Wednesday, October 10, 2012


We arrived in San Francisco on a Tuesday afternoon. On Wednesday, we had to return our rental car and pick up a small moving van. Because what is moving without a trip to Ikea?

Like our previous Ikea excusions, Dave and I intended to gather the boxes, load the van, and carry the furniture into the apartment all by ourselves.

What were we thinking?!?!?!

I guess it's fair to say we exhausted our brainpower during the first part of the move because seriously, what the heck were we thinking?

This whole Ikea trip was an exercise in Murphy's law.

Tuesday night, otherwise known as Ikea Eve, we realized -- after every single store had closed -- that we had we packed our measuring tape in a box that was not scheduled to arrive until Thursday. Not that we could have read the tape anyway because our apartment had no light and we had no lamps.

The next day, Ikea Morning, we got dressed and jumped in the car. It did not occur to either one of us that we still didn't have the dimensions of our apartment...

On our way to return the car, we got lost. Of course. For some reason, the GPS could not figure out the one-way streets of downtown San Francisco (it reminded me of this scene from 'The Office'). We ended up returning the car sixteen minutes late and we were charged for an extra day. Jerks.

Now carless, we had planned to take a cab to our next destination, to pick up the van. Oh sure, no problem. Except the iPhone 5 announcement/press conference had just ended a few blocks away (which, despite how difficult it made out lives in that moment, it was pretty cool; the excitement in the air was palpable). It took us another 45 minutes to hail a cab.

Our visit to the U-Haul store was mostly uneventful except for the fact that the manager used our paperwork to kill a spider, then picked up the corpse, chuckled, and asked if we wanted it "for our records." Um, no thank you.

Alas, we made it to Ikea. But while trying to park the van, we soon discovered that California is not subtle about their preference for small cars. Every single spot was labeled 'compact only.' After circling the lot a few times (our van was too tall for the garage), we decided to park in the very last spot in the very last row of the very empty parking lot. Maybe no one would notice?

An hour later, we were sitting on our newly selected couch, debating which shade of grey to get, when we heard the announcement. 'Would the owner of a U-Haul van with Arizona plates please call the operator?' Oh crap. That's us.

No phone or employee to be found anywhere, we decided to just go outside and move the stupid van (but not through the front door, no, that is not allowed; you have to wind your way through the whole store to exit by the registers). The parking lot was still deserted, of course, but we hopped in the van and began the hunt for a new spot. On our way past the loading area, we saw it. A monstrous -- and very illegally parked -- U-Haul truck with Arizona plates blocking traffic in both directions. Really? I mean, really!?!

And so we returned to the very last spot in the very last row. Sigh.

After four more painstaking hours of guessing what furniture might fit within the dimensions of our new apartment, we finally reached the warehouse. Now all we had to do was pick out the inventory. No biggie.

Ha! When the first item took up an entire cart, (seven huge boxes for one tv stand!?) the panic began to set in. I couldn't even push the cart. How were we going to manage this? We still had a couch, a mattress, two dressers, two bookshelves, end tables, a sideboard, a desk, and the list goes on...

Overwhelmed and on the verge of tears, it occurred to me: Ikea delivers!!!

And so, for the very first time in our adult lives, we signed up for delivery (did you know they even pick the items for you?!). Folks, we are officially moving up in the world.

Dave calls it the best decision of our lives: the $129 that saved our marriage.

I couldn't agree more :)

P.S. Everything fit!! Except we have really tiny furniture in the bedroom because I was convinced the space was smaller than it really is... Oops.

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