{ Monday, July 04, 2005 }

Furniture Extravaganza

Happy Conception Day to me! Happy 4th of July to everyone else!

Friday night I got it into my head that I wanted to go to IKEA. Just to, you know, see it. I informed Steady of this impulse, and he was so pleased to hear me express an interest in shopping that he hopped right up and off we went.

We didn't buy anything on the first trip. We just wandered around checking out furniture and taking the entire place in.

Then we went out to dinner and discussed our furniture needs. We concluded that we didn't need anything for the bedroom, kitchen or dining area. This leaves the living room and "the den" to work with.

The den is the nice way of saying "The Boy Room". My boyfriend has built a computer that controls all manner of AV nonsense and all of that lives in The Boy Room along with all of Steady's clothes (formerly alongside some bass guitars, but those found a new home in the living room this weekend). Steady doesn't like calling it his room, but it is his room to do with as he will.

Well, what his room was lacking was a way for us both to sit comfortably and watch television. At the moment, we're mostly watching 90210 and Jeopardy! (he watches more TV, but see how it works that he does that in his room on his giant television and I have no idea what it might be?) together on a daily basis, and the seating options were a loveseat and a papazan.

Steady prefers to lay down on the couch and I prefer to sit with my legs all wrapped up under me. Basically, ideally he was semi-comfortably contorted into the loveseat, I was sitting in the papazan and it was threatening to pitch me onto the floor every two or three minutes. I'm fidgetty. Less ideally, we both sat on the loveseat and every two or three minutes, I knocked over an ashtray.

For a minute, it was sounding like what he most wanted in a couch was really that it was a twin bed. Then we concluded that we both sit very comfortably on the futon and being the spare bed and all, it should really live in the spare bedroom turned Room of Wires. The loveseat could live in the living room.

"Those guitars seem to really be cramping that room up. They could live in the living room."


"I'm sure there's space in the living room for a few guitars. They're pretty. They can live with the plants and books in the living room."

"Okay, but you realize the amp will come with them. There's going to be wires and ugly electronic things if you get the basses in the living room."

"I can accept that. I think I'll panic less about the noise everytime you touch one after dark if it's where we don't share any walls with the neighbors. And they're all packed in in your little room. They can live in the living room even with the wires and ugly electronic things."

Then we moved into the living room. We decided that what we needed in here is a wall unit. We had five smaller, mismatched bookshelves in here, and the long term plan is for there to be another computer and television system/thing in here too. (Additionally, we can actually watch anything that's been recorded anywhere in the apartment on Steady's laptop. He's offered to make mine do that too.)

Steady felt strongly that there should be an area rug in here, and I felt strongly that the couch his family very kindly gave us is not my taste and just not quite what I'm looking for when I sit on a couch.

So, couch, rug, wall unit, move loads of furniture around.

Saturday morning dawned and we went shopping. Step one: futon cover. We went to the futon store where my futon came from and picked out a cover. It came with pillow cases, so we ran down to the craft store to buy some pillow forms.

Except, initially we didn't bring the cases into the store. So then we had to go back out into the relentless July heat and get the pillowcases so we'd know which size we were after. Then we grabbed two different sized pillows and the nice lady at the register had the good sense to ask if we meant to do that and Steady was sent back into the back corner of the store to find the correct one.

That took long enough that they actually sent someone else back there to help him.

Then we went across the street to another furniture store "just to see". I'd been in there before, while I was hunting for my futon. The clerk had followed me and Shelly around at a distance of about fifteen feet. We'd had quite a party walking up and down every row watching the man follow us out.

Well, this time it was a woman and I was with Steady, but the same thing happened. She followed us at fifteen paces like we were going to shoplift a fucking sofa. When we split up just to see what would happen, she managed to keep us both in her site the entire time. We looked around and it did not appear that anyone else was being followed. Clearly, I look like the kind of person who's going to casually slip an end table and two lamps into her tube top and try to make off with them.

Then we headed down the street to a strictly contemporary furniture store, just for fun. Steady fell in love with every piece of furniture in the place.

"Isn't this couch so cool? Everything is so cool! The coolest person in the world has all of this furniture in his house."
"I think it all looks a little creepy. It's like the set of Betelguese."
"Yeah! It would be like living in a Tim Burton movie!"

Fortunately, it was out of our price ranges.

We got home. It was time to wrestle with the futon mattress. The futon mattress kicks my ass every single time. It's bigger than me and quite possibly heavier and it's all dead weight. We pulled it down onto the floor and got out the cover.

There was no way the cover we bought was going to fit on the futon. Just no way. It was, like, two feet short of the end. We decided to try anyway. Much bickering later, we were taking turns trying. We'd established for sure which side was supposed to be which and then I gave up when it was still six or so inches short and we heaved the mattress back on the frame like that.

Steady looked at it and started pulling "it's just so close." Then I suggested perhaps if we tried working together and not screaming at each other, we'd be able to do it.

We have to scream at each other because we have completely different vocabularies where size and direction and space are concerned. Also, I have almost, but not quite, the spatial reasoning skills of a three week old, slightly blind puppy.

Well, we got the fucking cover on the fucking futon mattress and it's never fucking coming off again. It looks nice.

Then we spent Saturday night watching Gone with the Wind.

I missed Sunday morning entirely. I slept through it. At two in the afternoon when I finally got moving, we decided to go back to IKEA. It was concluded that I would be the proud owner of a wall unit and rug and he would be the proud owner of a new couch, in the event that this all goes to shit and we have to play mine and yours, but we'd just split the costs since they should be about even. (I brought it up, because I'm the one who talks about breakups and has a phone tree all mapped out in case of my sudden death. I like contingency plans.)

The best part of our directional communication gap came when we'd spent ten minutes bickering about whether something would be too wide before we realized we were talking about two completely different things on different walls. We were both standing in front of the shelf, looking at it the entire time.

We headed down and picked up the boxes for the furniture we'd picked out. We'd chosen a rug, a wall unit and another futon. It was our mutual favorite for a living room couch. The less that is said about the box gathering process the better.

Every few minutes Steady would look at the cart/rack thingy and then at me and say "Now you really think this is all going to fit in your car?" and I'd reply again with confidence that we'd have to leave the trunk open but that it would absolutely all fit just fine.

All of the boxes fit just fine in the hatchback. They hung out about six inches and we had to tie the trunk closed, but it all fit. We took the surface streets home. I had to drive because my boyfriend can't drive my car (it's a standard transmission), and he had to sit in the passenger seat with it pushed as far forward as I sit when I drive (which is to say, completely on top of the dashboard).

We made it home without incident. We managed to get the boxes into the elevator, out of the elevator and into the apartment... Truth be told the furniture moving and assembly process really went off well. Steady is the person you want around when it's time to put together modular furniture.

There was one casualty. My right big toe got twelve kinds of smashed under the loveseat. I had the good sense to hop immediately onto a piece of cardboard and not bleed on the carpet. It's big and purple and it fucking hurts, but I'm very certain it is not broken.

We finally finished at three in the morning. Not all of the furniture is in its final place (the couch I'm not so fond of is still in this apartment, for example). The cat is fascinated by the wall unit, and the boy is currently laying on the new futon. It all looks lovely, and if you're really lucky maybe I'll take some pictures and show you all my new furniture when we finish getting it settled.

posted by mary ann 12:03 PM