The Great Cabinet Caper- A Comedy of Errors

Well, after much research, talking to the neighbor (you know who you are) and talking to a guy at the Burbank IKEA store, we decided to save the several hundred dollars that a U-haul type truck would cost and rent a full size pick up to bring back our kitchen.  I reserved said truck.  Wednesday.  We were supposed to pick it up at 9 a.m. sharp.


We arrived at 9:15 a.m. after I, with rocket scientist intelligence, suggested we walk there.  My thinking, misguided I grant you, was that we’d be stuck in a vehicle for 3 hours so the 1/2-3/4 mile walk would be a good idea.  What can I say, I’m an optimist.  Then again, so was Murphy.  You know, the one with the law that we all know and love.


Our truck was not returned Thursday night as planned.  They have no truck.  There is a truck, enroute from Victorville (90 miles of 2 lane highway) and it should be here by 11:30.  Or, you can have this nice cargo van.  We opt for the cargo van.  Sorry Kaylene, you’re stuck at home.  Tuff cookies, I’m gettin’ me a kitchen.


Oh wait- someone took it to Bishop.  I’m very sorry for offering you what I can’t provide.  (He was too.  Very nice guy.  Felt bad for him.  However, this means no truck.  Until 11:30.  Did I mention that IKEA is at least 3 hours away?  Depending on traffice which we don’t encounter for the first 110 miles and then WHAMMO.


We go to the bank.  We withdraw 5k.  Why cash you ask?  Well, you see, IKEA doesn’t accept checks- not even cashier’s checks.  My debit card only lets me put 1k on it per day.  We keep a credit card with only 2k limit.    So, at best, we can spend 3k.  I knew cabinets would be more.  And we needed to have room on the card for a truck anywho.


We get food.  I assume that 2 hours is plenty of time for my body to reject lunch.  It always is.  So I should eat now.  Good move.  Right?  OF course right.


Then we sit and wait.  And wait.  At 11:30 Kevin calls and the truck is there and almost ready.  (They have to wash it from that 90 mile trip.  Whatever.)  We pick up the truck and head out.


Yee-haw. 35 miles or so from the house, my body rejects more of my breakfast.  Find a gas station.  Fast.  Oh wait, this is the barren blistered end of creation where things like gas stations don’t happen for 40-50 mile stretches.  Jawbone burned down right?  Oh, they rebuilt it?  WAHOO, get me there FAST and pray they have a bathroom.


Port-a-potties?  Oh, Lord have mercy.  And then have some more cause I’m gonna need it.  Wait!  Port-a-potties that FLUSH!  If anyone doubts the existence of God, this should be enough to change their mind. 


Twenty minutes later, we’re off and driving.  We hit traffic at the 5.  This is not unusual.  We crawl along to Burbank.  I miss the exit because I’ve only gone here from the other direction.  No biggie, we can get off on the exit we use FROM that other direction.  We arrive, we park and we enter the store.  This is it.  Crunch time. 


I double check that I like the cabinets.  I bring up our plan on the screen and ask for help.  The woman checks my plan, says the only thing she sees as a problem is my sink.  I tell her it’s not able to be changed and so she’s fine.  (that’s the good thing about changing this stuff before you go in- they don’t try to talk you out of it!  Note to anyone else who might want to do somethign similar some day-)


Then comes the next bomb.  “When do you want these delivered?”

“We plan to just take them home.”

“We don’t stock your doors.”

My face registers shock that she doesn’t understand.  “Um, I was here in February and the guy told me then that you DO stock these doors.  We came here because of that.”

“We should have them by May but not now.”


I feel sick.  My brain is spinning.  It’s after 2, we’re already tired, and the only thing we can do is buy cabinets and have the doors shipped?  Ok.  Fine.  We’ll do it.  She gives me the paperwork to fill out and I start.  Then I get smart.  That happens now and then and once I recover from the shock, it usually means something good is about to happen.  I need good right now.


“Um ma’am?   Would the Carson store happen to stock the Stat doors?”

“I don’t know, but I’ll see.”  Seconds tick away as she clicks around the computer.  Minutes tick.  I’m starting to sweat.  Again.  BTW, remember back when I used to be bummed that I don’t sweat?  I take it back.  Sweating is gross.  Thought you oughtta know.

“Yes, they stock them.  Let me see if they have what you want in stock.”

