Monday, May 23, 2005

Simple Math

So I bought a couch.  I hired a Dude with a Truck and enlisted Robbie's gay boyfriend Kevin to help with loading and unloading.

The pick up was easy.  Five minutes from the previous owner's living room, down a set of stairs and into Dude's pickup truck. 

The delivery was a slightly different story.


Last night was a full evening of sweating, swearing, praying, pivoting, laughing, pounding and denying the possibility that the new sofa would not fit through the front door (given the layout of this apartment).

So far, this great deal for a 2-month-old couch is turning into a small fortune.

Let's see, shall we?  Some more simple math:

Couch = $225
Dude with Pickup = $40
Friend who tried to resist payment = $20
Pizza = $15
Hole-in-wall fixings = TBD
Touch up paint = TBD
Replacement glass for fire extinguisher = TBD
Staplegun for upholstery = TBD
Eight hours of blood, sweat, tears and laughter = PRICELESS

Reminiscent of the FRIENDS episode, "The One with the Cop" where Ross buys a couch but refuses to pay delivery charges and insists that he and Rachel can carry it through the city and up the stairs to his new apartment.  Classic Friends scene -- PIVOT!

One thing is for absolute sure -- this couch is well made.  The upholstery didn't rip, tear or fray.  The frame did not come loose, snap or break.  It did, however, bend with great flexibility, making it real easy to wedge itself between all doors, walls and people.

The only reason I need a staple gun to reattach a bottom section of the fabric is because Kevin and I (carefully) pulled it back to see the bare frame, hoping we could detach one side of the couch to get it through the door.  I'm pretty sure we'd still be out there today trying to figure it out.

It was a nice way to get to know some of my neighbors, who were very accommodating.  One woman, Rosa, was doing her laundry the entire time we kept trying different angles -- up and down the externalstairs.  Every hour she'd come by, "Still nothing?"  She offered her son's help if needed.

Thank God for Kevin.  He's a smart, strong man with the most calm, relaxed attitude of anyone I know.  He kept me laughing and breathing.

I was about to slap Dude with Pickup.  He was working hard, trying everything.  He just wasn't so...bright.  Kevin and I would make a suggestion and Dude would stick with some internal plan, forgetting two of us were on the other end.  Dude would say, "my end needs to go out" and we'd say, "our end needs to go up." 

Kevin's dialogue, never changing the tone of his soothing voice, went something like this,

couch is on the wall.

Dude pushes couch toward wall.

couch is firm against the wall. 

Dude keeps pushing.

couch could go through the wall. 

Another push.

okay.  hole in the wall.

Ten minutes later, Dude takes a breath and looks to our side.  "Oh wow.  There's a hole in the wall."

We had it about 3/4 of the way in the apartment when we decided to try taking the legs off.  Enter: my new handy dandy girly power drill (not so girly anymore).  That helped us wedge the couch deeper into the wall.  ::sigh::  We all just kind of stood there.

It was a nightmare.  To break my own tension I announced, "OK, let's remember how we did this because I'm moving in two weeks."

Dude's head popped up from under the couch, "Are you kidding?!"

"Yes Dude.  I'm kidding."

We finally decided we needed my next door neighbor to come home so he could open his door, giving us a little more room to play with.  Somehow we unwedged the couch and brought it back down the stairs.

Dude with Pickup left.  Kevin and I ordered pizza.

When our bellies were full, we slipped into slight denial, what was the reason it wouldn't fit again?  And we decided to try one more time.  So we took Rosa up on her offer and rallied to get her son Robert for help.  [KAH-YOO-TEE-PIE!  Right Kevin?]

The men had no problem getting the couch to the top of the stairs.  They carried it like a pizza box. To them, it was light and easy to move.  The problem was with the threshold.  The couch was still too tall for the doorframe and too wide to angle in from the bottom.  Back down the stairs it went.

Rosa looked at us, looked at the couch, then back at me and said very matter-of-factly, "Now you know.  Next time loveseat."  Thanks ma.  Lesson learned.  We laughed.

I left a desperate note on Jose's (my next-door-neighbor) apartment door asking him to come find me no matter what time he gets home.  I hung out on the cushions in my living room, while the couch was at the bottom of the stairs, outside.  By 11pm he came home slightly merrier than lightly merry and he was ready to help without question.  Robert said he'd be up all night and offered his help when Jose came home.  So within minutes we were at it again.

This time we got it good and jammed to a point where I was ready to find a chainsaw.  But the men fought against the pain.  I thought for sure I'd be rushing someone to the hospital last night -- or, I'd be without a door frame.  I was less concerned about the interior wall -- the section of our apartment that makes no sense to me whatsoever.  There's really no reason for it, except that we think this used to be a three bedroom apartment, joined with Jose's single next door.

ANYWAY ... after a few grunts and swings of a hammer, we finally got the couch in here.  It looks great.  And it had better, because it's never going anywhere.  Jose and Robert say I'm not allowed to move - ever.  And Jose said he's going to tell Andrea she can't sit on this couch without first asking his permission.  I'm pretty sure he won't ever answer his door for me again.  His words, "Cup-o-sugar, what?"

