Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Curmudgeon acquires a futon to solve a family dilemma

Regular visitors will remember that Older Daughter got married this summer. I started recounting our wedding adventures here and here. I apparently decided to save the anecdote about the topless biker chicks for the book.

Prior to their marriage, when Older Daughter and her now-husband visited, the young man had to stay on the couch in the den. I complained about the shortcomings of this arrangement -- but the family exchequer is such that the construction of a proper guest wing on the Curmudgeon manse is entirely out of the question.

Now Older Daughter and Son-In-Law are coming for Thanksgiving -- and some weeks back Older Daughter began lobbying for a change in the sleeping arrangements. "We are married, you know," she pointed out. "Well, yes, I know," I replied, "I was there. I wound up with the wedding certificate for safe keeping."

But the problem remains the same. If I had a proper English country home with a Blue Room and a Green Room and perhaps a hall safe like something out of Wodehouse (my wife would certainly appreciate the assistance of an Anatole... though I don't know that he'd permit her in his kitchen)I could install Older Daughter and her husband in accommodations more in keeping with their new station in life. But I'm still stuck in my old station.

Older Daughter suggested that perhaps she and Son-In-Law could stay in her old room, upstairs. Bunk beds for the newlyweds? "And where would Younger Daughter stay?" I asked, inasmuch as one of those bunks was technically hers.

That stumped Older Daughter temporarily, but did not solve the problem.

Naturally, Long Suffering Spouse had to tell me the solution. "We could get a futon," she said -- although she didn't say "futon." Sometimes English and Spanish get jumbled together in her cranium and altogether new words result. So it was in this case. Indeed I will have to save this word for the book as well, as a Google search on the term used by a family member might immediately destroy my anonymous status.

But if the word was mangled, the solution was sound. Even I could see that much. And we quickly realized there was an area where the couple could have some semblance of privacy and access to a bathroom -- and the rest of us could use the couch and the TV and the computer in the den.

And "futon" sounds so much cheaper than "sleeper sofa."

Which is undoubtedly why the family conspired to use that word when persuading me of the necessity of this acquisition.

Middle Son even knew where we should go for a futon; he'd bought one for his dorm room at this very store.

So it was that Long Suffering Spouse and I found ourselves in a mall among the futons last Saturday. We made our selection and inquired about delivery.

Delivery was $80 extra.

In that case, I quickly said, how can we pick this up?

Our van would be equal to the task, I figured, if the seats were put down. And the saleslady assured us that we could pick the thing up on Tuesday next (that would be yesterday) and she gave me a receipt which had the pick-up date of November 24 prominently bolded.

I left the Undisclosed Location early yesterday to assist my wife in getting the futon home. Receipt in hand I strode confidently to the Customer Service window, complimenting the young lady behind the counter on her festive Santa hat, and presented my receipt. She keyed a few things into the computer and began frowning at the screen. "It says Friday, not today," she told me. Long Suffering Spouse slumped visibly. "The receipt says today," I told the young lady. "I know," she said. She keyed in something else. The result was the same. "I'll get my manager," she said.

The manager wore a suit and had no Santa hat. He tried his luck with the keyboard, too. "It says Friday, not today," he said.

"It's spoken for tomorrow," I said.

"I figured as much," said the manager. After trying and failing to reverse the final verdict of the computer screen a couple of more times he suggested that we take the floor sample that we'd looked at over the weekend. Then, when our futon arrived, he'd have it delivered and floor sample taken back. This struck me as the best possible solution in the circumstances and I readily agreed.

Long Suffering Spouse and I could have carried the floor sample out the store's front door and popped it straight in the van in five minutes. We would have gotten some curious looks from any store employees not aware of our circumstances, and perhaps a challenge from the bolder among them, but it would have been efficient. Nevertheless, my suggestion along these lines was promptly rebuffed. We'd have to pull over to the loading dock on the other side of the mall. Store employees would pull the futon off the floor and bring it to the warehouse and thence to our vehicle.

Of course, this is all the fault of those darned lawyers, right?

I will not bore you with how this five minute task (if we'd done it) turned into a 50 minute wait. It was boring enough for us. Nor will I regale you with the curse words Youngest Son and I used as we struggled to get the futon through the front door and around the various obstacles necessary to get the #%&*!@ thing into the house. And I certainly won't tell you how Long Suffering Spouse, her patience with me exhausted, grabbed one end of the futon while I was still trying to stand upright again and, with Youngest Son's help, guided the infernal thing to its final resting place. (She was originally trying to move it herself until Youngest Son and I noticed what she was doing.)

The point is -- tomorrow -- I can have my coffee and watch the parades and the football games from my couch. In my den. I will be thankful (at least until the bill comes). And Older Daughter and her husband may just find this solution acceptable, too.


Steve Skinner said...

Maybe you should have considered one of those over size air mattress that come with their own little inflation pump. If on the other hand the plan was to be sure that they are not too terribly comfortable so as to not consider over staying their welcome, a futon was a very wise choice.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

congratulations! good work curmy and happy thanksgiving!

smiles, bee

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A great story, Curmy!

Hasppy Thanksgiving.