Lessons in Adventuring: Ask More (Or Any) Questions

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Much to my dismay (& entirely my fault), my apartment is still relatively furnitureless. I scour Craigslist with some regularity & recently joined a Yahoo Group (apparently those still exist) called Freecycle to try to score some key (free) pieces. In particular, I've been on the lookout for a nightstand & a coffee table & a microwave, though I was planning to probably just buy one of those at some point because who wants a stranger's microwave? When a friend texted to ask if I'd like to buy his coffee table & a microwave, though, I was eager to take him up on it. He sent me one photo of the two, & we made a deal for me to come pick them up last Monday night.

Mid-week, I received a shiny, new microwave - a red one! - as a really lovely surprise gift, so I told my friend I'd just be taking the table. On Monday night, I had dinner with two other friends, & when I mentioned my plans to go pick up this new-to-me coffee table when we parted ways, they had a number of questions for me.

How are you going to transport the table? I'll carry it! You cannot carry a coffee table all the way from Mount Pleasant. But it's only a mile & change! Kaaaate. As their questions persisted, I realized they were right & that I was probably bordering on delusional to plan to carry a coffee table by myself all that way. I insisted that if it was too unwieldy to carry, I'd catch a cab to help me transport it, but they pointed out that this, too, was rather irrational, given the general size of coffee tables (Did you ask for measurements? ...no...) & cabbies' general unwillingness to serve as movers.

This shouldn't have become such a thing, but suddenly it was, like, a bona fide thing, where my friends thought I was a crazy person incapable of planning basic adult errands. I hate asking for help, so I didn't - but one friend volunteered, & then she convinced the other friend to "volunteer," somewhat against his will, to secure a Zipcar & drive us out to Mount Pleasant to obtain said coffee table. I apologized profusely & tried to bill it as an adventure. Wheeeee!

Notice how I've been calling it a coffee table this whole time? But I didn't ask for its measurements? You probably know where this is going.

As we arrived at my friend's home, I could see the "coffee table" through the front door - & that's when it occurred to me that he had never actually told me it was coffee table. I just needed a coffee table, so I assumed that's what it was.

Alas, it was a kitchen table. Huge, by the standards of my apartment's square footage - dinner-for-four huge, in an apartment that sleeps no more than one. There was was no way I could've fit it into my miniscule studio apartment, & it certainly wasn't going to fit into the four-door hybrid sedan we'd rented. So I walked inside, hugged my friend, waffled for a minute, got really embarrassed, admitted I couldn't take the table with me after all, apologized profusely for the second time that night, & then walked out the door empty-handed.

You can imagine how hard my friends made fun of me when I got back to the Zipcar (which we used for a whopping 26 minutes, given our ultimate lack of transportation needs). Did I mention that just over dinner, they'd accused me of landing myself in all kinds of shenanigans that don't happen to most, you know, normal people? (Another friend refers to this as "having trouble living," a unique-to-me life descriptor.) Well, what a grand way for me to disprove that theory! And so I apologized profusely for the third time that night & returned home to my tiny, still-furnitureless apartment.

Adventure indeed. So, uh, anyone selling a coffee table...?

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