Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Guiding Light (or, Fractured Fairy Tale)
No, not the TV soap opera. Just a fairy tale about my house and hunting down the elusive shade for my kitchen light fixture (seen above).
Once upon a time Mike built a house on spec. It was a big, pretty house with lots of pretty features. Mike cut lots of corners when he built this house, but no one ever knew about that until much, much later. Mike spent a lot of money building a fancy kitchen in the house. There were granite counters and fancy appliances and three chic light fixtures. Mike and his family lived the in the pretty house for a little while and then flipped it a few months later.
Alto2 and WineGuy came along at just the right time and bought the pretty house for their family. They moved in and started fixing things right away. Alto2 learned how to replace light switches, re-attach doorknobs, and hang 9-foot interior doors that magically fell off their hinges. Alto2 had lots and lots of fun tools in her toolbox; she had lots and lots of spackle, too, to fix all the holes her three darling boys made in the walls.
One day, many years later, Alto2 picked up her three darling boys from their school. Except they weren't being so darling that day. They were very bad boys that day. They fought in the car. They fought in the garage. They fought in the house. One of them even threw his shoe at his brother. But he missed. And he hit a chic light fixture instead. The glass went crash and smash. Little tiny pieces of chic glass littered the lovely granite counters and hardwood floors. Alto2 was very angry. She looked a lot like this:
But a lot LOUDER!
The next day, Alto2 and her three darling boys drove all around town looking for a new shade for the chic fixture. They didn't find one that day. Three days later, Alto2 ventured out again, this time with the darling boy who broke the fixture, because he was home sick from school. Again. They went to Lighting Store 1, who couldn't match the fixture but kindly offered to sell Alto2 three brand new fixtures for her kitchen. Price: $300, plus installation, because the ceilings in the pretty house are sooooo tall. They went to Lighting Store 2, who couldn't help Alto2 at all. They went to Lowe's, thinking it would have replacement shades; it did, but nothing like what Alto2 needed. So, Alto2 drove home, despairing of ever fixing the chic light.
She arrived home and EUREKA! Alto2 remembered what the lady from Lighting Store 1 told her, "Find the name of the manufacturer in the cap of the fixture." So, Alto2 ran out to the garage, dragged the ten-foot step ladder into the pretty house and right into the pretty kitchen. She climbed up, up, up to the ceiling. She unscrewed the cap of the fixture and took it all apart. Lo and behold! There was a sticker with the manufacturer's name! And it was still legible.
Alto2 practically jumped down off the ladder and ran right to her trusty computer. She asked the oracle, "Google, Google, in the ether, who has made my chic light fixture?" Google answered in 0.12 seconds, "Kovacs ... George Kovacs." Alto2's fingers flew over the keyboard as she narrowed in on the elusive shade. She found a store in The Ether; that store had an alphabetical listing of Kovacs lighting. Alto2 searched ... A ... B ... C ... Cones! The fixture's name was "Cones". Alto2 called the store excitedly, begging them to get her the glass. The store said, "No glass. Call the manufacturer." Alto2 called the manufacturer who said the fixture is still being made, and the glass is available. Oh, joy! Oh, heartbreak, when the manufacturer said, "We can't sell to you directly. You'll need to place a special order from one of our retailers in your area." Alto2 fired up the retailer-locater and found that, verily, Lighting Store 1, was an authorized dealer. Exultation! Alto2 called and e-mailed the nice lady at Lighting Store 1. The nice lady actually called her back and said, "They have nine shades in stock. How many would you like?" Alto2 really wanted to say, "All of them," but she restrained herself and said , "Two, please."
And so, the nice lady ordered the glass shades. The manufacturer will ship them, and Alto2 will have them in a fortnight.