Buying Furniture with Men - Part II

by Meghan Medford

Dear People Who Are Still in Relationships,

Congratulations on making it this far, by the way. If you've tackled furniture buying (or assembling) with your loved one, you'll understand why this is such a feat. We last left off with a horror story of sorts, involving online furniture ordering, failed dresser assembly, correction markers & fighting a losing battle with my reasonable & level-headed boyfriend. 

I wish I could tell you that this is a story of my redemption, but I'd never be that lucky. 

The latest fiasco at la Casa de Meg centers around my A/C units. We'd had so much rain recently that I didn't notice the steady stream of water dripping down the side of my house from the A/C drain pipe protruding out from underneath the soffit of my roof. Because I'm an independent adult that also works in construction, I logically called my dad to ask what the problem could be. 

He tells me to check the air handlers upstairs in my attic, which I responded with an, "are you serious?". I'm home alone, its almost 10:00 at night and I don't even have real pants on. And you want me to go where? I have owned my house for close to two years and I still had yet to venture up to the attic. From extensive research, I've learned attics are supposed to be where the previous owner leaves his creepy doll collection or where homeless men (or squirrels) create their nests and spy on you when you're sleeping. My extensive research may have come from low-budget horror movies and shock-and-awe articles online that I later learned were from The Onion

Nevertheless, I put on my big girl pants (or really any pants at this point) and pulled down the ladder of doom to the attic. The attic was just as gross and creepy as I would have imaged it,  minus the dolls and man-squirrels, but I did find the culprit to my leaky conundrum. Turns out the overflow drain to one of my air handlers was clogged and the drip pan was threatening to overflow. Thanks to Google and my dad, I know what all of those words mean. 

Now the most terrifying moment of this whole scenario is the realization that I have to now call another service company and allow them access into my home. After the last one shoved a full-size refrigerator down my stairs, put holes in my walls and shimmied their dirty, sweaty bodies up and down my walls trying to lug an appliance up my narrow staircase. At this point, I'd rather hire a homeless man to live in my attic and keep an eye on the drip pan than let another stranger tromp throughout my house. 

But I certainly wasn't going to venture back up into the attic - pants or no pants - to try to fix a clogged A/C drain. Google can only get me so far. So I broke down and called a repair company that was, to my surprise, excellent. They were on time, polite, and he wore booties. He wore booties! In my house! I had to restrain myself from jumping up and down and hugging him when he pulled the cotton elf-like footwear out of his toolbox before entering my house. 

I showed my elven-shoed guest up to the third floor attic access, he tromped up the ladder (I hope I looked a little more graceful when I did it) and removed the calcium buildup that caused the clog in my drain pipe  in all of thirty minutes. He charged me a reasonable fee, removed his booties and was out of my home in under an hour. I was ecstatic. I had finally found a service company that was respectful of my home and wasn't trying to sabotage my life or make me sleep on a sofa in my garage.

And then I found it.

My elven-footed friend left me a little present on our brand new dresser. Yes, the one that my boyfriend and I haggled over for months. Yes, the one that I "helped" to build. Yes, the one that came with the correction marker. Yes, that one

In order to unclog the A/C drain, Mr. Booties had to use a plastic funnel to pour a mixture of water and Clorox into the drain in order to break up the calcium deposits.  He had left the wet, bleach-soaked funnel sitting upside down on my dresser and had forgotten about it before he packed up his tools and his ugly cotton footwear. Hours later, I went upstairs to grab my workout gear when I found it. When I went to move it, I gasped in horror. 

I was given a perfectly warped ring by my now not-so-perfect repairman on the dresser that we (ok, my boyfriend) had not-so-perfectly built weeks before. I couldn't believe it. I mean, HE WORE BOOTIES. I just assumed that someone who was trained to not track in dirt or scuff up customer's floors would have enough common sense to not put something wet on wood, albeit- fake wood, furniture. But I have to keep reminding myself that we all have different strengths and weaknesses: He doesn't have to Google terms associated with central air and heating and I'm oversensitive to how I interact and behave in other people's homes. 

The repair company was very apologetic, paid for the dresser and even hauled it away for me so I wouldn't have to deal with disposing of it when it came time to replace it.

But, I still had to replace it.

I was bracing myself for a WWII of furniture buying with my boyfriend. A Round Two of email arguments and batting my eyelashes sweetly during our FaceTime conversations when he was working offshore. In the interim, I was storing my t-shirts, shorts & workout gear in paper Sprouts grocery bags and my vast collection of Pure Barre socks were sitting glumly in the corner of my room like toddlers in Time Out. 


As I was leaving work one afternoon, my boyfriend called me, I assumed, to discuss our plans for dinner. With the onshore portion of his work rotation comes copious amounts of free time - which is both wonderful and scary to me simultaneously. Wonderful because sometimes I'll come home to a fully cooked dinner. Scary because sometimes he has a little too much time to research. 

"I'm at Ashley Furniture in the Galleria," he said on the phone after a suspiciously sweet greeting. "If your'e not here in fifteen minutes, I'm buying the dresser I like" and then he hung up. 

All that afternoon freedom gave my boyfriend the time (and guts) to select and plan the purchase of a new dresser without me realizing what was happening - I was blindsided by his boldness; I was both appalled and amazed. We had discussed that I really didn't want anything from those big-box furniture stores because their style wasn't really fitting with my taste in home decor. But in one phone call, he made me excitedly speed across town to an Ashley Furniture Home Store to buy a dresser, something I'd never thought I'd do in a million years. You know how you hear about mothers getting super-human strength to lift cars that have rolled over and trapped their children? It was kinda like that. I made almost every green light in 5:00 rush hour traffic. It was truly an act of God. And clearly God did not want me to have an Ashley Furniture dresser. 

My boyfriend grinned ear to ear when I rushed anxiously through the revolving door of one of my least favorite furniture showrooms. Frantic and terrified, almost like my firstborn child was trapped under a car, I asked him if he'd purchased anything yet. He hadn't. But he had, of course, made friends with the sales team at Ashley and they were fawning over him and his two options, probably desperate to close a deal on a hideous dresser to this poor unassuming girl and her manipulative boyfriend. 

But once again, my boyfriend threw me for another loop when he selected the most handsome piece of furniture in the showroom

Without the mirror, this dresser was actually perfect for what we needed: solid wood, no assembly required and they could deliver it the next day. 

We left Ashley Furniture that afternoon:  him with a smug smile and a receipt. And me with an expression of amazement, awe and anger all mixed in together. 

My boyfriend had won the War of Furniture Buying. Again.