Today was the BIG day. The day we transformed our apartment into a home. Not that it wasn’t a home already, but today we invested in our biggest purchase as a couple to date.
We got up early and started the day. Got ready to go a little while later. Hubby was in manic mode for the most of the afternoon. He is always three steps ahead of me, I take it a little slower, which then elicits my “slow the fuck down …” comment.
We got on the Metro and headed North on the orange line, one stop from the end, located in the hind end of space and time. That end of the city is quite depressing. But that’s where IKEA built their super duper box store from HELL !
We made it with minutes to spare with our connecting bus that runs a very circuitous route around and around and around again, That end of town is Cris-crossed with cloverleaf highways and interchanges. The bus dropped us at a stop near Ikea, it was a hike, nonetheless.
I’ve never been to an IKEA before in my life. I’ve seen it on tv, I have friends who swear by it, and they shop there often. I have to say that, I love shopping. Today’s excursion to this HUGE big box store was a MANIC experience. I thought I was going to have an episode right there in the middle of crowds of people.
The store is all laid out and there are maps to show you where to go. Furniture is on the second floor, we headed there first. we knew ahead of time what we were buying, and we wanted to see it in a “room setting.” The place was swarming with people. We did a couple of circuits, and headed downstairs, what happened next was a nightmare.
We grabbed a very large shopping cart and started the MAZE that one has to travel to get to the warehouse/check out/delivery area. Imagine a hoard of people all with their own very large shopping carts, traveling through a maze with aisles about ten feet wide, and several people across trying to navigate this maze. With coats, carts, and small children in tow…
I was getting close to meltdown stage.
We did eventually get through the maze. We then ventured into the warehouse. Hubby had printed out all the pertinent numbers to go find them. We hit a kiosk that told us where to go. Now you transfer from a very large shopping cart, to a push buggy for large items. Then you have to find the item, and put it in/on your buggy, now I am pushing a shopping cart and a buggy at the same time.
There are families with small children all over the place.
Once you get a buggy filled with very large boxes that are heavy going, they are hard to stop. I came close to running over the same small child twice, running the shelves. We then had to get in a line to order the sofa and get a print out. We were pushing around a large arm chair, a coffee table, and an end table.
Then you get in line to pay.
Hurry up and wait …
We handed our printout to the girl at checkout and she scanned our boxes. Then you go over to the waiting area as your order is processed, they pull the items from the stock room, and send them out to you to either take home yourself, or get delivered. Once that was completed, we step about ten feet from the pick up desk to the delivery desk. They offered to deliver this evening.
We originally set Monday for delivery, but they were more than happy to do it today.
We took the evening delivery time.
We left the store, I was really crazy by that point. All I wanted to do was get the hell out of dodge.
We walked away from the store, in another direction from where we came from, to a bus stop located across a six lane highway. We got there and noticed that that bus stop was only good Monday through Friday. So we crossed back over that six lane highway, and headed in the direction we had originally come from, where the bus dropped us off.
That particular bus stop is also on a six lane highway. We got to our drop stop and noticed a corresponding stop across the highway, thinking it was the return stop. But the highway was split by a fence, and traffic was much to high to cross, and there was no bridge or crossing area.
We walked all the way back to the store and went back in to delivery, and asked for them to call us a taxi. We were told that there was a taxi stand right there in the parking lot, we had walked past it three times, but didn’t notice it.
We took a $15.00 dollar taxi ride back to the metro we arrived at.
Singing “Over the river and through the woods, more like over the highway and around and around!”
A train was pulling into the station, in the direction we needed to go, which pushed us to run through the turnstile and across the station and down to the platform, UGH … We made the train.
We got back home and hubby headed to the Tire to pick up a drill and some odds and ends, and I walked home. I had to find out where to put the old furniture out on the street, making sure I was on our property and not others.
I had begun to throw everything we didn’t need away yesterday, so today I only had a single leaf bag stuffed with trash, and I had to vacuum. Hubby got back home and we dismantled the living room, and in one trip took everything down to trash. A sofa, a loveseat, two tables and all the cushions.
The old furniture was falling apart. It was forty years old. My mother in law sewed all the cushions and they gave the furniture to hubby when he moved to Montreal almost twenty years ago.
We waited for the delivery, meanwhile we were sorting through what we decided to keep. Around five, they showed up. I worried that we had not measured the couch in the store, because it might not have fit through our front door. they got it in with inches to spare.
