This is a true story. as a spoiler, CJ and I are still engaged.
CJ just began his new job and had worked a very full, long week. Friday night involved a lot of “Thank god I get to sleep in tomorrow!” and “Can’t wait to not have to set an alarm tomorrow morning!” and ” Don’t wake me up until at least 12!” I think you see where this is going.
On Saturday morning, I woke up and thought to myself: this is just bliss. Harley and I went for a walk, then settled onto our old Ikea couch and watched a little Say Yes to the Dress. Heaven. Our couch was slated to arrive between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., “but really more like 2:30”, they assured me.
At 9:50 a.m., my phone rang and the delivery men announced they would be there in twenty minutes.
Do YOU want to wake up your fiance with this news? Let them know that sorry you are sleeping in after a long week at work, but we need to MOVE TWO COUCHES IN THE NEXT TWENTY MINUTES?
CJ was a champ. He got right up, got the brown leather couch, and without a word, started dragging it into the guest room. The problem was, the couch wouldn’t fit through the doorway. At all. Like, never going to happen please stop trying what are all these scuff marks on the wall. Harley is very concerned about this couch in his hallway, barking at it to scare it into submission. It is upright between the guest room and bathroom, a bit wedged into the doorway. CJ is on one side, I’m on the other. Harley pees on the couch.
And then the delivery men arrive.
I buzz them in. CJ steps in more of Harley’s pee. They start bringing in the sectional. We decide that the couch cannot go down the stairs, since the new couch is coming up the stairs, so it’s gotta go…in our kitchen.
We move the Hawaiian blue couch into the guest room. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. CJ has really taken to the couch in the kitchen and asks if we can keep it there for the party.
Then I hear the words that you always want to hear on furniture delivery day:
“Uh, ma’m, did they measure this hallway before you ordered your couch?”
You know they did not.
“Yep. Yes sir. A representative from your company came and assured me this was fine.”
It was not fine. It was not fine at all.
Perhaps my favorite part was when the gentleman said “We’re going to need to bring the couch into this room first.” This room being our bedroom. The room CJ and Harley were snuggled in. I popped my head in, told him we were coming in, and he hid on the opposite side of the bed with the puppy. As if the delivery people were burglars.
Through some miracle of Jesus, we got the couches in.
And then we had to bring in the 200 pound bar.
I tried to pull a Lisa Burton and said, “Hey guys…how do you think the best way is to take our old couch down? It’s just, oh so heavy. Got any ideas?”
They did not.
And then the fun began. CJ and I start dragging it down the hallway. No problem. But remember how it could not fit in the guest room? Because of the doorway? Well guess what is the exact same dimension? Our front door.
CJ stops. He goes to the window and notices the construction.
“Dan, I don’t think we should do this right now. They probably aren’t going to let us leave it on the curb.”
“I think they will. I think this will be fine.”
“OK- but what if it’s not fine?”
(and then the words that will haunt me for the rest of our marriage)
“Then I am sure we will figure it out.”
Oh, did I mention it was snowing?
I can’t even take credit for what happened next. Although you probably would have believed me if I did. But CJ got the couch out of the apartment and down the first flight of stairs.
(yes, we did rip through one of our apartment walls in the process. yes, I did cover it with plaster before the party. no, we will not be getting our security deposit back)
As we were about to take it down the second flight, an elderly gentleman came and needed to get to his apartment. Of course.
We take it outside. There is construction. I ask the construction workers if they would perhaps like an Ikea couch. They would not.
We go back upstairs.
There is a knock at the door. I fear the couch police have come for me. Instead of answering the door with CJ like an adult, I hide between the bar and the new pretty lovely couch.
It’s our neighbor at the door; did we know that we cannot leave the couch there, the building would get ticketed, we need to move it as soon as possible.
Still snowing. A lot. Harley pees again. Lots of couches.
So we go downstairs to make a plan. CJ is not pleased with me. He reminds me how I said we would “figure it out”. CJ calls our super. Nothing. Call 311. No answer. Things are getting tense as our neighbors keep remarking about the couch and all of the trouble we are going to get in with the LAW.
And then our downstairs neighbor gives us a terrific idea. “Why don’t you just move it in front of another person’s building?”
Thank you, ma’m. Thank you. YES.
So we decide that it can’t be a long process. We have to go straight to the couch, pick it up, and move her across the street. One fluid movement. No speaking. Do not get hit by a car.
We are sprung into action. We move.
Pick up the couch.
Move to our designated cross. CJ changes the plan. Tells me to drop couch and run. I’ve already made him so angry today with my couches so I do as I am told. We go shopping for Halloween supplies, clean the apartment, patch up the walls, sit on our lovely new couch and laugh gaily at our good fortune.
Except when we wake up on Sunday morning, the couch has found it’s way back to our front door.
I do nothing. Say nothing. I haven’t seen anything. What is this couch? Whose couch is it?
Then. Last night.
Harley and I are curled up with a candle watching the new Parenthood. CJ is at his boyfriend’s house. Phone is dead.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
The couch police.
They have come.
Yet this time I cannot hide.
I answer the door in my robe. My eye make-up is smudged. This man must think I have my shit TOGETHER.
He explains, basically, what a terrible neighbor I am, how we are going to get ticketed and fined for this couch, how could I not have heeded his warning?
I tell him I’m sorry, we will move it immediately, we are so sorry.
Then he comes back. With a letter. About trash removal in NYC.
I could scream.
Harley pees on our new cream rug.
I text CJ’s mistress. Tell him he needs to come home. Couch police are back. Threatening action.
Call my dad. You know that Loew’s commercial where the daughter tells her parents that their wall is “really, really green”? It’s like that. But with more threats from the LAW.
We decide I should call 311. When I do, I hear from my best friend Carmen.
Carmen tells me the couch will be picked up by our garbage truck tomorrow because it’s garbage day. And if my neighbor has a problem with it, “maybe he should just call 311 before yelling at you all alone on a Sunday night.” Thank you, Carmen.
I let the neighbor know. Go to bed, safe and sound, knowing the couch police would not come for me and that the offending piece of furniture would be whisked away with tomorrow’s trash.
Went for a walk. Trash still there. Couch still there. No problem.
Changed for work. Went downstairs.
Trash is gone.
Couch is still there.
Start running down the street looking for garbage collectors.
Run down Columbus.
Run down Amsterdam.
Run into neighbor.
Run away from neighbor.
Find recycling collectors.
Get the phone number for head garbage person ever.
Run into neighbor again.
Pretend to be talking to head garbage person ever on phone.
“So you promise, cross your heart, hope to die, that this will be picked up today and we will not be ticketed.”
Smile, nod at neighbor, maybe throw him a thumbs up.
Run into apartment. Wait for his door to close. Go to work.
The saga continues.
Will it still be there when I get home? Will our neighbors forcibly remove us from the building? How did two kids from Miami become so hated in their UWS apartment? What can we do to right this wrong?
To be continued…