Archive for February, 2010

Rules for Happiness: Never buy anything you cannot lift.

I used to have a rule about never owning anything I couldn’t carry. Ostensibly this was to do with my immense portability, love of freedom, ability to pick up and move on short notice as the whim takes me, etc. In reality it was a little more to do with the fact that not only do I want to be able to do these things, I want to be able to do them by myself. However moving to NY necessitated the purchase of furniture, which I justify by assuming if I really needed to I could just take it apart and lift it myself, because you know, flatpacks can be carried. Hah.

Which goes part of the way to explaining why I ended up stuck at the bottom of the approximately 7 steps up to my apartment, completely incapable of transporting the large flat-packed bookcase I had in my possession as far as the apartment door. You could get the rest of the way toward said explanation by taking into account the fact that I have quite probably never in my life looked at anything that fits indoors and thought “nah, I can’t lift that”.

Now, I know I am not Batman, but I have always been able to figure out a way of moving heavy things. Whether by shuffling them along the ground, dragging them,  rolling them, lifting them a few inches at a time, or whatever else presents itself as a potential solution. I have flown with 3 suitcases and a bag despite having only 2 hands, I have re-arranged large items of furniture like beds and wardrobes many times. So I assumed, despite barely being able to maneuver this thing onto the trolley at IKEA, that I would figure it out somehow.

Em, no.

First off, the damn thing was 7’ long and fucking heavy. I tried lifting and dragging, no dice. So I managed to get it upright, and then laid it horizontally on the stairs, where the top came about one and a half  steps short of the highest point. So with a mighty effort and looking ridiculous, I crouched down and pushed from the bottom and it gradually crawled upwards. Theoretically, this would have been a perfectly rational if rather foolish looking method of getting it up the stairs. Except that just as I thought I had it, everything stuck. There was a lip on the top of the stairs over which it would not go. Letting go to run up and pull it that fateful inch over was unthinkable because it would slide back down, pushing it from below was impossible. I collapsed in a mildly amused but desperately frustrated heap, and wondered what the fuck I was going to do if I could not get the damn thing out of the hall.

I would like at this point to say that desperation is the mother of invention, and that I devised an ingenious and McGuyver-worthy way of getting the damn thing into my flat. But that would be a giant lie, because what actually happened was that I realized my neighbor was at home, and feeling rather silly I enlisted his assistance in the moving of said heavy thing.

I may have set back the feminist movement by 20 years.