Anyway, I woke up Saturday morning determined to be a productive, positive grown-up. I'd been carrying around a gift card from Ikea for two years (oh yeah. two years) and decided, "Fuck it. I'm going to Ikea to buy a new bed."
This seemed like a reasonable idea. It's Ikea. How complicated can it be? And there's no shame in a woman buying furniture alone. I can do this by myself without crying.
No. No I can't.
I got myself to Ikea, impressive in and of itself as the freeways of the East Bay were designed by M.C. Escher. And sure there were crowds of families all rolling around on the display couches like they were ever going to buy a boxy, ultra-modern, blood-velvet sectional.
I looked at every piece of merchandise. I might be down in the dumps but I'm still human. I considered all kinds of things. A white fur rug, perhaps? I definitely need a new coffee table? Oh! "Art"! But I'd come for a bed and a bed I picked out. This one.
With big furniture, you've got to go downstairs and select the right cardboard box from the terrifying warehouse. I nervously grabbed a big, flat, furniture roller cart thing (loosely translated from Swedish) and made my way to Aisle 26, Bin 2.
There it was, my bed. In a big cardboard box, weighing 43 lbs.
I tried to lift it, determining that if I double parked back home, I could awkwardly but surely lift this thing from my car into the house. I moved the bed onto the cart, and at that point, I was committed to the ordeal.
With my bed pulled from it's bin, I got the two huge, heavy metal additions the instructions required, and piled it all onto my cart. It was looking very big and feeling very heavy. My purchases were also incredibly hard to maneuver, and it occurred to no one at Ikea on Saturday to get the hell out of anyone's way.
So there I was, pushing this overloaded cart with a metal bed on it through the Ikea warehouse, my sunglasses slipping off the top of my head, my big handbag clunking off my shoulder onto my elbow, trying to avoid clipping others' ankles with these huge metal bars jutting out 5 inches from the ground.
And every time someone got in my way, I'd get all exasperated and passive aggressively pretend to whisper, "Jesus Christ, lady. Come ON."
I paid for everything (I got a lamp too. Obviously.) and then pushed my purchases toward the holding area, an event unto itself as they've got to make a copy of your receipt and give you a number (143) and tell you where to bring your car.
I walked back to the massive parking lot, got in a fight with a man blocking my car, finally made it out of there, got stuck in the maze of one way roundabouts leading to the loading area and found the one parking space available.
Then I stood outside next to my car, as if the Ikea concierge would come running over with my purchases. Amazingly, it doesn't work that way. I had to go back inside, back to the holding area, present my number (143) and get my fucking cart back. Then, with lots of "Jesus Christ, lady!"s, I got my shit to my car and looked at the backseat of my Honda Civic.
This'll fit. This'll totally fit.
Getting the cart not to roll away was task number one. Using my goddamn purse as brakes, I managed to stabilize it enough to LIFT WITH MY KNEES and pick up the biggest cardboard box and start shoving it in my backseat. There it goes! Almost there! It was lining up perfectly before I realized that the bed was about 6" too big. (That's what she said.)
There was no way. It was suddenly abundantly clear. What the fuck was I thinking? This big bed won't fit in my fucking Civic. Shit, what am I going to do? I was in Emeryville, alone, with a huge bed.
But I couldn't stand there staring at a bed hanging out of the back of my car all day, so I started to try and pull that bitch out. Which is when I realized. It was stuck.
Officially stuck. It wasn't budging. Somehow, I'd shifted that bed in there in a way that prohibited it from ever emerging. My sunglasses crashed to the ground, my manicure started to disintegrate clutching onto that cardboard, and people smoothly loading furniture into their Touregs started to stare.
I panicked, like a trapped animal.
A man in an Ikea shirt walked by.
"Excuse me!" I yelled. "Excuse me!" My voice cracking.
He stopped and looked at me.
"I bought this bed and it doesn't fit in my car and I tried anyway and now it's stuck and I need you to help me get it out."
He just started at me while I repeated the information. I went through this 4 or 5 times, somehow working past the language barrier to make it clear that the box that was stuck in my backseat needed to come out.
He looked at me like I was nuts, then wrapped his arms around the cardboard box and yanked. It wasn't easy, but he pulled the bed out, left it tilted against my car and then smiled and said, "Goodbye."
So I piled everything back up onto that fucking cart, locked my doors, grabbed my bag, no longer even bothered to whisper, "You need to move, Stupid" and pushed my belongings to "Home Delivery."
After 30 minutes and $80, I left my bed at Ikea and headed empty-handed back to my car. I took a deep breath, put the key in the ignition and promptly got lost...