Bean Bag Theory

Have you ever tried to stuff a bean bag into a small space?  If you have, you’ll know how silly and challenging it is at the same time, like 10 clowns getting out of a mini, but the other way round and much harder.

I’ve got a brown vinyl bean bag (1 of 2) at my place that doesn’t have a spot.  My lounge room/kitchen is too small for it and when it’s not in use, it gets in the way.  Same goes for the 2 bedrooms.  The only place it’s ever fitted in is my small laundry but it sits at the outside door so you can’t use the laundry to walk through when it’s there.  In winter that’s kind of ok but it also looms in front of the laundry sink which I’m needing a lot more lately (having a toilet-training daughter).

So I decided to move it this morning.  There is no room under my bed and I don’t think it’d squash that thin anyway, so the only choice was the end cupboard.  You all have one.  It’s stuffed with things you don’t use and clothes you don’t wear but can’t bring yourself to throw out.  To add to the difficulty facing me, this cupboard door doesn’t open.  It’s the end section of 3 x 2 door cupboards and the final door is wedged in behind the window ledge so the right hand door opens but the left doesn’t.  It’s an open space behind the door so you can put stuff in from the right side, and you can already guess that behind the non-opening door is a lot of stuff I never use!

I peered into its dimness, the bottom section under the low rail full of old hand bags, posters, books, things I can’t see.  The top section is partially filled by a divided Christmas tree and two large blue cushions.  When I say large I mean at least a metre long both of them.  But I am determined to get the bean bag in there, out of the way and out of sight.

So lifting the bean bag up to chest height, I position myself diagonally in front of the gap and sort of fall at it Mr Bean style, using my body weight, hitting the target with a comfortable scrunch.  About a third of the bean bag goes in and the rest balloons brownly in front of me.  I imagine from the side I’d look like a chocolate ice cream, with my body the stick, head lost in the ice cream.  I start trying to squash it in, holding it in place with my head, one hand after the other, beans shifting to re-fill the spot the hand just vacated, probably looking like a vertical cat kneading into it’s cushion gone mad.  I stop to reassess and decide a more tactical approach is required and start encouraging the beans around the edge of the wedged door – which works!  For a bit.  Then the beans stop moving, probably having hit the Christmas tree and fight back with worthy resistance.  So, I go back to kneading the bean bag and some more of it goes in.  At this point I think it’s about half way in and that door ‘aint gonna close half way.  It looks ridiculous half in and half out of the cupboard and incredibly defiant too.  It’s smug face, if it had one, inspires me to pummel away at it again for a bit, achieving nothing except the sound of 20 children with musical shakers and I stand back thinking this is ridiculous and not working.  But I am determined.

I can see the jackets and dresses hanging on the rail next to the bean bag have been pulled in with the bag and are on an angle.  I reckon if I could just pull them out to the front, there would be more room for the bean bag to settle behind them, so I try that.  I swear this bean bag has grown hands and tries to hold onto the clothes as I squeeze my arm down between them.  Success!  I can move the clothes and the bean bag goes in a bit more.  Only about a third to go now.  I pummel some more and it yields.

But the bag still bloats out of the door and I can not close the door or seem to see any space for it to fit into.  I can’t take the cushions out because they are too big to go anywhere else too and the purpose is to free up space in the laundry.  I could take some of the clothes out and give them away.  No! screams my brain, not ready for that!  So I stand back again to assess.  The bag glares at me, immovable.  I’m going to have to give up and take it out.  But wait, is it possible if I reached from underneath, where the bag rests on the lower clothes rail, past the books and the other half of the Christmas tree that there might be a space the bean bag has not managed to fill in there?  I squeeze my hand through, feeling like a contestant on Survivor, wondering what I’m touching and I feel the bottom of the bean bag surprisingly easy to pull down a little.  The bean bag comfortably settles some more, entrapping my arm, in a soft way like being caught by a giant brown doughnut.  I squeeze my arm out again and pummel like a mad cat a bit more and finally can close the right door!  I open it to check, hearing a few too many beans begin to roll outwards and slam the door again.  I don’t need anything behind there anyway, do I?

I feel ridiculous.  But pleased.  I have managed something today.  The futility of fighting a bean bag into a tiny space feels like a day, a week and all the months of this journey through illness.  Ideas, success, exertion, failure, feeling beaten, more ideas, trying again, failure.

I doubt if this is enough to rival Spoon Theory (described here)!  Any day now my daughter will probably ask me where the bean bag has gone – she cried for about 10 minutes the other day when I moved the couch –  but I suspect it’ll be easier to get out than it was to get in.  And I’ve also realised the winter quilt now has nowhere to go when summer comes but for today, I’m calling this – success.

I’ve added a photo – looks easy huh?


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