Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Aisle 24 Bin 35 (Revisited)

A colleague this morning asked me how my weekend was. I paused for a moment, completely forgetting that I had two days off. When I finally did manage to respond, I replied, "Busy."

We are in full-blown prep mode for our move to India in two and a half weeks. Friday afternoon I drove two and a half hours to Richmond to pick up a treadmill I found on Craigslist. I never in a million years would have ever thought I would buy a treadmill. I love to run. Elise loves to run. But we both love to run outside. Now, both of us are having to get used to the thought of running on a treadmill.

Neither of us wants to give up running, so with the prospect of running in urban India daunting if not impossible (temperature alone would be a deterrent. The night time low in Chennai in May and June is in the mid-eighties), we had to ask ourselves: Do we give up running? Maybe pick up cricket or tennis? Something more British Colonial? Or do we adapt and suck it up? We reluctantly chose the later. Though I have to be honest...I wasn't minding the treadmill in late July in Washington, D.C. when it was 100 degrees outside. Plus, I always get a good workout on a treadmill, because, if nothing else, it keeps you honest. If you dial in 7:00 pace, you're going to run 7:00 pace or find yourself flung up against the far wall.

The one thing I didn't know about treadmills, though, was how heavy they are.

The guy I bought the treadmill from, a line cook at Outback the size of Lou Ferigno, was kind enough to help me get it in the back of my minivan. But at some time during the two hour drive back to Falls Church, I forgot difficult it was for even a man that large to lift the thing, and somehow had tricked myself into thinking that if Elise and I had a luggage cart we would be able to get it up to the second floor of our apartment building.


The next morning, Elise and I got the treadmill half way out of the back of our minivan and onto a luggage cart and............that's it.

That's as far as we could get it. Half hanging out of the back of our car, we left it and called for back-up.

I went to the front desk of our apartment community to see if they had a dollie or something more appropriate for carting extremely heavy objects like treadmills or objects equivalently gravity-endowed....say, like, 747s. Fortunately, they did. I also found an angel, Francis from Ghana.

Francis was emerging from the weight room when I saw him. He was big. He was sweaty. He appeared to be just the man I was looking for. Somehow, I talked him into a third workout of the day, sandwiched, as it were, in between weights and tennis. He, with the help of one of the maintenance man and the man who delivers the laundry, happily helped us get the treadmill up to our apartment and set up in the corner where it has sat ever since. Unused.

Unused? Why?

I forgot the power cord in Richmond.

After unsuccessfully trying to text the seller (he had his money), I was able to order a new power cord from the manufacturer.

Even though I had gotten the treadmill inside, my work was just beginning. I scooped up Pete, and we were off to the "wash-down" (Thomas the Tank Engine parlance for the car wash). I had someone coming to look at our minivan in an hour and it was in need of a quick vacuum and rinse.

Fast forward to Saturday night. Elise and I had a hot date night planned. We were headed to Ikea. With lists in tow, we stocked up on furniture and housewares to make our house in India a home. It is a little daunting having to make furniture purchases a year in advancing, having to anticipate the changing needs of one's family. For example, we suspect Clementine will not stay 18 months forever, and may actually grow while we are in India. Grow enough to grow herself right out of her crib and into a toddler bed. So, we bought her a new toddler bed to take with us, knowing it is something we are going to need there.

The bed Elise had her eye on was not on the main warehouse floor. It would have to be pulled from furniture pick-up. No problem. We were given a piece of paper that the cashier scanned a the register, and the bed would soon be pulled from the warehouse and brought to us. Easy enough.

He scanned our paper and rang up the rest of our purchases. Then, Elise and I walked right out of the store, loaded up our minivan, drove to Bobby Flay's Burger Palace for burgers, beers, and fries, then stopped at the Cheesecake Factory for a slice of pumpkin cheesecake before driving home.

Do you sense something wrong with this narrative?

Because we didn't. At least not until I went to unload our purchases from Ikea the following morning.

We had forgotten to pick up Clementine's new bed.

My absentmindedness necessitated a second drive to Ikea Sunday morning. Everyone got ice cream cones for being patient, and we stopped at a pumpkin patch on the way home and bought a pumpkin.

That evening, I carved a pumpkin while Elise worked on the kids' Halloween costumes (homemade, of course!). I picked up pizza and, because no one napped, the kids slowly descended into a dizzyingly chaotic tailspin from which there was no recovery except in the arms of blissful sleep.

Everyone was zonked out by 6:30.

1 comment:

Dani said...

Oh yes, the Ikea run. BUY EVERYTHING! :) Like plates. Why we thought we only needed 6 plain white plates when we entertain regularly is totally beyond me but serving people with 6 of one kind of plate and 4 of another and 2 plastic plates is definitely not the same as having an artfully and purposefully mismatched and whimsical collection of vintage china. Oops. Have fun with the countdown! Can't wait to hear how you guys like Chennai!