Some Assembly Required !!!
I’ve put the occasional book case together in the past. But I’ve never had to build a sofa or a table before. First you have to unpack it from the plastic wrap and cardboard. Then you have to locate the booty, the bag of feet, screws, bolts and tools to do the job. We unpacked the pieces of the couch, there were four pieces. The back, the bottom, and the two arms.
We missed the tools and screws.
Thinking we had forgotten something in the store, we panicked. Alas, they were stuck inside the sofa in a plastic bag, stapled inside the carcass. Like I said, I’ve never built a sofa.
There are so many pieces, where do they all go ???
This was turning out to be a very insane operation. I was not very sober…
We got it together and put it in place. The sofa is much bigger in our space, than it was in the store space. We then un-boxed the arm chair. That was a one step process. We moved around the furniture that was already there, and found a way to get it all to work together.
We then attacked the coffee table. I didn’t know that you needed all those nuts, bolts, screws, dowels, pins and brackets. I’ve seen tables in a store, but I was surprised by all the shit it took to put it together.
The How to put this item together is a “build it for the dummy” guide, lots of pictures and diagrams of the items in the box and the items in the screw bag.
Pictures but NO words to go with them.
I nearly killed hubby about halfway through this build.
Our home looks so very different than it did mere hours ago.
Hubby ordered a new HD tv online, new blinds for the living room, which we pick up tomorrow, and I have to install, hence, the drill will be useful.
My Pay Pal account got a good work out. They are probably wondering what I am doing. I never make more than one purchase at a time. I added a sweet Ebay buy to the deal of my own.
I don’t think I will be returning to Ikea any time soon. It was all very sensory overload.
Too Much overload.
That was our Saturday.
More to come, stay tuned…
It was chilly tonight, but not as frigid as it was last night. Temps are on the way up and will peak, “hopefully” Wednesday with a Plus (6c) day. They keep changing that number.
They say, when you get sober, that the only thing you have to change is everything.
There is a rhyme and reason to the Big Book. Things are presented and come in a certain order.
Coming in, as I did then, with expectations on my lips was a bad idea, that had to be quashed.
Some think they can pick and choose which steps they are going to work, based on how they read the words on the page, which brings us to the Three Letter Word Category. But we soon learn that the steps are written in a specific order, for maximum effect.
If you don’t start with the foundation, how can you build a solid building?
We start with One and work our way through. And around Step five, the reading mentions “The Arch” we are supposed to walk through as free men and women, if we have properly completed the first five proposals.
Today’s reading mentions a gateway, through which everyone can walk through. We just need to find our way around, through, over and under, backwards and forwards, the biggest troublesome three letter word in the world …
That word is (drum roll please !!!) GOD.
I am getting a bit ahead of myself, so let’s back up.
You might be familiar with the reading of The Promises. Which are taken from the Book concerning the Ninth Step. I’ve / We’ve been listening to them for more than thirteen years now. They say that when we get sober, that eventually, the promises will begin to manifest and come true.
Hurry up and wait …
They don’t all come at once. And I have a little wisdom on the topic now. Many of the promises are long term proposals. All those things we get rid of, and all those things we get in return, if we are diligent and patient, are tantalizing.
Time gives one perspective. At least, that’s my take on them, as I speak to the old timers.
The one promise that has been outstanding and yet to manifest, after thirteen years is:
“Fear of People and of Economic Insecurity will leave us.”
This promise is the Ninth Promise of the Ninth Step Promises passage.
I don’t really have a problem of fearing people. The rest of this promise needs a back story.
I was eleven months sober, and I met my now husband. It was the holiday season, and he was going home to visit his family, he offered me to stay in our now HOME while he was away.
Actually, I never left … I am still here thirteen years later !
We had very little. The apartment was a mess. We had not begun to clean up the wreckage of hubby’s past, but that would begin in earnest very soon. We had ratty furniture, (which is the main subject of this actual post) we had a small black and white tv, with rabbit ears and foil. The walls were stark, medicinal white. And that was it.
We learned how to shop for two. We learned how to cook for two. And we began to clean up that wreckage, (read: Return all the empty beer bottles that were stacked 20 deep on the balcony).
We did not have very much money. And in the beginning, we dreaded the last week of the month, because we would have to choose what to do with regards to food and paying bills and buying much needed medicinals. We could not do all of them, at the same time, and that lasted for many years.
Money makes the world go round … It also is man’s greatest evil.
