Its the little things that give the most pleasure. Being able to flush the coffee grounds down the drain is no problem on the boat but it has always been a big no-no on the bus. Its no problem now in the house. Setting the dishwasher last night and waking up to clean dishes is another treat that we haven’t enjoyed for a long time. My big new-to-me recliner chair feels great. I really REALLY missed a recliner chair and a shop. I still don’t have a shop but I’m getting closer and yesterday we picked up a leather recliner in Saskatoon - $80 off Kijiji and you can’t tell it from the $1300 ones we looked at in the Sears appliance store while they were jerking us around about our new dishwasher.
Marilyn had lined up several meetings in Saskatoon for Thursday and Friday so early Thursday morning we drove into the city. We ended up with a bit of time on our hands Thursday afternoon and were right next door to the Sears appliance centre on Circle Drive so we stopped in and were delighted to find a portable dishwasher floor model on a deep discount. SCORE. So Marilyn bought the dishwasher but we didn’t want to load it in the truck on Thursday and then drag it all over the city for a day and a half. “NO PROBLEM!” sez the nice Sears lady “You can pick it up tomorrow before you leave town.” So Friday morning we were between meetings and relatively close to the north end of the city. We pulled into the loading dock at the back of the Sears store and showed our invoice to the mope on the dock. And then it all came off the rails.
First the mope wandered around the warehouse looking for the dishwasher. Then he came back and asked us who had sold it to us. “Some woman.” So then he wandered around some more muttering loudly about how nobody told HIM about any dishwasher. Another woman who appeared dressed to work in the warehouse but never actually seemed to do anything appeared and they had a long conversation which consisted mainly of blaming “Maggie” for not doing her paperwork right. Then the mope disappeared into the store for a long time. Finally he came back and announced that they couldn’t find the dishwasher. Well duhhhhhh. “So what are you going to do now?” He didn’t have a clue.
Somebody suggested that we could show him where the dishwasher was on the showroom floor. I thought that was a faint hope but we needed to do something so off we all traipsed across the showroom to where the dishwasher clearly wasn’t anymore. There was a blank space on the floor so it was at least believable when Marilyn pointed to the space and said “that’s where it was” and everyone around agreed that “yep, there had been a dishwasher there.” Then they had a long discussion about who had been working last night and who might have sold our dishwasher again and who might have loaded it but mostly they talked about blaming Maggie. After a while the group had dispersed and there was just one guy with a hook nose and a bad suit plus the mope standing in the middle of the showroom blaming Maggie. I had been biting my tongue to the bleeding point so I finally announced “We’ve got a meeting in 45 minutes so rather than standing here blaming Maggie you guys need to get doing something. CHOP CHOP!!” (I thought punctuating the “chop chop” with a couple of loud handclaps was a nice touch but Marilyn mocked me about it afterwards – actually I thought I did really well to keep profanity out of it at that point.)
Mope 1 and Bad Suit then wandered through the warehouse yet again and not surprisingly still didn’t find our dishwasher. By this point it seemed clear to me that someone else had sold it again. Eventually Marilyn got escalated to a short round woman who called herself a manager and I left them alone to fill out paper. I didn’t think the situation warranted any yelling at that point, no matter how much better it might make me feel. I did return at the end of that conference to hear Marilyn say “OK, I’ll phone you at 1:00” to which the round woman nodded her head vigorously and agreed that would be good. I thought, “right, I can see where this is headed” so I asked her roundness “will you actually be here at 1:00 or will you be gone for lunch?” Sure enough, she had every intention of being gone until 1:30. So then we went through another little discussion about how useful that information might be to us and got to meet someone younger and bitchier who would however be on duty at 1:00.
The story wrapped up anticlimactically shortly after we left the store when Marilyn got a phone call saying they had found the errant dishwasher. I expect they finally located the famous “Maggie” and she said something to the effect of “Oh for gawd’s sake it’s behind the ………..” Of course when I returned to actually pick up the machine it was a whole new rodeo but on that visit I could be a lot ruder because Marilyn wasn’t with me.
By the time we left the city we looked like the Clampetts arriving in Beverley Hills. We had a dishwasher, my recliner, a very large flatscreen TV, Marilyn’s nice black leather office chair, a microwave, toaster oven, vice, bench grinder and a host of other miscellaneous household effects plus a grocery order. The Exploder isn’t much more than a car with a parcel shelf on the back so we had stuff strapped on all over the place and the back seat was stuffed to the point where we couldn’t open the doors without something falling out. A very large percentage of the “stuff” came from either the Thrift Store or Kijiji – ya gotta love recycling.
This morning I think Mother would be horrified to see a flatscreen TV bigger than her secretary’s desk sitting on top of the desk but it actually looks right at home there. Someday we’ll mount it on the wall but for the time being it is sitting happily on the old oak desk. We can’t really watch it – well I guess we can “watch” it but there’s not much happening because the Shaw installation crew hasn’t arrived yet. If I was a better husband I’d install a dish myself but the crew is coming Monday and I’m leaving for Idaho Sunday night. Between now and then we’ve got a lot of “stuff” to put away so TV will just have to wait.
Mostly this week we’re just rattling around in more space than we’ve had for a long time and frankly we’re both enjoying it more than we expected. The house is roughly 4x the living area that we have in the bus and at least twice what we have on the boat so it feels huge. Tonight I was trying to find a couple of suitcases that I was sure were in the house but there were just so many places where they could be. That’s very much not the way our life has been for the last 5 years.