Uncommon Advice That’ll Change Your Life

by Shawanda Greene

There are times in your life when a beloved possession is destroyed through no fault of your own.

You worked so hard for it.

You yearned too much for it.

You sacrificed your soul for it.

And then, some a-hole ruins it.

On occasion, there is hope for redemption.

Here’s a brief recountal of the devastating events that led up to one of my dining room chairs being forever disfigured.

1) My boyfriend used a permanent marker to write on a piece of paper that he’d laid on the seat of my chair.

2) The ink seeped through the paper onto my chair.

Not much more to the story than that.

As soon as I noticed what he’d done, I carried on about how I couldn’t believe that he was so careless. How he owed me $100 for his shameful transgressions. You know I really like that chair. And my feelings, I’m not afraid to say, were hurt. :(

Months passed with nary a mention of how I was to be justly compensated for my loss. So, I took matters into my own hands.

First, I told the destructive culprit that we were going to The Home Depot for some spray paint. He was to be given the honors of returning the chair to some semblance of its former self.

Then, I realized he’d only make it worse so I almost immediately abandoned that plan.

I didn’t regain hope until I decided that I was completely responsible for the ultimate fate of my chair. Would it spend the remainder of its existence as a lesser version of what it once was? Or would the master of its destiny, i.e., me, restore its dignity?

I had an idea. Instead of painting it, I’d cover up the blemish with stickers. Yep – I said stickers.

Off to Target I raced for stickers. Big ones.

Imagine my expected disappointment when I could only find stickers that a) were covered in glitter and b) the size of pennies.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of wall decals on one of the end caps in Target. Those never even crossed my mind! I grabbed a cafe themed batch of what are, essentially, really big stickers and skipped merrily off to the checkout.

My problem was solved. And all for the price of $10.

To summarize, in pictures.

Green Crate and Barrel Chair with Permanent Black Marker


Green Crate and Barrel Chair


Back of Green Crate and Barrel Chair

And fixed

You may be saying to yourself, “this circus you just took me through really wasn’t about the dining room chair.”

Well, my response to you is, “Yes it was! I was really pissed about that chair, man!”

*sobs profusely, uses back of hand to wipe away tears, crumples bottom lip*

But seriously, don’t wait around for someone else to solve your problems. And yes, this advice is unwavering even in the face of that which is unfair and unjust.

As Lillie Langtry once said:

I have always been willing to take the blame for the things I have done.

I say, go one step further and take responsibility for the things you haven’t done.

What problems have you taken responsibility for solving that were caused by other people?

This post was featured as an Editor’s Pick in the Carnival of Money Stories #96: The Penny Pincher Edition over at Squirrelers!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com March 1, 2011 at 9:18 AM

I love how you took that chair and from lemons made some pretty lemonade!! I almost like the chair better now than before the ink. Are you going to ask him to pay you back the $10?? :)


TheyCallMeCheap March 1, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Isn't it cute? I decided to just write the $10 off. I'll tell my boyfriend you said he should destroy more of things. :)


Romeo March 1, 2011 at 10:18 AM

I'll be the first to say if your boyfriend was tracing over something that a baby had written (scribbled), he did a fabulous job.

Great looking chair :)


TheyCallMeCheap March 1, 2011 at 7:39 PM

LOL! I really don't understand what he could've possibly written that would yield the scratchings that appeared on my chair.


Becki March 2, 2011 at 5:45 PM

Your new chair is cute, but Goo Gone might have cleaned that marker right up. If you decide to take the stickers off some day, Goo Gone will probably clean off the residue too. Test on an inconspicuous spot, though.


LaTishaDStyles March 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM

What a great idea! I love crafts and you just gave me some inspiration for my dining room table…


gem March 5, 2011 at 4:22 PM

Mm, this is a lesson that I have to remind myself of constantly when I am cleaning the bathroom/living room/kitchen of my apartment, because I have 2 roommates who do not know that we own cleaning supplies. (No, seriously. We lived here for like eight months before one of them asked, "Do we have any like… uh… disinfecting wipe things?") Because if you want something done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself I guess. (LE SIGH.)


Funny about Money March 7, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Well, actually, you're right that the story isn't about the chair; it's about BF's inconsiderate behavior, which probably extends into a great deal more of your life than the dining room. Been there, done that…

Excellent recovery, though! The upgraded chairs are incredibly cool. Have you thought about decorating and selling similar chairs on Etsy or waypoints?


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