Saturday, July 17, 2010

Let There Be Light

As discussed before, we have an issue with lighting. I've tried over the years to find lamps that are attractive and functional; but these home-decorating attempts generally saw me staggering out of stores, weeping in confusion. At one point, however, I did manage to find a pair of cast-iron (i.e., unbreakable) end table lamps at Target. And white shades that fit said lamps. I bore my purchases triumphantly homeward, believing that my search for decent living-room lighting was finally ended.

Oh, I loved those lamps! They graced our second-hand end tables and IKEA couches with a certain je ne sais quoi. They announced to the world that good design need not be fragile. On bad days, I would look at my matching sturdy lamps with their bright white fluted shades and feel fulfilled.

But those halcyon times were not meant to last. Rachel's reign of terror commenced. At one point during her rampage, she was cutting electrical cords for amusement. I know! I explained to her the danger (while diligently attempting to hide all cutting implements); and she apparently listened, as she always made sure thereafter to unplug the cord before she severed it. Little Miss Safety, we called her...

So! One of my precious lamps soon sported an attractive wad of electrical tape on the cord. Its as-yet pristine twin was subsequently shoved off a table by some forgotten kid scuffle. It survived, but the shade now hangs askew.

I got used to it. I even accepted ugly lighting as my fate. But, as hope springs always eternal, we bought a new lamp, a standing one, to go in the den. It could even employ a 3-way bulb, so that we would have a choice between lighting that was merely atmospheric and illumination that would be bright enough to read by. Hello, modernity!

But, for some reason, we never had a 3-way bulb when we needed one. So we would use a boring 60-watt (as in, not bright enough to read by) instead. But last week? Oh, last week was momentous, indeed! After almost a year of owning this lamp, I procured a 3-way bulb and actually remembered to install it. Light flooded the room, and all was well with my world.

This happy state of affairs lasted not 24 hours. You see, Theo had the temerity to tickle Susie. Who kicked. Which knocked over the lamp and made something go POP. And now? My 3-way bulb is stuck on 50 watts.

I don't know if I have the heart to try again.

[Table lamp photo credit: Furniture Complete]

[Floor lamp photo credit: Terry's Fabrics]


  1. That's a sad story. Poor thing. I've never gotten one of those standing lamps. I'm so clumsy, I knock them over. I don't even need someone to tickle me.

  2. AnonymousJuly 17, 2010

    I weep in frustration with you. Perhaps now is not the time to re-attempt a 3-way lightbulb in my own floor lamp. We've been suffering on 60 watts (or is it 50?) for over a year now.

  3. Lighting plagues me. I am still hanging on to lights that came in the second house we bought in 1985 that had to be from the 50's, simply because it seems stupid to purchase something to replace what is already providing service...even if they are ugly.

    I keep thinking my kids will take them when they move out, but sadly, no one likes my old lamps. Mind you, I have a whole attic waiting for the kids to take stuff from, and since the first two have already flown the nest and taken very little, this is not looking good.

    On another note, I just discovered one my lamps IS a 3 way! Surely no need to replace this one, it is ever so much more useful.

  4. We have a lovely stand up lamp in the living room corner behind our couch. 3 way bul. a light level for every need. Of course, it's broken. Of course, I broke it.

  5. My lamps are all mismatched and purchased secondhand. They are pathetic and sadlooking. But I like you have too many kids(boys) to worry about it until they move out.

  6. You have me in hysterics! I have SO been there lived that, only, my Target lamp had three bulbs and they melted the decorative piece around the base and it died. Plus it was ugly as all get-out, but after spending too much on expensive lamps the kids broke--and not always even my own kids--yeah.

    My kids are newly grown and I still haven't bought a decent lamp again yet.

  7. AnonymousJuly 19, 2010

    which is why we only have overhead lights at our house. Someday, after the boys move out, I have great plans for lamps...

  8. AnonymousJuly 19, 2010

    Persevere! I'm rooting for you and your lighting dreams. You can DO it!