My Pot Shelf Monster

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My Pot Shelf Monster
My Pot Shelf Monster

Builders described them as “impressive niches” in their brochures. These eye-catching, overhead pot shelves draped with Indian blankets, artificial plants and clay pots were featured in all the model homes we saw.

When we shopped for our new home, Sam, my husband, kept looking up at these 12-foot high shelves suggesting how we would decorate them. I remember him saying, “I love those pot shelves! Aren’t they great,” with the same enthusiasm he used when our children were born.

I said, “No pot shelves. I don’t want them.”

Sam said, “At least one in each room!”

I knew where he was going with this. He saw these shelves and the beautiful homes they were in and thought his home could look the same. It never occurred to him that to look like a model home, he would have to put things like tools and last week’s mail away!

Sam pouted, discussed, huffed and puffed, and whined. He listed pros and the cons. Finally, I decided I was too tired to listen to one more day of his reasoning. Six pot shelves were added to our house plans. I was already sneezing from the dust. As a precaution, in front of the real estate agent, I made Sam promise to clean the pot shelves for me once a year.

The trouble began the first week we were in the new house. Sam set his alarm on his day off so he could get an early start on decorating. Sam carefully moved our ladder from behind unpacked boxes in the garage and placed it in front of the shelf in our hall entry. As Sam explained when he was discussing the virtues of pot shelves, “It is the most important of all the pot shelves; it will be the first thing guests see when they enter and the last thing they see as they leave.”

Sam imagined friends driving away, saying, “Did you see the lovely pot shelves they have? One is nicer than the next. Golly, I wish we had pot shelves. They have such a sense of style. Such flare. Such savoir-faire.”

My scenario went more like, “Did you see those awful pot shelves? Disgusting! What were they thinking? How could they trash such a beautiful home with those awful shelves? And did you see that huge boulder of dust fall to the carpet when the air conditioning turned on?”

Sam climbed up the ladder with a blanket under one arm and a wicker basket under the other. As he neared the top of the ladder, a sound came from his throat like that of a sick animal. It suddenly occurred to him that our 8-foot ladder would not reach the 15-foot high shelves.

Sam climbed down, scratched his head, looked up again, and then pulled out the Visa we were not going to use. He said he would be back soon.

Two hours later, he returned, thrilled that the hardware store could deliver his shiny new ladder that morning. Looking at the receipt, I noticed a few more items, but hesitated to ask what they were.

I watched the deliveryman unload the truck. There was a new ladder, three new power tools, light bulbs, a machete, varying sizes of lumber, glow-in-the-dark duct tape and a package of M&M’s.

Sam positioned the new ladder under the pot shelf. Up he climbed once again, carrying the same blanket and basket he carried earlier.

I left the house. I took my sons and the dog, knowing what Sam is like when he is on the prowl. We went to MacDonald’s. I bought groceries. We stopped at the park. We stopped at a nearby ranch to feed the horses. We got gas. We were killing time.

When we returned, the pot shelves remained empty. Beneath each one were assorted pots, plants, sticks, blankets, glow-in-the-dark duct tape, a can of red paint, empty beer cans, a bag of pretzels and gnawed bones.

Beneath the kitchen pot shelf, Sam was sitting in a yoga position. “This may need more thought,” he said. “How much have we budgeted for pot shelves?”

I stared at him. I put the kids to bed, fed the dog, watched a rerun of I Love Lucy, called my mom, showered and got into bed.

“Well, how much?” he persisted.

I never gave him an answer.

That is when the Pot Shelf Monster became a permanent member of our family. We have been in the house for several years. Every time we have free time, Sam leads us on safari in search of pot shelf items. Other families go to movies, picnics and ball games. We hunt for pot shelf goodies. We have hunted through every mall, every crafts fair, every tourist trap and every garage sale in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Southern California and Mexico.

Along the way, Sam has collected clay pots, blankets and other unusual items, all of which he has sworn at the time of purchase would be perfect for one of the pot shelves. Our guest room has become my Pot Shelf Monster’s trophy room, filled to capacity with his rewards of the hunt, rewards that did not look right once positioned in a pot shelf.

Sam’s appearance has also changed. His neck is permanently kinked upward. He sneers and growls. His hair is more mangled and matted. He has been scratching various parts of his body with his toe claws. He has also developed a fondness for being rubbed on the tummy and being scratched behind the ear. But the pot shelves look exactly as they did the day we moved in, except they have become the home for a family of crickets.

The most frightening of all our Pot Shelf Monster’s plans is his new online pot shelf store. It is his method of reducing inventory.

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  • My Pot Shelf Monster

    Builders described them as “impressive niches” in their brochures. These eye-catching, overhead pot shelves draped with Indian blankets, artificial plants and clay pots were featured in all the model homes we saw.

