My new place has closets! Two of them. They're not very big though, and I have a lot of clothes, so for Christmas, my mom offered to go wardrobe/armoire shopping with me.* We found a suitable used wardrobe at a little second-hand furniture store, which I'll call Aba's**Furniture Grotto and Lampshade Emporium near the new place, and after some bargaining with the proprietor, arranged to have the piece delivered.

"The apartment is a second-floor walk-up, and it's just me there," I cautioned him. "You'll need two people."

"It's fine, it's fine!" he assured me.

Tuesday, we went to Aba's Furniture Grotto and Lampshade Emporium to arrange delivery, as we would be at the new place painting the bathroom. We also bought a tall dresser, so that I can use that instead of the two small dressers that I've had since I was a baby (and my mother had, as a teenager before me). Aba promised delivery. I reminded him about the stairs.

"It's fine!" he said "No problem!"

So off we went to the paint store and to the new place, to paint the bathroom, and other areas forgotten by the landlady's painter.***

My mom was back at the paint store, fetching more primer, when the doorbell rang. I went downstairs to find one guy on my doorstep.

"So, where's do you want this?" he asked me. I told him the apartment was upstairs, and asked where the second mover was. He said "Don't you have someone here?"

"I told Aba it was up on a second floor, and that it was just me," I said, "I warned him, and he said it was okay."

"Well," said the mover (I think his name was Frank, so we'll call him that for now.) "That's Aba. He's kind of shitty. Maybe your neighbour can help."

My neighbour was sitting on the porch of the house next door, enjoying his beer and cigarette. "Hey, man!" Frank said, "You wanna help me move this stuff up the stairs for your new neighbour? You, know, do a good deed for a nice lady?"

"I dunno," said the neighbour, "She pretty?"

"Yeah, man, she's actually quite attractive," Frank assured him.

At which point I said, "Dude, no. I'll move the damn' things myself, if I have to, but you are not having this conversation here, in front of me, and expecting me not to feel completely creeped out by this."

Frank just looked at me. "The dresser's really heavy," he said.

"Fine." I went out onto the porch, in my jeans and "5,000 Years of Patriarchy, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt" t-shirt, hating myself, hating the furniture, hating Aba and Frank and as-yet-nameless neighbour dude. "Hi, I'm [[Zingerella]], your new neighbour. Am I pretty enough for you to help with this furniture? I could really use a hand."

The neighour's name is Ron. He allowed as how he could help, but made no further mention of my appearance. I don't think he read my t-shirt.

So Frank and Ron moved the dresser and the wardrobe up the stairs and into my bedroom. Frank, who seemed have brought his girlfriend or some female friend along with him in the truck, asked loudly if I was moving into the place on my own, then if I was single, or if I had a boyfriend. I wished I had a girlfriend, so that I could truthfully say that my girlfriend hadn't been available that night.

The wardrobe door swung open, hitting my nice brass candle-lantern thingy and breaking the shade off the arm (does anyone know how to braze brass? I think it can be put back together, but I don't know how to do it.), but without committing further damage. I asked Ron what kind of pie he likes, and promised him a pie in payment for his moving assistance, after I get moved in. For some reason, in my mind, if I give Ron a pie, we're quits, whereas if I just accept a favour from him, there's some sort of imbalance in our interaction, and he gets to expect that I'll be super-duper nice to him or something. I wouldn't feel that way if he hadn't asked if I were pretty, though. I mean, I'd still take him baked goods to thank him for the help, but it would feel pleasant and neighbourly, rather than transactional and necessary.

So now I have a wardrobe (which needs shimming), a dresser (whose handle needs re-applying), and a broken candle-holder which needs repairing. I also have an accent wall above my fireplace, a very bright green bathroom, a debt of one blueberry pie to my next door neighbour, and a set of complicated feelings about my furniture which mostly boil down to hating the patriarchy. I also have green paint in my hair, and, unaccountably, on my bra. 




* Note to online furniture vendors: Armour is something you put around something else (like your body) to protect it. An armoir is a free-standing cabinet in which you store things like clothing, linens, or televisions. Advertising an armour in which you can store things leads me to think that you're selling a pair of greaves stuffed full of socks, or some such. Amour is French for "love," and should not be used for storing socks at all. 

** Because that's the proprietor's name.

*** Who, unaccountably, left the area above the bedroom fireplace plain white, having painted the entire rest of the bedroom in the boring putty colour (I think it's called "Mountain Mist" or "Cloud Cover," or some such attempt to make light grey sound appealing) the landlady requested (after I thought we had agreed on sage green. Sigh.)

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