My last major move was when I left a house full of furniture and appliances. Who needs it? But I did acquire a filing cabinet, which I still have. That was the beginning of my downfall. Items that are older than that still in my possession run along the lines of a few shirts, one pair of ragged Levi’s cut offs, and several hundred CDs. Oh yes, and my tired bedraggled 5300ce laptop. Even though it’s been dead in the water for years now I still lugged it here. It was my first computer. It’s one of the few sentimental items that I have yet to delete out of my life.

Although I never gave it a name, I loved the first smear of teal paint next to that tiny rainbow apple emblem that gave it character. The snicking sound that quietly reverberate when I shut it down as many a dawn filtered in through the trees. I discovered a world beyond my books and paint. True it was always slow, but at the time I didn’t know that. It was the best that Apple had to offer in laptops back then. And it was mine. It was like having a personal diary. It was perfect for my nomadic lifestyle. I could take it anywhere, move it around the studio with minor adjustments.

My love affair with this charcoal grey rectangle soured after a few incidents. The case broke. The track pad went to hell, The keyboard would stick. The monitor was just too small. After sending it in, purchasing a mouse, and hearing about the new iMac I decided it was time for a change.

It’s been a year and a half. Time and time again I wish this had been my first computer. Moving it across three states was easy. Far easier than moving his computer with its mass of cables and components. Not only was I able to comfortably fit the iMac and myself, but also four cats, tranquilized to their whiskers, but still fairly active. And once we arrived setting it up was a snap in comparison to his computer.

In between the time of transition from the 5300 to the iMac, my man had been diplomatically suggesting that a table to eat at, a couch to sit on, chairs for guests, and a chest of drawers for our clothes might be nice.

Off to Ikea I went one day. Shopping; yeech. That was something girls did. Nonetheless, this was a mission, an adventure, I told myself. Certainly it was once I fully immersed myself in the myriad choices, one of which was entirely unnecessary. They had these lovely CD towers in five beautiful colors. A deep burgundy that glowed, basic black, warm brown, soft taupe, and white. I decided to hunt out the rest of the items on the list and return to this dilemma.

I felt rather proud that not only had I engaged in the process, I was fully submerged in being utterly female. I was shopping and being a proper shopper by taking hours to make a few decisions.

I found a rather modern glass and metal cafe table complete with wedgewood-blue chairs. One down. Next was a chest of drawers in warm glowing orange brown trimmed with black. Two down. Oh, what a lovely rug. Gotta have a new lamp. Ok, back to the CD towers.

Standing there was a woman. I could almost see her thinking the exact same thing. Which color? I felt rather bold in my new persona of a shopper. I sidled up to her and struck up a conversation. (Internally I was alternately shocked and pleased at my audacity.)

“Hard to make a choice, eh?” I poised the question lightly so it would float on the air in between.

“Yes, it is,” she replied, glancing at me, her eyes slowly taking in the intruder.

Uh, oh. I had seen that look before. Oh what the hell, everything is entirely innocent and I can take care of myself. If that is what she is thinking well I am not leading her on. Sheesh, maybe I am being paranoid. I mean maybe this is how females act when they are shopping. Maybe I have it all wrong. Ok ok, just relax, don’t worry, just be yourself. Be myself, I am shopping, damnit!

The conversation continued even though we had both made our decisions. Soon we were shopping together. We trudged down to the As Is section where delightfully I found three of the items I chose right there, assembled and even cheaper. Perfection. Now I really felt like an accomplished shopper.

And though I was loathe to admit it even to myself I was having fun.

I loaded up my cart with her help, which she insisted on. We marched on to the checkout lines. I was still feeling a bit guilty, but at the same time it was kind of nice to have a bona fide expert as a companion in this adventure.

Eventually we were waiting for our stuff in the loading dock. A small error on Ikea’s system meant that I needed to return upstairs and have them correct it. She came with me, of course. Then to the parking lot, where she insisted on helping me load my car. Egads. I hadn’t even thought of that. My tiny car. Well, I can do it. I’ve stuffed more than anyone thought possible into that thing before.

As luck would have it I needed an extra inch.

“Where do you live?” she asked.

Oh great, what if I am right in thinking, what if I am wrong, what do I do??? Just shut up, it is a friendly offer of kindness and something that you yourself would have done. Stop thinking.


“Ok, I have a truck, let’s load up the chest and the towers and I’ll follow you.”

“Umm, ok.”

I insisted that she accept a tank of gas for her time, since she wouldn’t accept money for her offer.

Thirty miles later we pulled into the driveway. I started unloading things and lugging them up the stairs wondering what I was going to say, wondering if we had tea in case she didn’t want coffee. Random stuff.

He opened the door right as she stepped up. The look on their faces told me that my first impression was correct.


She muttered something and after everything was unloaded made a quick exit.

At least I got the furniture home.

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