Friday, August 21, 2009


Not all the things you do "for the first time evar" with your boyfriend are romantic or even fun.

Upon reflection, this seems obvious. Calling the landlords because our hot water was busted was not fun, for example. But I was thinking of "nesting" things. Things that have to do with making your crack house a crack home. Things that have to do with you (and your S.O.) finally having enough money to consider the niceties of decor and kitchen goods (instead of acquiring home-furnishings from other friends' cast offs or the curb.)

My boyfriend and I have been to Ikea together 4 times in the last 6 months. The first time was kinda fun. We bought a bed and a few other sundries (floating candles, seat cushions, lamps and glasses that were so cheaply made that one of them broke by the time we got to the counter.) We had written down the bin number for the bed slats incorrectly. When we got there, we were looking at twin bed slats. I suggested that maybe for a full bed we should just get two sets.

When we got home and started assembling the bed our error became obvious. We laughed and decided that there was a chair we had both liked so we might as well go back. So we rented another zip car and went back to Stoughton. We decided we were definitely done with Ikea for a while. We even discussed the possibility that they made things as confusing as possible as a marketing ploy. (Well, you'll get the wrong thing from the wrong bin and then you'll hafta come back and then you'll buy more stuff.)

And then it became apparent that our mattress was dead. Neither of us had ever bought a mattress before. I had lived in furnished rooms previous too moving in with the Boy and he had inherited a mattress from friends that moved out of town. Buying a mattress was *complicated.* I couldn't just go to and pick one out (the way I could with electronics, kitchen gear, children's toys or most of the other (non-book) purchases I make.) Moreover, we discovered, mattresses are wicked expensive. The one we had been sleeping on cost just under $2000. If we had bought it, instead of inheriting it from friends who moved off to S.F., we could have replaced it under their warranty plan.

Mattresses companies offer financing. This wouldn't have been such a big issue if it wasn't 2009. Where I work we all got no bonus and pay cuts. My boyfriend got a raise so small it reminded me of a song in The Pajama Game.

There's a Sleepy's in our neighborhood (which would be downright bizarre if it wasn't for the fact that we live halfway between Harvard and MIT.) So we went in and tried a few wicked expensive mattresses out. It was weird. I live in Central Square, so there were crazy bums just outside the big windows watching me and my boyfriend try out mattresses. The salesman said that previous to becoming a mattress salesman, he had delegated mattress choice and purchase to the lady of the house. This frightened me. I trust my boyfriend to choose a mattress before I'd trust myself to do so. He's much better at That Sort of Thing (buying home furnishings) than I am.

After the weird evening at the Sleepys we decided to try out Ikea. After all, I explained, an Ikea mattress might not last as long, but assuming it lasts 2 or 3 years, the economy ought to be better, and we'll have advanced enough in our careers that we should be in a better position to make a large purchase.

But then, a friend of ours came down with brain cancer, and related activities didn't leave much time for visits to Stoughton. Finally we scheduled a zip car and went down on a week night. We had colossally bad directions. It took forever. While we were there my Mom (who was due to be in town for a few days and was supposed to have called the day before) called to talk about plans. I had to talk to her. It was just terrible, weird, timing. We chose a mattress and took it home.

It soon became apparent that we had not chosen wisely. The "firm" mattress in the show room was not nearly as firm as the "firm" mattress we had purchased. It was like sleeping on a board. So we found the receipt and rented another zip car. The Boyfriend was just about to go get the zip car when he got a text from a friend "Somerville Police Station right now $40." Being a good guy he took the zip car off to the Somerville cop shop to find out what the story was. A fight with a roommate. A girl roommate. Blows were exchanged, and a restraining order was filed. I sat around and wondered if I'd misjudged my friend's character. I knew he lived with some fucked up people, but he didn't seem like the kind of guy who'd punch a girl in the face.

Apparently it was a good thing we'd just gotten a zip car. The boyfriend returned several hours later with a car full of our unfortunate friend's stuff, the unfortunate friend himself and another friend who'd come to help out. Turns out the Boyfriend and the other friend had managed to get to the unfortunate friend's apartment and get all his clothes before the restraining order took effect. And no, my unfortunate friend had not punched his psychotic roommate in the face. He had merely grazed her face while trying to protect his own face from the coffee maker she was attempting to hit him with.

That was all last week. Since then, we've been putting up the unfortunate friend and I'm happy to say that we managed to get to Ikea on Friday night to return the unsatisfactory mattress and since then we've slept like babies.

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