As for Rosa, she was way more concerned about the damage to the couch.  God love mothers.  They keep things balanced.  There are scuffs of plaster on the upholstery but with a little tedious peeling, it'll come right off.  We were all surprised.  This is one tough sofa!

But let it be known, we were right:  The couch fits!   Happy Birthday to ME!


sistercdr said...

Well congratulations and a late happy birthday.  What a way to spend your day.

mkolasa101 said...

Great couch, I felt like I was re-playing a scene from "Friends" or maybe even a Lucy re-run. LOL  Hey is that a double-recliner couch?


dkb11161970 said...

happy birthday to you, groovee girl!!  grins, debra

jennipooh3597 said...

LOLOLOL - I actually giggled out loud with your comment to the guys about moving in two weeks :)  Comic relief?  he he  I'm glad you got the couch into the apt.  (I've discovered that couple of inches gained by removing the bottom feet of the couch as well ;)  (oh, *and* asking the neighbor to please, please, please help me out by allowing me to use part of *their* apt. as well... LOL)  Funny what you'll do for a couch, huh?  ;)  Glad you're looking more settled... and despite the couch incident... appear to be feeling pretty sane!  Yay!  L, Jenn

sunflowerkat321 said...

What a way to spend your birthday!!  It looks GREAT!!  What a story...but I think it was worth it!

viviansullinwank said...

OMG  {{{{{ fREEE}}}}}  

Happy Birthday.....I wish it was a less hectic one!!!


captgray2000 said...

That was funny! I have to remember that when it's time to buy a new couch. Happy Birthday!

kuhlhiggins said...

Happy Birthday. Glad you got the couch in.

meiru13 said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(This is Julia aka the lurker.)

krobbie67 said...

I think I remember cringing when I saw the patch work on that corner then reasoning that people probably damaged it by trying to move furniture in and out. Oh how little I knew!!

Although I heard most of the story, I think you held out on some of the funniest parts. Loved the two week move quip!

Can't wait to test drive the couch! It looks great! :-) ---Robbie

andreakingme said...

Ohmigod, what a great way for me to start my day! Yeah, I know you told me the blow-by-blow, but getting to read it in your words (with photos!) is a gut-splitter, woman. Ohhhh MAN! Too. Frigging. Funny.

I gotta ask Jose's permission before I sit? Humph.

mikethedawg said...

Gawd like I totally love your new hole in the wall, I mean COUCH, I TOTally love your new couch.
Um, yah, I woulda had the chainsaw out hours ago! Patience is a virture (that I do not have.)
Thanks for the laughs sweets, your story made me feel like I was there standing behind Dude with the truck, looking at him like he's some kinda idiot!
Oh, and I like the sounds of Robert...he's dark skinned isn't he, I can tell, I lUV those dark skinned men! mmmm.

mlw1456 said...

Freee --- I just love what you did with the place! Most people hire a decorator when they're at a loss for what to do with all those extra walls. But no --- not you! You're determined to leave your own mark --- literally!!! :)  "So creative, that Livingroom Superstar!" I've been keeping up with your move ... just haven't had a chance to comment. Glad all is going well (minus the walls, and the fire extinguisher, and ... hey, is there anything else you're not telling us?!?)  The couch looks great, and here's hoping you'll be settled in soon.  Happy, Happy Belated Birthday!  You rock, girl :) Hope you had a great day ...  God bless, ~Swirly

alphawoman1 said...

You are making me dread my move in three weeks!

judithheartsong said...

happy birthday and PIVOT!!!! I loved that scene..... you probably love it less after your recent experience. So glad you finally got that sucker in, and when you are ready to leave you can always throw it out the window. :):):) judi

kdalton857a said...

Robbie's Gay Boyfriend, Kevin, here...

Eeegads! And to think I was worried that you weren't going to be able to patch up the damage before the landlord got there...

My favorite Dude with Truck quote: "Man...If only the door were a little bit bigger, it would fit"

onestrangecat said...

I know I am late but Happy Birthday.  Hope you had a great one.


andreakingme said...

Yeah. I'm still thinking this entry's one for the scrapbook.

sepintx said...

Happy Birthday!
That's a nice couch, those walls were wrong to get in the way of such a nice couch! Bad walls, bad walls!

Holes should not be a problem but that corner damage will be a pain. When you get the drywall patch, show the photo of the corner to the people at the home repair store. I think there are form pieces to create a patch on a corner.

gabreaelinfo said...



s0ngbird1962 said...

What an ordeal!!  Thinking that couch is staying when you move
Hmmm, are you too high up to put it thru the window?  : )

Hey, and Happy Birtyday to you....

krobbie67 said...

I decided to come back and re-read this entry since I linked to it. And, y'ah know what I realized? We never even tried getting it out the door. We just tore the thing apart. LMAO!!!! :-) ----Robbie