Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The wardrobe that almost wasn't

Well, Saturday was interesting.
I found a really nice wardrobe for sale on Craig’s List last week. Big solid wood piece, with three big drawers and then two doors above concealing three shelves and another small drawer. Really good price, too: $50. So I contacted the woman selling it, and told her I wanted it.
It was in Queens, too—actually, not far at all from the house. But of course we’re not in there yet, so I needed to bring it to my storage locker instead. And to do that, I needed a truck. None of my friends here had one, so I wound up renting one for the day.
Friday night, we got together with a bunch of our friends, as usual. Mook and Lois, bless them, had offered to help me move the wardrobe, and Lois crashed on our futon so that she could head out with me in the morning. We trekked out to the U-Haul place—fun in and of itself, since it’s way the hell out in the booneys—and got the truck. Nice how U-Haul doesn’t bother to tell you about the mandatory insurance, which more than doubles the cost of the rental. Then we drove over to the woman’s apartment, and Mook met us there.
We went upstairs—this is one of those nice older buildings, and she lived on the second floor, up a narrow flight of stairs with one narrow landing—and got our first look at the piece itself. It really is nice, very solid and well-built. And amazingly heavy. We’re talking over three hundred pounds here. And just the three of us.
Getting the wardrobe onto the appliance dolly I’d rented was easy enough, as was wheeling it out to the stairway. Getting it down to the landing was a lot harder—I was up top on the dolly handles, Lois and Mook were bracing it from below. Then we reached the landing—and discovered we didn’t have enough room to turn the thing so that it could go down the rest of the stairs. We spent half an hour trying different things, and finally accepted that this wasn’t going to work. It was the dolly’s fault, too—its wheels added just a little too much width to maneuver properly. We’d have to get rid of it.
That meant hauling the wardrobe back up to the top of the stairs, though. Then we pulled the dolly out, and partially slid, partially dropped the monster back down to the landing. We wound up having to back it up two steps before we could turn it, still, but finally we got it around the corner and heading down that last flight. I handed the dolly to Mook over the rails, and we had it at the bottom when we finally got the wardrobe down. Then we wheeled it out of the building, down the few short steps, and over to the truck.
Which, it turned out, didn’t have a ramp. Which meant hauling the wardrobe up into the truck by brute strength—Lois and I tugging, Mook pushing from below. Only a kind stranger lending a hand allowed us to get that thing in.
Then we drove over the storage place, parked right near the steps up to my locker, hauled the wardrobe, still on the dolly, up the steps, and wheeled it down the hall.
I’d been debating which of two places I ultimately wanted to put this thing. One option was to take it upstairs to the small bedroom that would be doubling as my office. The other was to put it in the basement somewhere, perhaps in that little area with the laundry. Now that we’ve had to get it up stairs once, I’m thinking basement. Definitely basement. I can just wheel it through the back door, no stairs involved. Ever.
Lois, Mook and I all have bruises from Saturday, still. Mine are on my upper arms, theirs are mainly on their upper legs, where we each caught the weight of the wardrobe. It is a nice piece, and even after the exorbitant fee for the U-Haul it’s a good deal. I’m just really lucky I’ve got good friends. I bought them lunch afterward, but I don’t think that’s really enough to thank them properly. Maybe they want a nice wardrobe?


  • At 10/25/2004 12:18 PM, Blogger Lois Spangler said…

    It's 10/25, and I STILL have a bruise. But the wardrobe is fantastic, and so was my sandwich, which was low-carb friendly, something that's not easy to come by.

    I'll pass on a wardrobe of my own. As it stands, I need to get rid of a bunch of clothes anyway. Hey, maybe I can rent a U-Haul and get a couple of friends to help me drag it all to a Goodwill center ....


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