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.
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!