Yeah, I know. Money Monday is supposed to be about stuff I bought that makes me happy. I think it will make me happy. But right now, I just have to vent about some stuff. I wasn’t even going to call it a Money Monday post, but then I realized that it did involve a lot of money, so what the hey.
We live in a small flat. Many of my readers may already be aware than flats in Europe tend to be small by American standards, and maybe you’re thinking, “yeah… duh… you’re in Europe… I get it.” But no, I mean small even for here. Yes, there are smaller flats in existence, but they usually aren’t home to a family of about-to-be-four people and two cats. I’m not saying this because I want advice about where or how to move, or what I should do to maximize the space I have. Seriously. Please don’t give any advice. I’m just setting the stage for my story here, in case you weren’t aware. I don’t remember the exact size, but it’s under 600 sq. ft. and has one bedroom, a balcony, a living room, a kitchen, a bathroom, and a tiny little foyer. At least, that’s what a real estate agent would tell you the rooms are called. For us, “bedroom” translates to “Dagmar’s room” and “living room” translates into “master bedroom/office/nursery.”
For my local friends, this is why I never invite you over. It’s not because I don’t like you. It’s because there’s nowhere for you to sit if you’re here.
So anyway, we’ve been busily planning exactly how to make space for our new addition to the family, thinking about things that aren’t working so well right now, and thinking what we can do to improve things. Some furniture rearranging was in order, and that went pretty well, but we were still lacking. Enter IKEA.
One issue I wanted to address was the fact that all my clothes are in Dagmar’s room. At first, I didn’t think that would be a big deal, but it turns out that it means I never use my closet. At all. Seriously, I do not open it more than once a month or so. I hate using it, and sometimes I just can’t, even when I want to, because there’s a sleeping toddler right there and it makes noise to open the closet door. So that just wasn’t working out. After the rearranging of furniture in the master bedroom, I realized we had space to put a closet in there. A closet for my things. A closet I can use! Aaaaand, that would free up a closet in Dagmar’s room, which we could use for… well, wait… actually… we’ll save that for a part 2. 😉 Right now we’re talking about my stuff.
So anyway, I plan out everything on IKEA’s website. I make a shopping list. I check the stock at our closest IKEA, and even write down where in the warehouse everything is, so we can get in and get out with the stuff as efficiently as possible. Nothing can go wrong! I feel a rare moment of on-top-of-everything-ness. Ah, this is how I used to feel all the time, when I was an organized person! *bask*
So, after Thomas came home from work on Friday, we headed out to IKEA. We found all the stuff just where I said it would be, in stock like I knew it would be, and threw it all on a cart. And by threw, I mean that my husband, who is not a large or overly muscular person, and who is suffering from some kind of respiratory issue (we’re thinking bronchitis but still waiting to hear from the doctor), heaved and hoed and struggled and dropped and retried and sweated, while his loving, 8-months-pregnant wife could do little more than look on and offer moral support. And even as little as I did do, like hold the cart steady while he pushed something on, and push around our daughter in a stroller with bags of smaller stuff hanging from the handle, was tiring for my heavily pregnant body. So by the time we pay for everything and all that, we’re both ready to collapse. But of course, we can’t yet.
In case you didn’t know, neither Thomas nor I drive. We are public transportation people. This is one thing I love about living here, but it does mean that on certain occasions, we have to do things like pay someone else to deliver all the stuff we bought at IKEA. Really, we probably would have had to anyway. I mean, we bought some pretty big stuff. These PAX closets are biiiig! But anyway, there was no discussion of “can this fit” or “can someone lend us a pick-up truck” or any of that. We knew from the start that we were paying for delivery. So as soon as all was bought and paid for, we headed over to the delivery area. And by headed, I mean that my husband struggled to lumber a very heavy and ridiculous-to-maneuver cart around some corners and through doorways, while I straggled behind pushing a stroller full of closet accessories and cranky toddler. There was a line, and no place designed for sitting during the wait, so my pregnant, tired rear found its way to some metal bumper thingy that was close enough to bench-height that I figured I could probably stand back up without assistance when the time came. I won’t say I was comfortable, but it was better than standing. Finally, we were up. Meaning more cart maneuvering, but this time up a ramp.
I’ve had stuff delivered from IKEA before. My experience was that you schedule a day and time sometime in the next week, and they promise to come by within some window of a few hours, much like package delivery, but more reliable. Thomas was dealing with the delivery people, all in Danish of course, and I was paying attention to Dagmar, and I just kind of assumed that those kinds of arrangements were being made. We left the cart behind and started back to the bus stop, and Thomas casually mentions that the delivery people are actually coming tonight. In an hour. I said i thought that was cutting it close. The bus rides aren’t particularly long, but we have to transfer, and the busses usually run every 20 minutes or so, and it was entirely possible that we wouldn’t be home in an hour. Thomas thought I was overreacting.
Until we got to the bus stop and realized that we just missed a bus, and another one would not be coming for an hour and ten minutes. An hour. And ten minutes. So much for my every-20-minutes naïveté. Thomas calls his dad, who has just downed a glass of wine and cannot drive. Thomas calls his sister, who was probably at work, and didn’t pick up. Thomas calls a cab (which, for the record, is what I suggested in the first place, but Thomas likes to do this his way, I guess). I told him to ask for a van, but he didn’t. He just mentioned we had a stroller with us. We didn’t get a van. Grumble, grumble.
I knew that taxis had an exception to car seat rules, but I never thought I’d actually use that exception. I admit, I was a little freaked about putting Dagmar on the seat and strapping her in with a regular seat belt, but what else could I do? We had to get home before the stupid delivery people. I put my arm around her to make myself feel better, and off we went. We got home just before the delivery people. And by people, I mean guy. It was just one guy, and he couldn’t get the stuff upstairs to us on his own, so my poor, tired, sick, sweating husband helped the delivery guy bring the two heaviest boxes up to our flat on the 2nd (3rd, if you’re American) floor.
And then we could finally collapse. The other boxes could wait. Thomas knew he could handle them himself, but not then.
Now it’s Monday. One PAX closet is complete, and one is still in the box. One KULLEN dresser is about half done, and another is still in the box. Without going into details, I’ll just say that Saturday, Sunday, and now today… ALL days that were about 100 times more tiring than they were expected to be. I need a break. I want it to be Friday again already. That’s how tired I am. And I hate having these boxes all over the place and not being able to just move my stuff into my newly-aquired closet of beauty.
So… I *think* I’ll be happy about having spent the money. But right now, I’m too exhausted to be happy.