Oh yes! So far this has been a “banner” year for me. Now, I don’t know what the exact definition of “banner” is when it’s used the way I just used it. I do know, however, that it means that the time period which is preceded by “banner” is indeed going quite swimmingly.
Anyway, 2002 (what I had been calling “the palindromic year”, but only until several other people–people I don’t even know, people whose websites I’ve stumbled upon quite by happenstance–used the phrase and thus I deemed it unsuitable for my use) has been a banner year. (I suppose I should avoid this phrase too, given its overuse, but … well … no one ever said I had to be consistent or uncontradictory.) This year, I have, at long last, finally conquered a fear that has dwelled within me for oh (and lo) so many years: I removed a cautionary label from something in my possession.
In this case, it’s my new desk. Oh, how I wish you could see it! Alas, I don’t have a scanner, or a digital camera (hints for those of you out there who wish to rid yourselves of some hard-owned moolah and invest it in my cause). But I assure you its black steel frame and light-green glass top are truly magnificent. The only thing marring its perfection (other than a few slight scratches to the frame that it incurred while being brought back to this room — scratches over which I obsessed for a few days but which now I assess as giving the desk “character”) was a glossy red and yellow label that admonished me against its removal:
DO NOT REMOVE THIS LABEL UNTIL THE GLASS HAS BEEN INSPECTED. ONCE THIS LABEL HAS BEEN REMOVED, THE GLASS CANNOT BE RETURNED.
Now, I know that I already disposed of the original carton in which the desk and glass were delivered, which, as the label also warned, would have been required for a return if I’d decided not to keep the desk. And I know that in disposing of the carton, I had already made some sort of commitment to the desk. But it wasn’t until I removed the label from the glass that I regarded my commitment as truly, fully, and absolutely (no, I will not say “110%”) complete. I had sort of picked at the corners of the label when I first set up the desk three weeks ago, but each time I thought I would go through with it once and for all, my heart would start pounding quickly, and I would have to back off. I even considered just leaving the label intact and covering it with a coaster or some other charming decorative item. That way, I would feel safe.
Well, last night I finally did it. I loomed over the desk, my shadow huge, hulking, and black against the sentinel wall, and attacked the label with all the quasi-lustful panic of an unskilled murderer. “Come on … come on …” I whispered, as the edges curled up and I committed myself to the commitment. When it was all over, I backed away from the desk, now denuded of its protective label, and actually said, quite aloud, with more than just a touch of triumphant self-congratulation, “Yes! You did it!” My heart pounded quite fiercely. I felt like I’d actually “won” something. Like I’d really accomplished something. Like I’d actually made a commitment to keeping the desk.
Someone, please. Commit me.