    When we shopped for our new home, Sam, my husband, kept looking up at these 12-foot high shelves suggesting how we would decorate them. I remember him saying, “I love those pot shelves! Aren’t they great,” with the same enthusiasm he used when our children were born.

    I said, “No pot shelves. I don’t want them.”

    Sam said, “At least one in each room!”

    I knew where he was going with this. He saw these shelves and the beautiful homes they were in and thought his home could look the same. It never occurred to him that to look like a model home, he would have to put things like tools and last week’s mail away!

    Sam pouted, discussed, huffed and puffed, and whined. He listed pros and the cons. Finally, I decided I was too tired to listen to one more day of his reasoning. Six pot shelves were added to our house plans. I was already sneezing from the dust. As a precaution, in front of the real estate agent, I made Sam promise to clean the pot shelves for me once a year.

    The trouble began the first week we were in the new house. Sam set his alarm on his day off so he could get an early start on decorating. Sam carefully moved our ladder from behind unpacked boxes in the garage and placed it in front of the shelf in our hall entry. As Sam explained when he was discussing the virtues of pot shelves, “It is the most important of all the pot shelves; it will be the first thing guests see when they enter and the last thing they see as they leave.”

    Sam imagined friends driving away, saying, “Did you see the lovely pot shelves they have? One is nicer than the next. Golly, I wish we had pot shelves. They have such a sense of style. Such flare. Such savoir-faire.”

    My scenario went more like, “Did you see those awful pot shelves? Disgusting! What were they thinking? How could they trash such a beautiful home with those awful shelves? And did you see that huge boulder of dust fall to the carpet when the air conditioning turned on?”

    Sam climbed up the ladder with a blanket under one arm and a wicker basket under the other. As he neared the top of the ladder, a sound came from his throat like that of a sick animal. It suddenly occurred to him that our 8-foot ladder would not reach the 15-foot high shelves.

    Sam climbed down, scratched his head, looked up again, and then pulled out the Visa we were not going to use. He said he would be back soon.

    Two hours later, he returned, thrilled that the hardware store could deliver his shiny new ladder that morning. Looking at the receipt, I noticed a few more items, but hesitated to ask what they were.

    I watched the deliveryman unload the truck. There was a new ladder, three new power tools, light bulbs, a machete, varying sizes of lumber, glow-in-the-dark duct tape and a package of M&M’s.

    Sam positioned the new ladder under the pot shelf. Up he climbed once again, carrying the same blanket and basket he carried earlier.

    I left the house. I took my sons and the dog, knowing what Sam is like when he is on the prowl. We went to MacDonald’s. I bought groceries. We stopped at the park. We stopped at a nearby ranch to feed the horses. We got gas. We were killing time.

    When we returned, the pot shelves remained empty. Beneath each one were assorted pots, plants, sticks, blankets, glow-in-the-dark duct tape, a can of red paint, empty beer cans, a bag of pretzels and gnawed bones.

    Beneath the kitchen pot shelf, Sam was sitting in a yoga position. “This may need more thought,” he said. “How much have we budgeted for pot shelves?”

    I stared at him. I put the kids to bed, fed the dog, watched a rerun of I Love Lucy, called my mom, showered and got into bed.

    “Well, how much?” he persisted.

    I never gave him an answer.

    That is when the Pot Shelf Monster became a permanent member of our family. We have been in the house for several years. Every time we have free time, Sam leads us on safari in search of pot shelf items. Other families go to movies, picnics and ball games. We hunt for pot shelf goodies. We have hunted through every mall, every crafts fair, every tourist trap and every garage sale in Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Southern California and Mexico.

    Along the way, Sam has collected clay pots, blankets and other unusual items, all of which he has sworn at the time of purchase would be perfect for one of the pot shelves. Our guest room has become my Pot Shelf Monster’s trophy room, filled to capacity with his rewards of the hunt, rewards that did not look right once positioned in a pot shelf.

    Sam’s appearance has also changed. His neck is permanently kinked upward. He sneers and growls. His hair is more mangled and matted. He has been scratching various parts of his body with his toe claws. He has also developed a fondness for being rubbed on the tummy and being scratched behind the ear. But the pot shelves look exactly as they did the day we moved in, except they have become the home for a family of crickets.

    The most frightening of all our Pot Shelf Monster’s plans is his new online pot shelf store. It is his method of reducing inventory.

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3 Responses to “My Pot Shelf Monster”

  1. m says:

    Felice, you always make me LAUGH! Thanks again!!! m : )

  2. Teraisa says:

    At last, I am writing a comment using my name, rather than my husband’s! Great article, I love the lead and the rest is FUNNY. I’d love to write the rebuttal to your hubby, but I’ll keep silent! Can’t wait to see the next article.

  3. mimi says:

    I have a new house with pot shelves – could use some of that stuff. Have him text me?

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