Coaster Rica

April 29th, 2005

Okay, so I grew up in a household without coasters. My mother may have OWNED coasters, but if so, I never saw any, and she certainly never made us use them.

A current member of my household (hint: it is not Henrietta), on the other hand, is a coaster owner. AND user.

Now, I am not saying coaster-users are wrong. I think, if you own nice furniture and don't want to get rings on the finish or whatever, you should definitely use a coaster.

If, on the other hand, you forget to use a coaster, because perhaps you were not RAISED to use coasters, so it is not exactly second nature to you, should you have to get a mini lecture about coaster use? EACH AND EVERY TIME YOU GET CAUGHT NOT USING ONE????

Because, after all, it's YOUR furniture. If you want to ruin it, isn't that your prerogative?

Which I will admit is wasteful. But still. What is furniture for, if not to be used?

A certain member of my household says, “Sure, used. Not Abused.”

And he has a point.

But look, I don't WANT to have to worry about remembering to use a coaster all the time. I want to be a free spirit, like Madonna, who played Susan in DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN, one of my favorite movies of all time.

I want to be Susan. Susan never used a coaster. Susan used to color her nails with a black marker. Susan used to dry her armpits with the hand dryer in the Ladies Room. Susan glued seashells to her phone.

Susan was wild! Susan SPAT on coasters!

Well, okay, we never actually saw Susan spit on coasters in the movie. But it is something you could imagine her doing.

Of course, Susan never used coasters because

a) she had no home, and

b) she had no furniture.

And if Susan did have furniture, it would have been funky used furniture she bought from a thrift shop and painted in tiger stripes or whatever.

My furniture isn't from thrift shops, nor is it painted in tiger stripes.

But still. I don't want to be a coaster user. I want to be like Susan—a free spirit! I want a phone with shells glued to it, like Susan's! I want to use a drum holder or whatever that was as a suitcase, like Susan did! I want to wear underwear as outerwear, like Susan! I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO USE A COASTER!!!!

So, more often than not, I don't. Use a coaster, I mean.

Which is how I got nail polish remover on the very expensive bedside table.

I just put the bottle down for a second, I swear! Then when I went to pick it up, I saw the ring.

The ring the exact size of the bottom of the nail polish remover bottle. The ring that had eaten through the finish off the top of the table.

In fact, the finish looked as if it had been brutally shot, and left for dead.

I knew I was in trouble.

Susan tried to help out. She tossed her curly blond locks and said, “Whatevs! It's not like I didn't pay for that table with my own money!”

But even my inner Susan knew what I had done: I had ruined a beautiful table. Because I hadn't used a coaster.

Of course, the first thing I did was get out the black magic marker. As Susan showed us in the movie, black magic markers can correct almost any ill, from covering up white stitching you don't like on those boots you bought by mistake, to fixing chipped black nail polish.

I tried coloring the wood-colored ring, since the finish on the table was black.

No good.

So I sat there for a while, wondering if I should just come clean and get the lecture.

Then I was hit with a stroke of brilliance—the kind of thing Susan would have thought of. Of course! Black nail polish!

I filled in the ring with black nail polish.

And okay, it looked pretty bad.

But not as bad as before.

The only thing is, you could still see that there was something wrong with the table. I mean the rest of the tabletop is covered in black high gloss lacquer, then right at the edge, there's this rough spot that's kind of got these gloppy bumps in it where the polish didn't go on so smoothly because I forgot to shake the bottle.

That's when I was hit with another stroke of genius, courtesy of Susan:

I WOULD JUST COVER THE BUMPY SPOT WITH A COASTER.

No one would ever know. Unless they picked up the coaster.

Except that it turns out no one can pick up that coaster. Because the nail polish wasn't exactly dry when I stuck the coaster over it, and now….

Well. You get the picture. That particular coaster won't be moving anywhere soon.

But hey. At least now I can't forget to use it. Because it's built right in to the table.

More later.

Much love,

Meg