Kris and I are fairly bright, but last night we were almost defeated by a bed.
Since we've moved into the house, we've continued to acquire missing pieces via craigslist. In the past few months, we've purchased:
- 67 x 36 antique mirror with beveled edge: $45
- Another mirror, battered but okay: $20 and a long wait in traffic
- Solid cherry Dania shaker desk: $175 and buyer's remorse (this is the only craigslist transaction we regret; we paid way too much for this)
- A housekeeper to perform a final, thorough cleaning on the Elm house: $75?
- A futon bed/couch for in front of the television: $100 and frayed tempers
- "Cool, stout wooden chair" for the smoking porch: $25
- A 30 x 60 folding table: $30
- Two shelving units stolen from Borders by disgruntled employees: $20
- A dozen raspberry starts and a cubic yard (or more) of fresh manure, all delivered: six roses
- Free-standing metal cabinet that matches those in our kitchen (this could be used as a kitchen island, but Kris has it in the mudroom for now), delivered: $75
- Newer double bed with metal frame: $50
The most important thing to remember when looking for things on craigslist is that you must be both patient and impulsive. This may seem like a paradox, but it's true. First, you must know what it is you want. And then you must be patient, waiting for that thing to be listed.
If you want a Bianchi Volpe touring bike, you may have to wait weeks or months. On the other hand, you must act immediately when you see something listed that you want. Didn't know that you wanted to trade roses for manure? Well, act now before the chance is gone. Didn't know you wanted a vintage fold-away typewriter desk? Well, act now before the chance is gone.
When you see something you want on craigslist, you need to send e-mail immediately or you'll lose your chance.
For two months, Kris has been watching craigslist for a mattresses and a bed frame. The guest room has sat bare, unable to host guests during this period. Beds came and went on craigslist, but never exactly what she wanted.
The other day, her ideal bed finally appeared. She contacted the seller immediately and arranged for us to pick up the bed, which we did last night. As per our usual craigslist routine, I borrowed the van from work, we grabbed some cash from the ATM, and we headed to the seller's house. The whole process went smoothly. We picked up the mattress, drove it home, hauled it up the stairs. And here our troubles began.
The metal bed frame comprised two nearly identical pieces: side rails with two smaller, adjustable wing rails that folded out and needed to be assembled somehow with a bracket and a screwy-inny-type-thing.
We sat on the floor, in the guest room's fading light, and snapped at each other, and forced the various rails this way and that, but nothing worked. The holes didn't align properly. The screwy-inny-type-thing wouldn't screw in. The bracket didn't seem to bracket anything. We snapped at each other. "Stop moving your side," Kris said. "Do it yourself," I said. And I stomped away to that almighty fountain of wisdom: google.
But I couldn't find instructions on how to assemble a bed rail. "I can't believe this bed is winning," I shouted to Kris.
I sat at the computer and sulked. Kris sulked on the floor of the guest room, the evil bed rail in her lap and hands.
Then, on a whim, I did an image search. What do my wondering eyes should appear but a diagram showing bed rail instructions (poorly translated from some foreign language). And look! We'd been approaching the task all wrong!
I zipped over to the guest room, sat on the floor, and showed Kris the completely non-intuitive manner in which the brackets and the screwy-inny-type-things held the bed frame together.
The bed frame hadn't defeated us after all.
To celebrate our victory, we decided to watch something from Netflix. Our options were The Station Agent; Goodbye, Lenin; or the first disc in the Horatio Hornblower series. I chose Horatio Hornblower.
Kris groaned when she saw the ships and the sails and the rough men at sea. "I'm going to bed without you, I guess," she said. But she didn't. She stayed for the entire film. And at the end she declared, "Horatio Hornblower is so much better than Captain Jack Aubrey. Horatio Hornblower is a man you can respect!" I guess that means we'll be watching the other discs in this series eventually.
As we were turning off the lights, Simon jumped on top of the new guest bed. Nemo darted underneath. They swatted at each other, as cats will do. And then they looked at us as if to say, "Thanks, mom and dad, for the new play area!"
And that was our evening.
On this day at foldedspace.org
2003 — Poetical Interlude In which I share some of my favorite poems and ask YOU to do the same.
2002 — wine, cheese, and poetry last night kris and hosted a semi-spontaneous gathering for wine, cheese, and poetry.