Monday, January 5, 2015

Not Better by Design

Last fall, in my husband's ongoing quest to protect me, he purchased a step stool.  He had, on numerous occasions, seen me climb up on a kitchen chair to reach things in my cupboards. In the old days, I guess I was deemed young enough to climb on anything, and my chairs were the old sturdy chrome style that could support me without problem.  But now I have wooden chairs, that sometimes get a little wobbly and need regluing from time to time. Apparently he didn't like to see me climbing on those as I may be getting a little wobbly from time to time myself.

My kitchen is green and white but the stool is red, so I don't store it in the kitchen.  Rather than go and get it, I still drag a chair over to do my climbing.  There was another reason that I didn't use it too. When caught on a chair, and confronted with the question of why I wasn't using the stool, I just said it didn't work for me. 

It was only after preparing for Christmas that I was able to explain that statement to my hubby.  I didn't want him thinking I was looking his gift horse in the mouth. I finally had an example of why it wouldn't work, and decided to demonstrate the problem.

My kitchen sink is built over the stairwell to the basement.  That means there is plenty of room between the sink and the window behind it for a shelf.  I wanted that shelf nice and clean, so I'd have someplace to put such things as pies and cookie platters for my guests, without them taking up all the working space on my countertop.  From the floor, I can reach about half way back, to wash and polish that shelf.  From a kitchen chair, I can reach all the way to the windowsill.  From the new step stool I can only reach as far as I can if I'm standing on the floor, with nothing to climb on.  The problem is in the design of he stool itself. 

The first problem is that the stool goes from it's flat storage state, to an A frame, so the back legs prevent you from putting the steps close enough to the cupboard. There is a cure for that, I know you are thinking, but I'll address that in a moment.  The second problem is that the stool has a handle that, centers itself over the top step, and keeps my knees from going beyond that.  My feet go under it just fine, but the handle holds me back away from what I'm trying to reach. 

Now, I'm sure you wonder why I don't just turn the stool around sideways, so that I can snuggle it up against the cupboard.  I tried that, and I also demonstrated it to my hubby when he suggested it.  Once he saw that the handle had me standing so that my outer foot was not only right on the edge of the step, but actually hanging over the edge, he agreed that he didn't want me doing that.  I'd get busy doing the job in front of me and slip right off that step, for sure! 

I'm sure there will be things this stool will come in handy for, but as something to climb on in my kitchen, I'm better off standing on my kitchen chairs.  If hubby thinks they are too wobbly to be trustworthy, I will remind him that I have a wild assortment of glues available in the basement.

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