August 07, 2012
Bedtime Story, ME Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 32
Getting back into the full swing of therapy is like riding one of those old-fashioned rope-hung tires. I just keep coming back to where I am. Not always from the same direction, but always with a different spin.
“It Is What It Is” – I hate that defeatist saying. Just because I cannot do something myself does not mean I have to settle for the mediocre performance of others’. Especially, if I am paying for it. Having just been through yet another birthday, I have to face. I’m old and don’t have enough helpful hands in my life to live the IKEA way anymore. My last IKEA assembly went mostly fine, until I had to track down a neighbor to help secure it to the wall. So that’s how I ended up at a real furniture store.
Before I go further pay close attention as I state clearly: there will be no more harassment regarding the no-bed situation. Cease and desist because: yes, I have one. Yes, I’m trying to sleep on it, but have so far have had to limit myself to experimenting on evenings when a good night’s sleep isn’t required. Miss Fred loves it and Harley Blu finds it an excellent spring-board, especially at 3:00 AM. I find it cute and aggravating.
I purchased a cute, playfully oriented white children’s suite on clearance and a full size mattress. I also took the rational adult route, and paid $92.00 for delivery and assembly. A polite delivery man calls to let me know they are running ahead of schedule and would be to me before my appointment time. Ahead of schedule is practically unheard of, right? So, I do a little mental jig and decide this endeavor could go smoothly and be well worth the relatively minimal fee.
Soon enough, they arrive and the furniture flurry begins. I have time to inspect each piece as it is placed in planned spots in the bedroom. When the assembly begins, I retreat the kitchen to make some iced tea. It’s a hot day, and it’s the polite thing to do. The sounds of soft grunts and electric screw drivers go on for a while. At one point, I hear one of the two-man crew, exclaim, “Ow!” There’s a moment of silence and then the work continues. Suddenly, they’re done. One of the men gathers up a huge arm of garbage and disappears. I never see him again. The other accepts an iced tea and asks me to sign the delivery papers. Before, I do any signing, I check the finished work. Like most rainbow-hued bubbles my happiness one are my fragile, and unfortunately short lived.
I notice a few joints that are not flush: 1/4 inch gaps are not acceptable. Because of the gaps, the platform boards are not flush, and therefore not butted-up to or supporting each other. And because of the gaps, the frame is 1.5” larger than the mattress. When I explain all that, I am told, with a shrug, “It is what it is – quick assembly furniture and pieces are not always cut perfect, but you can call the service center and they’ll send a tech out to see what can be done. Oh, and by the way you are missing a few end-screw caps.” He says they’ll mail them to me. I write down all my complaints about the bed assembly on the paperwork. The deliveryman doesn’t seem too happy about that, but I point out that it is exactly what the furniture sales person told me to do if there were any issues. I suppose I should have suspected problems were probable when she also told me about her mom’s experience with damaged furniture and how she was able to have things fixed pretty quickly. Guess I missed that warning sign.
I continue my inspection of the other three coordinating pieces. I don’t believe I am an unreasonable person. I don’t expect special treatment, but I do expect intelligent treatment. Yes, I know its white furniture, but I also know that there shouldn’t be glops of glue seeping out or greasy finger prints or oily smudges left behind. I expected at least a service-oriented wipe down.
What I didn’t expect is that both idiots felt it wasn’t necessary to wipe the blood off the furniture. Yes, that’s right – there is blood which is really wrong - on the dresser, on one of the side tables and under the mattress. I know I sound incredulous when I bite out, “Really? Is that blood?” I don’t so much drop the papers as let them drift after a brisk release and then stiffly stalk off in search of cleaning supplies and some deep cleansing breaths.
When I return, I very directly offer my solutions to the antsy gentleman, and say, “Try this. If that blood doesn’t come out you’re taking all this furniture back with you.” He looks surprised and I think he might protest, but for some reason changes his mind. Maybe it’s because one minute I was a nice iced-tea offering customer and the next minute I swung straight into an infuriated one. Maybe it's because he just saw “The Avengers,”” and was afraid I’d go full-swing into Hulk mode. Maybe it was because I was staring him down and pushing the rag and sponge into his hands and was afraid I'd take a swing at him the moment they left mine. While he is working on all of the places I've pointed out, I look for more blood. Luckily, for both of us, I don’t find any. I also don’t find myself inclined to tip as much as I was previously considering.
If my life was a sitcom, I’d find it funny. But it isn’t. I manage to laugh, but it’s not because I’m amused. My therapist spends a good deal of time laughing at the way I present my problems to him. He says it’s great that I can keep my sense of humor. I explain, that it only seems that way because the irony of retrospect rears up and with little or no reverence finds its way transformed through my finger-tips into the comedy of errors that are my storied world. Trust me, while this outrageousness is occurring I am not laughing. I’m usually not even smiling. But if I can find a way to share the stupidity, convey a lesson and make it stick with a smile, I think I’m doing ok.
Posted by jaselin at August 7, 2012 05:55 PM