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Moving the Crimson Monster: A Tale from the Proving Ground

Definition: pro-ving ground (noun): an environment that serves to demonstrate whether something, such as a theory or product really works

If you’re ever seeking a true test of a relationship, I would suggest moving a couch.

Picture Laurel and Hardy in action, or The Three Stooges, and you know exactly what I’m talking about; only with a lot more frustration and a bit of anger.

That’s what the boyfriend and I, with the help of one of our gaming pals, did this weekend. 

The gaming pal had bought a new couch and wanted to get rid of her old leather one which was still in very good condition.  She didn’t want to advertise the old couch on Craigslist or have it end up as landfill, so she offered it to the boyfriend.   After we tried it out (we wanted to make sure it was cuddle-enabled), he said he wanted it.

Which brings us to moving day:

To prepare for the new arrival, the boyfriend needs to clear some space which means we have to move about 100 board games near the back door of his apartment.  This reveals his dining room table, which also has to be moved.  We sweep and clean as we go.

Because the board games mean so much to the boyfriend, moving them causes him a bit of anxiety, but, surprisingly, he allows me to help.  Once the games and the table have been moved the boyfriend keeps insisting that it all has to go back the way it was once the couch is moved in.  I point out that he has been looking for a place to play games and it seems that if the dining room table remains clear, he could do exactly that.  But no, everything has to be put back once the couch is moved in; his house, his rules.

Once sufficient space has been cleared, we go and meet the woman, and, with little trouble other than removing a door, move the couch out of her house.  After loading it onto the truck, the three of us take off for the boyfriend’s place.

First piece of business:  removing the old couch.  I must admit, I had mixed feelings.  His old couch was brilliant red and comfortable as hell.  We made out for the first time on that couch, but, no… it really did need to go.  It had seen better days. 

Now, keep in mind that his building is an old tri-plex. The first thing I notice when contemplating moving out the old couch?  The rear entrance isn’t square.  In fact, it slants at such a strange slope that there is no way we will ever be able to get the couch out that way.  The boyfriend quickly agrees and we focus on the front entryway, meaning his main hall has to be cleared quickly.

The red couch easily makes its farewell voyage down the hall… only to become hopelessly stuck in the doorway.  The couch turns out to be about eight inches or so too long and the hall outside his front door is configured in such a way that there is no way to successfully angle the beast.  The boyfriend is frustrated.  I am frustrated.  But we are still communicating very well, considering we’re talking like Pyamus and Thisby through a couch stuck in a doorway.

How did this crimson monster get in the apartment to begin with?  The boyfriend can’t remember.

The boyfriend decides that if we remove a wrought iron railing sitting outside his front door, we will have better success.  Where is his power screw driver? He knows, he tells me, that I moved it during one of my (many) cleaning frenzies.  I start looking around the kitchen – keep in mind that the boyfriend is unable to help search because he is stuck in the hallway on the other side of couch.  I open cupboards.  I vaguely know what he is talking about.  After telling him I can’t find it, he then describes the black plastic case it’s in.  A light bulb goes on.  I return to the first cupboard I opened.  I thought it was a game, not a power tool.  Crisis averted.  Guilt subsiding.

He starts to remove the railing, but abandons it because he realizes it will not make a difference.   It is at this point that he is starting to lose hope.

After we knock heads, it is decided there is only one solution.

A hammer is produced, the couch is brought back into the living room and I proceed to smash the hell out of one end of the couch.  I don’t wait for permission, I simply go to work.

Modern furniture is such a joke.  It is made exactly the way furniture for the stage was made back in the day – a shapely wood frame, covered in foam rubber with material stretched over it. I smack the shit out of that thing, tearing through fabric, cardboard, and wood.  Ten minutes later, after wrestling that poor old red couch through two additional doorways, it is laid to rest near the back alley.  I feel terrible about smashing it up, but… the old must make way for the new; life must move on.

The new couch?  Up it goes, like a dream. No struggles… until we get to the front door of his apartment.  The damn thing is about a half inch too tall and we can’t get it to fit through the door (which is also not square).  There is no angle that works because of the weird way the woodwork at the top of the stairs is configured.  After a point, we are literally spinning the couch around and around, trying to find the magical combination that will allow it to slip through that doorway. 

It is at this point that I start giving up hope.  I think the boyfriend senses this.  Next thing I know… bam!  That couch, defying the laws of physics, magically begins to make its way through that doorway. I don’t know what he did, but it works.  We even manage to get it in without damaging the leather.

Finally put in its place, we are quite gleeful.

As I relax, so much anxiety leaves my body that I begin to shake with the cold.  Suddenly my whole being feels like ice. That is how my body deals with stress.

You see, I had anticipated that things would go so much… worse. 

Anticipating the whole experience had brought to mind many a bad furniture moving ordeal; you know, the ones where people lose their tempers and storm off, or everybody yells and swears at each other (so guilty).  I had assumed this was going to be one of those ‘proving ground’ moments. 

Were we at the point with each other where we would be able to get through this without some kind of scene?

You see, I have a horrible temper. The boyfriend has seen it.  For example, when I lose track of my keys, billfold, or cell phone, I have a tendency to overreact. And the boyfriend claims to have a horrible temper (though I have not really seen it yet), so I had assumed that this whole affair was ripe for disaster. 

But… nope.  We had a few tense moments, yes.  But we actually both behaved ourselves quite well.

Then he surprises me even more.  He changes his mind about moving all the games back onto the dining room table.  He likes the table clear.  He talks about maybe hosting a game night.

It all gives me a great deal of hope.

I’m starting to think this guy might be the real deal.

Yep, we really seem to ‘work’.

I mean, if we can move a couch together, who knows what else we’re capable of? 


Bruce Chang said...

Ha! I really suck to be around when I'm stressed, so I know exactly what you mean...

whkattk said...

If you can make it through tense, difficult situations like that, well... Of course, there will be many more to follow, and some will seem insurmountable, but keep a sense of humor and it will always end well. Bravo! my friend!

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BlkJack said...

Moving and construction projects are always a true test of a relationship. You past 1st and now on to second base (actually, I'm sure you've already scored a home run).