I mentioned in my last post that I was working on my trousseau (collection of things for my house once I’m married). Well I guess that is partly true, and partly it is that Drew and I are constantly collecting things we aren’t necessarily saving for the future, but stuff that he needs for his house (well apartment) right now. It has come a long way since last year. It was just about this time last year that we were shopping for a mattress for him because he had slept on an air mattress for the entire first semester of living in New Orleans. It wasn’t even one of the double ones, it was one of the thin ones (for camping) that he got at Walmart for like $14. (Not comfortable. I sat on it one day and my butt was touching the tile floor!)
So anyway, this year he has a bed, a small dining room table, and chairs! (for a while he didn’t have those and if I wanted to sit at the table I had to sit on boxes. The boxes wouldn’t hold Drew, so he couldn’t sit at the table.) Mainly, we’ve been collecting kitchen stuff though. I live in the dorms at my school, but I’m over at his house pretty much everyday to make dinner because I love to cook. Cooking relaxes me and gives me something that I can do for a little bit other than homework. This summer we (when I say “we” I mean “he”) bought a nice set of stainless steel pots and pans and since then we’ve added in some utensils, a casserole dish, a tart pan, salt and pepper shakers, a coffeemaker, dishes that he couldn’t break when washing, and other various kitchen items. It is really coming together. Well, not aesthetically, but as far as functionality, it deserves an A. We haven’t spent much on decorations and stuff yet. The walls are plaster coated concrete or something incredibly hard, so I can’t get any artwork to hang. 🙁
Anyhow, I said all that to say this. Lately he has really been needing a desk. He has his own web design business, and also works for two other technology based companies and so he does a lot of work at home. He had been sitting on the bed (the only real piece of large furniture in the room) but that wasn’t working well. I really wanted him to have a space in the apartment just for work, so it would be easier to separate home from work. (or at least I think it would make him feel more productive to have a better working space) So we decided to go visit the various used furniture stores to see if we could find a nice sized wood desk that we could fix up. At the first several ones, we had no luck. They want a lot of money for crap in this city. Just as we were about to quit and head home, we saw a thrift store. We weren’t even sure if it would have furniture, but we decided to give it a try just in case.
That was the nicest thrift store I have ever been in. It was clean and everyone was super friendly, and it just had a cool atmosphere. They ended up having a lot of furniture too. They had it all arranged and staged to look like little rooms too. I found this really cool big rug I liked, but they didn’t want to sell it because they used it in the displays. Drew found a desk, that wasn’t the exact thing he had in mind, but the size was perfect for him and made of wood. It was one of those big executive looking ones with drawers on one side and it was stained in a mahogany color. Even better, they only wanted $50 for it. Drew told them he would take it.
They (Drew and the people at the store) loaded it up in the car (Drew’s Escape). That was kind-of a challenge. We had to fold down all the seats and ride home with part of the back of the car open and my lap full of junk from the backseat. The biggest problem however, was once we got home with it. We take it for granted that at home (in Illinois) we have dads, brothers, friends, neighbors and lots of people around to help us move things or help with things, and in New Orleans it is just us two. Plus, I’m not much of a heavy lifter. We didn’t have anyone else that we could call and ask for help, so we had to figure it out on our own. Well, I won’t take much credit. I didn’t really help much. It was cold and the desk was heavy and I was stressed about how we were going to fit it in the house, so I went inside and started taking down the Christmas Tree to make room for it, and left Drew outside to figure out how to get it inside.
The desk easily weighed at least 200 pounds. I’m not really sure how he got it out of the car, but he did it by himself. He then somehow made it across the yard and to the door by scooting it around and pulling and shoving and lifting, and I’m not even sure how he did all that, but he made it to the door. Now this is where the real problem arrives. There is no way this desk is going to fit into the skinny apartment door. We spent a good couple hours pushing and pulling and turning and lifting and trying to get the desk through the door. Drew tried to take it apart, but it was made well and wasn’t budging. At one point we got it stuck in the doorway and couldn’t get it in or out. Drew was on the outside and I on the inside. I had to take the apartment door off by myself to give us a little extra room. It still wouldn’t come in. I got stressed again and went to clean the kitchen, start dinner, and I even washed the dishes to not have to help with moving the desk. After I had ran out of other things to do, I went back to see what Drew was up to. He had unscrewed the drawers and taken them out because they kept falling out of the desk when he was moving it. We had both kind-of lost heart that it was going to fit through the door. It was too wide on all sides and we could get half of it through by turning it, but the frame part for the drawers wouldn’t fit through. We had already scratched up the sides of the desk even more and scratched half the paint off of the door frame.
It got to the point that we debated just leaving it on the curb for someone to pick up. We didn’t know what else to do and the house was getting cold with the door being off. Finally I told him to break the drawer part off completely. If he took that apart or broke it, then we could at least get in inside and wouldn’t have wasted $50. We could maybe put the drawers back on later, but it was either no desk at all, or a desk with no drawers. He was a little sad to get rid of the drawers, but at that point, we were both stressed and exhausted.
It took a little bit, but he got the drawers off, we got it inside, we put the door back on, cleaned the apartment and rearranged. I don’t know if the drawers will go back on or not, but if we want to get the desk back out the door at any other point in time, they might just have to stay off. The house feels better rearranged and Drew now has a whole office space with his nice, big desk. It looks pretty professional, minus all the scratches all over it. Whew, I’ve never been so happy to see a piece of furniture inside before. I would rather have had other people to help us, but in the end, there is satisfaction in knowing that we were able to figure it out on our own. It makes us feel a little more independent.
So anyway, the house & trousseau are making progress. 🙂