Not having enough of it, Needing more of it, relying on financial aide to get it, and having enough of it at the end of the month to buy food, pay bills and pay for an education all at the same time. Not to mention all those other things we “needed to buy” to survive. (read:Medication).
This journey of learning how to respect the almighty dollar is long and arduous.
We learned how to do it, starting with nothing and working our way up the economic ladder, one year at a time. We judged our upwards success, by our ability to get rid of all the shitty appliances we had, for new ones. That took many years.
This past Fall 2014, we jumped an entire economic bracket, for the first time since the day we met. We have risen from poor student status, to mid-range manageable status, to today’s, there is money in the bank, we can buy food all month, pay bills, buy necessities, AND have surplus money that for the first time since we met …
BE ABLE TO BUY BRAND NEW FURNITURE AND GET RID OF THE RATTY 40 YEAR OLD FURNITURE THAT IS HELD TOGETHER WITH DUCT TAPE, FURNITURE !!!
We have completed or finally achieved, the list of promises.
We have four items of old furniture. The living room, the dining table, our bed, and my desk.
Over the past thirteen years we have recycled all of our electronics. We painted the apartment, the kitchen and bathroom have been remodeled by our management.
Tomorrow we get to hit IKEA for the first time. Hubby picked out the new furniture, and I get executive veto so tomorrow we will finalize the deal and be able to afford the grand prize.
Sunday night, the ratty furniture goes on the trash heap. Monday the new duds come.
Hubby has cashed in all of our bargaining chips and saved up educational credits that come from the government, which gives us bankable cash. (read:Taxes)
We have rebuilt our home from the ground up. One item at a time.
So that is a thing … a really BIG thing !!!
Now we return to regularly scheduled programming …
“I’ll take Three Letter Words for $1000 Alex.”
We came full circle tonight, with the reading about Spiritual Kindergarten. We talked about God.
You cannot avoid it, The words is in the book.
Remember the other day when we spoke about Ebby and Bill. On that fateful day when the two friends met over drinks in the kitchen. Ebby with sober drink, Bill with his bottle. Here Bill thought that it would be frivolous and exciting, drinking with his old friend. That did not happen.
Ebby tells his story and concludes with “I’ve found religion!” (Read:The Oxford’s Religion)
Bill wasn’t having any of that religion shit. He read the first three proposals. But it did not connect with him at all, UNTIL, Ebby told him that maybe “He should find a power greater than himself of his own choosing.” (read: Squiggly writing in the book).
This is the blessed sentence in the book.
God, “As we Understood Him.”
But we come around to the contradiction in As Bill Sees It that says,
“You can find your own concept of a higher power and if that works for you fine, BUT in the end it always comes back around to God.”
When the book was written, Bill had counsel from a Jesuit priest, who spoke to him at great length, but to make God more palatable, we get the spiritual angle.
This is a tough subject for many.
When I got sick, and was waiting to die, I read every book I could get my hands on that spoke about the afterlife, God, spirits, angels, and i even consulted a medium to have a chat with my newly departed Grandmother, because I could not go to her funeral, and I needed to speak to her.
I was sober the first time – during this quest.
I got to my medium and his reply was curt and short: “She is happy where she is” and he left.
The second time I got sober, it was meant to be.
I had the God of my father, the traditions of my family, I added the intellectual university education about God and Religion, with degrees in Religion and Theology. Meanwhile I was getting sober.
i watched people get sober, because my mainstay was meetings.
If you STAY in the same meeting for YEARS at a time, you will witness people getting sober and eventually having their own spiritual experiences, IN a meeting.
That is where I saw God.
I believed in God my whole life, and I was still alive, I did not die as was told to me several times over.
There was something that was keeping me alive, I knew that.
I met God once, in human form. He made manifest to me when I most needed Him.
This time around i witnessed God move among my friends. In ways I had never imagined.
I’ve learned how to read the book. I learned how to read the book, when I read it with my guys.
We’ve all learned how to unpack the word GOD. It may take some time, and a little effort and elbow grease. Add water, and stir …
Every voice plays its appointed part.
The only thing we need to learn how to do is Learn, Serve and Love.
The book gives us direction, as one of my friends said tonight. It does not give us an end point.
That is up to us.
What ever you call that Power Greater than Yourself, is up to you.
All the voices and all the souls we encounter in the rooms, widens that arch we all walk through.
i want to live happy, joyous and free.
We might be there now.
More to come, stay tuned …