to visualize things and that requires time?”

“OK...” I muttered in resignation. “Good, then the dressoir will be delivered in November as per Hartog´s advice.” he said.

Another 2.5 months wait. The looks of it, it´s going to be a saga in the making… and I just earned a mileage in Murphys Law strike 1.

November came and Dutchman was off again to receive the delivery men and the most awaited prized item. They were on time and the item fit *whew* perfectly in the lift. Dutchman was satisfied and was grinning with his mouth stretched end to end when I entered the foyer as I came home. The smell of teak filled the living room air, quite relaxing to the senses. And woman as I am, I began inspecting the object and was really pleased. My waiting efforts have ended, it was justifiable, nevertheless. “Now we can hang the mirror and empty my kitchen cupboards (wine glasses, liquors, and all that can bring you in high spirits) and put them in their new home, the dressoir.” I thought.

But the tiny silver handles were not screwed in, which was supposed to be part of the package, from what we learned later. So, Dutchman the techie who can never or pretends to be a handyman tried screwing the first of the 3 sets of handles in.

“Shit!” He screamed. “I think there is a crack!

There was indeed a crack between the screwed in handle and the edged side of the door. Bad news, the crack is a very weak point and with constant use it will for sure give away. There is no way to gamble with this since the item was also quite expensive. Should I be mortified? Murphys Law strike 2.

How must I respond to this? @&%$^±€§?! GGRRRRR! How else!? The Dutchman was in fact in a terrible state than me. He is fuming and smoke is coming out of his white ears.

But the good news, the dressoir is covered with warranty. *Sigh of relief*

The woman handling the returns in Hartog was in a choleric harassed mode when Dutchman called back again to give the bad message. I can imagine! This will be the 3rd attempt. As much as I would love to pity her endless plight with this order, moi the customer comes first!

So, the verdict…. the unyielding and unending saga continues.

We will get the replacement in January 2005, the 3rd dressoir, and hopefully there is NO Murphys Law strike 3 this time.

In the meantime, the dressoir with the crack is standing in our dining area unused like a dys/unfunctional piece of unwanted furniture.


  1. Anonymous9:35 am

    thats really abnormal to wait for that long and go through bad luck 2x. hope there wont be a 3rd.

  2. Anonymous3:59 pm

    I wonder how much you paid for this buffet table. It's quite expensive here in France.

  3. I paid a lot of money for this buffet table thats why its custom built. you know us women, we need to feed the vanity in us, LOL.


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