"The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Ah, There's The Rub

Should one care to research my wife’s genetic origins, I’m convinced they would find she and Martha Stewart waded in similar gene pools. For while in my world there are only two shades of any color – light and dark – hers is one where there are no fewer than 134 different shades of what I would simply call … green.

This unique ability isn’t only limited to colors as her Stewart-esque similarity virtually blossoms in the kitchen. While I can open the refrigerator and stare blankly for an hour only to find the lone piece of suspect turkey I conveniently left in the container the previous time I attempted to feed myself something other than Cheez-its, she will extract from the same Kitchenaid appliance the ingredients with which she will produce a gourmet meal rivaling that of anything ever featured on the cover of Bon Appetit.

In addition, other manifestations of this talent appear as well. For example, by simply rearranging a few items within a room – such as a photo, a chair or a No. 2 pencil – she can completely transform the look and feel of the space; so much so that on more than one occasion I’ve gotten so confused, I had to Google my address to insure I was indeed home.

So it came as no surprise to me a couple of night’s ago when Beth and I were sitting on the deck enjoying the night’s cooler air and a bottle of wine, that she produced, seemingly from thin air, a fabric swatch-book the size of a Buick and began showing me approximately 429 different patterns, a couple of which she intends to use for the purpose of recovering two chairs.

It should be noted that at different times, both of these chairs have somehow become the property of either Reilly, the 80lb Golden Retriever or Mocha, a similar sized Chocolate Lab who was blessed with claws meant for a grizzly bear. Both are horribly spoiled and between the two of them, shed the equivalent of 40 metric tons of fur each and every day.

So needless to say, I have no problem with her chair restoration plans.

However, I have no ability to offer constructive opinions relative to the 429 different patterns firmly ensconced within the binder of the Buick sized book. Therefore, all I was capable of doing was to stare blankly as she thumbed through the swatches, speaking a language I didn’t understand. Recognizing I was fast slipping into an interior design induced coma, I tried my best to maintain the appearance of one fully engaged by occasionally nodding and grunting at what I felt were appropriate times.

Suddenly I was jolted from my stupor when I heard Beth utter the following phrase, “… and this one is rated at 30,000 double rubs …”

30,000 double rubs … what the hell is that?

Well for those like me – clueless in the ways of all things cloth – a double rub is a testing method whereby a fabric’s surface is rubbed back and forth repeatedly until it wears out. Now in reality, this process is done by a machine but I immediately began to ponder what a position as a manual double rubber might entail.

For instance:

What qualifications might be required for such a position?
Would one be paid hourly or by the number of rubs rubbed?
Would there be different styles of rubbing developed and employed?
Would there be a Professional Double Rubbers Association?
Would universities offer graduate programs – an MDR perhaps?

And after retiring from a 30 year career as a double rubber, would there be a federally funded benefit program to compensate for having double rubbed one’s hand down to a nub?

I will never look at fabric in the same way again.


Anne said...

You mean someone actually has that kind of job? Or do they just supervise the machines doing all the rubbing? And, really, which is worse????

Bill Lawfield said...

No comment on the double rubbers, thanks.