Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flames on the Side of My Face

There are some fundamental truths I know about Michael and I. And I go through life understanding those truths and manipulating life circumstances to deal with these unmovable facts.

One of these truths is that Michael does not do furniture assembly.

He can if he has to. But what typically results is (1) a slew of profanity so loud and vile it would embarrass L'il Wayne, (2) a few extra pieces, bits and bobs are leftover after assembly is complete and (3) an epic battle launches between the two of us on whether or not directions are necessary and why I am incapable of reading his mind as to what he needs me to do in order to be helpful.

The upside is, I am one of those rare freaks of nature who loves to assemble furniture. Operating manuals and assembly instructions are written in a special Jen language that I natively understand and love. And so, furniture assembly falls under my purview.

A lifetime ago my mother was in town and wanted to buy baby furniture for The Bean. So she did. And because for some inexplicable reason it takes 8-10 weeks for the evil baby industry to get baby furniture from one location to my house, the furniture arrived today.

Leveraging the frequently under-utilized tool of forethought, I added furniture assembly and trash hauling to the already ridiculous costs of baby furniture because I would be 8 months pregnant by the time it got here and there's no way in hell we'd let Michael assemble something so critical as a crib.

Bliss ensued and what could possibly go wrong...

Oh, interwebs. One day I'll learn.


Having completely forgotten about the baby furniture, I was pleasantly surprised when the delivery company called me earlier this week to tell me the magical baby furniture-making elves (who are the slowest workers ever, by and by) were done with The Bean's furniture. Would I be ready between 10-12 on Wednesday to have them drop the furniture off?

Would I!?!?! But of course!! And everything was chocolate cupcakes topped with sparkly, rainbow sprinkles and fairy dust.

Until today.

At 10 AM I began the obsessive-compulsive look out the window every 5 minutes routine; sometimes quickening my pace if I heard something that remotely sounded like a large truck full of furniture.

This lasted until 3 PM when I finally gave up hope.

At this point you might be asking why I didn't call the furniture store to see where The Bean's furniture was. Well, you see...I had put the receipt for the furniture in the closet in The Bean's room. But that closet was blocked by a ton of things that need to get under the house for storage. This piece of information is going to be very relevant later, so keep it in mind.

At 5 PM, my phone rang. Hark! A gruff voice told me the furniture would be there in 20 minutes and abruptly hung up.

That was when it first crept across my mind that this was not going to be a sparkly shoes and chenille robes type of delivery. But I kept up hope.

Shortly thereafter two Brooklyn transplants showed up at my front door (which I enjoyed having grown up on Long Island), but they had clearly not been having a good day.

Head Brooklynite: Where are we dropping off these boxes?

Jen: (Chipper as can be because The Bean doesn't have to sleep in a dog crate) Follow me!



By dropping off you mean where we're setting it up, right? We had set-up and trash clean-up as part of the price.

Brooklynite: Nope. It's not on my list. In fact, I talked to the dispatcher before we got here and he specifically said this was not an assembly job.

Ugh. Of course.

Now, because I'm sneaky, I look at the guy's Clipboard of Important Things while he's getting the furniture. Hey! He left it on my table so it's free game. And wouldn't you know, right there on MY ORDER are the words "Set-up and Trash Clean-up."

I can see how those words are confusing.

I'm also completely illogical and decide that I can't point out the clear instructions right on his clipboard so I start hauling junk away from the closet so I can get my trusty receipt. Because me moving tons of junk for a copy of his piece of paper is way more convincing.

By the time all the boxes are in the house, I have my receipt in hand and point out politely how we paid to have them assemble the furniture for us. And let me point out here, by furniture I mean the crib only as the other pieces came assembled. So we are talking about ONE ITEM requiring assembly.

Evil Brooklynite from Hell: Yeah, I believe you lady. (Turns out you don't have to believe me asshole, here's the proof...) We'll do it. (Long pause) I'm terrible at assembling cribs.

Isn't that great!?!?!?

In order to really hammer home his point, he spent the next 20 minutes with his buddy assembling the crib and loudly saying things like "I hate assembling cribs," "See how cheap they make this shit?" and "Where are the directions? I don't know how to assemble cribs. I didn't have kids for a reason."

I'm inviting them to Christmas dinner this year.

Because I'm insane and am driven by a compulsive need to make everyone feel like we are kindred spirits I pop into the nursery and say "I'm so sorry to make the end of your day painful guys. Can I get you anything?"

Man I Try to Kill with My Mental Eye Lasers: Yeah, well, it ain't the end of the day, is it? That's the problem.


I may or may not be losing my mind at this point. But I manage to keep my head attached to my body and not let it explode in a nuclear meltdown because my insanity dictates that it's important to make people like you...even the dillweeds of the world.

I leave them to their hushed (think fighter jets taking off) complaining about assembling cribs.

5 minutes later my arch nemesis emerges and asks me for screws because the screws that came with the set are the wrong size. That's reassuring.

This is shortly followed by some more cursing which I reluctantly go investigate.

Stupid Man I Picture with an Axe Sticking Out of His Head: Your drill gun battery died.

No, I did not ask why he was using my drill gun.

Yes, I told him to just forget about it and that I would finish up from here (this was just for attaching the changing table top to the dresser so it wasn't a big deal and my give a damn had run out) and thanks so much for all their effort.

And then I tipped them. Because, hey, the crib actually was assembled by the end of the ordeal...although there is a missing mattress. So there's that to deal with tomorrow.

I'm emotionally available for the cocktail I can't have.


kristin said...

awww. this made my day- kind of. As I remember Charlie and I struggling to assemble our crib, me 7 months preggo and holding up large pieces of wood after returning to the store to get the instructions that were missing etc.... good times. xoxo-K

Stephanie said...

Way to ruin their day by making them do their job! I'm glad you tipped them anyway...good karma for baby.

Nicole J @ Knocked Up said...

Wowwwww. I would call the place you bought it from and complain about the service. You are 8 months pregnant and you don't need to be dealing with sh!t like that. It's not like you asked them to do anything unreasonable. It's their job, it's what they get paid to do! Jerks! Hopefully it's all glitter and unicorns from here on out for you.