Events/experiences, viewed in retrospect, re-teach valuable lessons, bring deeper appreciation of basic truths about ourselves, about life and about people. Childhood memories, eyes being bigger than my stomach. Or was it biting off more than I could chew?
Driven home on a Friday night.
Crazy afternoon – list of errands, car-load of things to move to my new home, pick up dog food, grab a pizza, re-join the Y in Shawnessy, unpack things, maybe stop at the Farmer’s Market, and eventually land home to do some work. Maybe an evening workout.
Things don’t always work out as planned.
Perversely like some Cinderella slipper allegory, bigger than a breadbox, some things just don’t fit.
I’ve always been that mix of foot-dragging procrastinator and hasty-impulse decision maker. That used to trouble me until I read Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow”. In so many ways he explained me to me, but I digress …
The scene: IKE parking lot, my treasure on a cart outside a yawning door. Like a wrong-sized shoe, it wouldn’t fit.
The problem: pine table (I’ll stain it and use it as a new coffee table to replace the ratty old pair of faux-antique green chipped-paint old treasures that played that role for so many years) bargain I’d so quickly snatched, wouldn’t fit in my car.
I’d come back to IKEA (great Friday evening fun).
Earlier I’d checked out an office/desk combo unit for my new-home office. Would be great – matches other things (IKEA ones). Perfect. Priced IKEA way – 3 legs @$40, piece B@ $80 .. and so on. Well engineered, perfect for me but component tally pushed my decision into ‘think it over territory’. I observed IKEA staff work stations used that same configuration. Must be a good choice, right?
As I examined it more carefully, the big L-shape table-top piece would not fit in my car.
I headed for the exit, through that maze, found my way to the check-out area. As is my habit on rare IKEA visits, I detoured to the as-is section. Great bargains, already fully assembled, but usually nothing I can use, need or want.
But I had to look …
An ah+ha moment. There was my desk. A little worn. Sticker that would advise of damage simply said ‘store-used’. It would clean up fine. Price? $45!
No need to think this one over, but not last night. Even disassembled without over-sized boxes, this wasn’t going to work without a bigger vehicle. As I was stepping out of that aisle, I spotted this great little unfinished – and fully assembled – pine table. Not a ‘go home and think about it’ item, but more of an ‘I must have that’ moment.
I’d not lost my ardour for the desk bargain, but that would have to wait for another day.
As I sat there, my solution was clear and simple – but dependant on having a friend who is reachable, available, not busy, and who owns a hatch-back. My dial to SB with the proverbial question, “hi, whatcha doin’?” was funny. Yes, available, but on the opposite side of the city. Something about being out of gas, phone battery nearly dead and having to pee. Still, SB arrived, my table fit nicely in her hatch-back. We delivered it, admired it sitting alone in my new and virtually empty living room. I imagined how fine it will look once sanded, stained. She hadn’t had dinner. I served leftover pizza and offered to heat it up. She preferred it cold.
Yes, readers, I know – if I’d bought the desk, called SB, I’d have solved my problem quickly and wouldn’t have to go back today. If I’d called first, with “hi, whatcha doin’?” I could have bought that desk-bargain last night.
If I had, I’d probably never have noticed that pine table. And no, not enough room for both.
Today’s adventure, another rendezvous as IKEA in hopes bargain desk is still there. I’m bringing help. With a hatch-back.
Someone else may have snapped it up, but they won’t have nearly as good a story.
My day will unfold as planned, or not.
Choices will present themselves, or not.
I dialed SB to confirm timing, and was advised, “I’m at your disposal today”.
Moving has many benefits.
So does friendship.
That desk-bargain may be gone.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -1C, 31F, light snow falling, streets quiet, Gusta coated in white but her undercarriages soaked in muck, paws filthy – we watched a family loading their possessions into the back of a pickup truck, flinging them without care and that seemed at odds with happiness …so perhaps there is an unhappy story there