Thursday, August 18, 2005

parents and shopping

Well, my parents went home yesterday. They were visiting from last Friday until yesterday, which is part of the reason I didn't have time for blogging. The plan was that they were going to help me shop for furniture for my new apartment. Mom was going to do the color coordination and Dad was going to help me put it together.

It was pretty much a disaster. Saturday we visited Ikea because almost everyone that I mentioned furniture shopping to recommended it. They must all be punished. First of all, Ikea designs their stores so that you can't just go to the sections that you want. They create a winding path through the store and force you to walk through the entire damn building. We went through the top floor first and had to ask a clerk how to get out of the store without going through the entire bottom floor as well.

We didn't buy anything the first day because we thought we would have to rent our own truck. On the way out we saw signs indicating that Ikea would deliver, but by then I was too tired to care, so we just left. We talked about it, and decided to go back the next day and pick up the things we had picked out the first day. After another interminable trek through the store, we got to the warehouse, only to find that two of the three items were out of stock. It's just as well because it looked like the checkout line was about an hour long and I would have abandoned the merchandise long before we ever got to the front of the line.

The next day we decided to go to Scandinavian Designs. The furniture was clearly better quality but there was nothing that I really liked that was within my budget. I picked out some furniture that I wasn't too wild about, just because I wanted the process to end. Also, I wanted my folks to see the results because they had put in so much effort. Unfortunately, Scandinavian Designs doesn't let you just go pick up you purchase. You have to order it and pick it up a week later.

I decided not to get the stuff. None of it was my first-choice anyway so there was little reason to get it if I couldn't get it that day. The only advantage would have been that it put an end to the shopping. Actually, that is a pretty substantial advantage, but I really didn't like the color. I only like dark colors for furniture and this furniture was cherry, which is a pretty light wood. Why is dark-colored furniture so hard to find?

We did pick up some floor lamps, bathroom fixtures and a few other things at Target and some bed frames at a neighborhood mattress shop (I already had the mattresses). I'm still without dining-room furniture or any living-room furniture except for a couch that I moved from the previous place.

So, here I am, a week's worth of horror behind me and untold days of furniture shopping still ahead.

But I'm still glad my parents came, not only because I enjoyed their company but also because they gave me all kinds of useful information that I, as a mere 44-year-old couldn't be expected to know. Things like the proper way to close window blinds, what kinds of carbohydrates to avoid, how to lock my front door, when to turn the heater off, and how to merge onto a freeway. My dad has, however, apparently given up his efforts to get me to drive slower and has resigned himself to my habit of eating one thing at a time from my plate, and my mom has apparently given up trying to get me to cook.

It's slow progress but it is progress.

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