Thursday, November 14, 2013

Transit Meltdown: The Aftermath

In the last post, John wrote about our bogus journey to buy a mattress. That was last Thursday night, so we had the entire weekend to deal with the aftermath, which I'm going to tell you about now.

On Thursday night, we left our precious new mattress at Big Lots to be contended with later. We had more options than we would usually have with a new piece of furniture, as far as needing to get the furniture to our home and how to achieve that while being carless. As John said before, Big Lots offers furniture delivery for a flat rate of $60, which would usually have been our only viable option, but they will also hold furniture to be picked up later. That was actually an option for us with this furniture purchase, because John's dad was coming to visit us the following day! We realized that we could have Big Lots hold the mattress and box spring for us and then return the following evening with John's dad, and more importantly, John's dad's car, to pick it up and bring it home.

As the theme of the weekend was "nothing goes as expected," this, of course, was not to be.

John's dad, Scott, arrived on Friday with a big carload of our belongings. That was the main purpose of this trip: to bring us a good bit of the possessions we left behind in Georgia when we moved to OKC. Being able to visit with us, albeit briefly, was just a nice bonus. Scott arrived around 1:00 PM, so John was still at work for the rest of the afternoon. I welcomed Scott to our home and then we decided to unload the boxes from his car.

John and I love our apartment, but our building tends to make bad first impressions. The day we arrived, the power in the building went out and stayed out for a full night and a large part of the next day. We live on the 19th floor, so this was quite an inconvenience, as the elevators weren't working and we had to climb 19 flights of stairs any time we left our apartment.

We expected something similarly lame to happen when John's dad arrived, and we were not disappointed; a new tenant was (allegedly) moving in that very afternoon and had taken the sole loading cart. I say that this new tenant was "allegedly" moving in because although he or she had arrived, reserved the freight elevator for the afternoon, and disappeared with the loading cart, we never saw him or her, and neither had anyone at the front desk, as they informed us when we inquired about using the cart. I don't know if the new tenant had arrived and then immediately left to run errands instead of unloading their belongings without letting the front desk know, but either way, it was a very inconvenient time to have the loading cart go missing.

Scott and I begrudgingly began unloading boxes from his car one or two at a time each (depending on how heavy they were), carrying them into the building, riding the elevator to the 19th floor, and depositing them in the apartment, intermittently taking short breaks to recuperate. I had not worked out that day because I was cleaning in anticipation of my father-in-law's visit, but I inadvertently got my strength training in by carrying heavy boxes for three hours, so the situation was fortuitous in that way, I guess.

The fun doesn't stop there. For all of those readers who aren't Oklahomans, here's a fun fact for you: OKC is windy as HELL. Friday was a particularly blustery day, with isolated gusts reaching well over 40 mph. John's dad was parked across the street from our apartment building and at one point, the wind straight-up blew a box out of his arms and onto the street. We could barely stand up straight in this wind, much less when we were encumbered with heavy boxes. (Increased resistance for my strength training? I have no idea what I'm talking about.)

Scott started to worry that we wouldn't be able to get our mattress home that night. His smallish SUV was not quite roomy enough to fit the mattress inside, so we were planning to strap it down on top of the vehicle, but the howling prairie winds were starting to make that plan look like an impossibility. I repeatedly assured him that although OKC is super-windy, I had noticed that the wind died down by the evening on most days, and we'd probably be safe to bring the mattress home later that evening.

I really wanted that mattress.

Also, I was totally wrong. The wind continued to blast full-force through the city after John got home from work that afternoon, so we revised our plan for the night: dinner first, mattress pickup second. We were hoping that eating an early dinner would not only buy us enough time that the wind would weaken by the time we headed to Big Lots, but also help us to beat the dinner rush. Wrong again, because our dinner plan was to show John's dad an authentic (and delicious) piece of Oklahoma City history, and apparently everyone else in the city had the same idea: The Cattlemen's Steakhouse.

The Cattlemen's Steakhouse is over 100 years old, and home to former President George H.W. Bush's preferred T-bone steak. If there's one thing - literally only one thing - I would trust that man about, it's steak. It turns out that I am correct in that sentiment, because John and I have eaten there twice now, once for breakfast, and then for dinner, and it's been SUPER DELICIOUS both times. We are a steak-loving couple, and we love the Cattlemen's Steakhouse. Our dinner there with John's dad did not disappoint; we stuffed ourselves with perfectly cooked sirloin steaks and baked potatoes, and tried their house beer, Double Deuce, which was shockingly good.

We waddled back to the car and headed to Big Lots to deal with the mattress situation. It had become abundantly obvious that we were not going to be picking it up and taking it home, because the gales of wind had not subsided anywhere near enough to make anyone feel comfortable strapping a mattress on top of a car and driving with it. John and Scott arranged for the mattress delivery and we headed back home.

John's dad headed out early the next morning to drive back to Georgia. We saw him off, walked down to (the delicious and locally roasted!) Elemental Coffee for a decaf for me, and then we settled in to wait for the mattress to arrive. The delivery window was "noon to 3:00," and sure enough, the delivery men did not arrive until about 2:50pm. Don't get me wrong, I'm thankful that they at least arrived within the promised window, but we had also waited around that entire time. To quote our bus stop friend from the last entry, I got things to be.

The mattress delivery in and of itself was a pain, yet mercifully brief. The usual protocol for furniture delivery at our apartment building involves delivery trucks driving around to a back loading area which opens into the back door of the freight elevator, but the freight elevator was not available, as it turned out. Surprise, surprise: the same chucklehead who had reserved the freight elevator the day before "to move" and then didn't use it, had reserved it again. We had to coax the delivery men to park across the street and carry the mattress & box spring across the street and into the normal elevator, all while listening to constant lame chatter and vaguely sexist jokes from the main delivery man. Thankfully, it was an easy job and they were out of our lives pretty quickly.

And then... THEN, we were free. Free to lie on our wonderful comfy new mattress for the next two days, with short departures to go eat Thai food at Thai Kitchen (our favorite restaurant with a walkability rating of approximately 1 billion, but we'll do a formal rating and review of that one in another post), pick beer at Broadway Wine Merchants (awesome craft beer selection and equally awesome walkability rating), and for dinner and bowling at Redpin in Bricktown.

See how happy I am?

This mattress is absolutely amazing. We are both so happy with it! After sleeping on an air mattress for about a month and a half, the mattress feels utterly decadent. We had decided to buy at Big Lots to be economical but we are definitely pleasantly surprised with the quality and comfort we got with this purchase.

There's not really a carless rating involved with this post; the ground covered here, so to speak, is the same route/place that John rated in the last post. The troubles we had with getting our mattress to our home were not necessarily specific to being carless. I wrote this post as a wrap-up and to let you all know how the mattress adventure turned out. Thankfully, it has a very happy - and comfy - ending!

Stay tuned - upcoming posts on Carless in OKC include our Veteran's Day Shopping Catastrophe (or, Why It's Important To Read Numbers Properly) and my rating of my latest carless interviewing jaunt.

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