She checks, she double checks, and finally she says, “Well, the least amount they have of any door is 5 so you should be good.”

I’m relieved.  As far as I know the most I need is 4 of any one door.   “Thanks!”  And we’re outta there.


Carson is about a 30 minute drive from Burbank.  Well, it should be.  It is also approximately 30 minutes farther from Ridgecrest.  Theoretically speaking of course.  It took us just over an hour. 


It was after 3.  We at lunch at Tony Roma’s and discussed seeing a movie to pass some time.  We wanted to avoid rush hower.  Bbbbwwwaaahhhhaaaa.  We’re so naive.  The nearest theater was 20 miles away.  (in the LA area there is 20 miles between theaters???   how bizarre is that?)  Did I mention yet, that at this point I have a fever and am coughing occasionally?  Did I mention that I can tell I’ll need my inhaler and sooner than I like?


We give up on the movie idea and decide to just get the cabinets ordered, shop for a while, and then head out.  Sitting in traffic is still sitting, and it is getting you closer to home- even if at a snail’s pace.  I cannot tell you how GRATEFUL I am that we did that.  That was the mighty hand of God saying, “Sorry guys, you’re too stupid to see facts so I’m going to give you a nudge here.”


Kevin dropped me off at IKEA and took Kaylene to “shop”.  I walk up two flights of escalators and enter the showroom.  BTW, the Carson IKEA has a distinct showroom advantage over Burbank.  They offer short cuts to prime things instead of sending you through their labyrinth of walkways to get you anywhere.  The downside is that their elevators require you changing after each floor if you want to go all the way up or down.  Thought you oughtta know.


I get to the kitchen station, start to call up my kitchen, and realize that someone seems to have something left on the computer.  I didn’t want to risk messing it up, so I moved to the other side.  There, I found a nice woman trying to assemble her kitchen.  Bless her heart, she had no idea of any kind of measurements, how to use teh program, nothing.  I started helping but it got hard with my notebooks so I set them down.


Then I panicked.  Thirty-seconds of white drained face panic.  The woman looked at me and said, “What’s wrong with my kitchen?” 


“My purse?  I don’t see my purse!  Where is my purse?”


I looked everywhere  It wasn’t anywhere.  I  hadn’t stopped except on the other side and I hadn’t put anything down.  At all.  It was gone though.  NO PURSE.  I asked the gals at the counter if anyone had turned one in.  (can you say major prayer activity?)  Nope.  They called lost and found.  Nothing.  I looked again.  I even looked in baskets nearby and looked at everyone carrying a purse as I raced down the aisles to the elevators.  This is, of course, when I learned about how they do things at the Carson IKEA.  I went up and down a couple of times.  It’s hard to realize that buttons aren’t working when you’re just trying not to imagine the worst.


I race out the front.  (Remember my comment about asthma?  Don’t forget that tidbit.)  Off I go along the parking lot.  As I walked, I suddenly realized, “I may have just lost the equivalent of a used car.”  I walked through the center of every row trying to find our truck until I got to the entrance of the mall.  Then I raced inside.  Went to Old Navy.  Kaylene had mentioned it.  Nope.  Not there.  Sears.  She wanted to see what else they sold other than appliances.  (Insert small town hick giggles here.)  Nope.  Just as I was ready to go back out to the parking lot and keep searching for the truck, I see them.  I race up to them and say, as calmly as possible  (Kevin doesn’t handle stress well), “I can’t find my purse. I think it must be in the truck.”


I must interject here, that Kevin is much like his grandmother Winnie.  She had a Phd. in worry.  Kevin has her particular talent for it and I knew that telling him this was a sure fire way to fire it up.  Now, Kevin did great.  He gave his trademarked, “Oh no” that only the family can imitate sound-wise, and we raced from the building.  There was my purse, right on the floor of the truck where I left it.  At this point I realize that I think I told the woman next to me that there was 5k in it.  I don’t usually do stupid things like that.  I am blaming oxygen deprivation due to an impending asthma attack.


And it commenced.  Now, I must state that before now, asthma attacks have always been mice induced.  It happened maybe once a year and I would take a puff of Primatene, collapse in exhaustion, and be fine.  I couldn’t afford that collapse.  Kevin kept saying all day, “We just have to get the cabinets ordered.  Just hang on till then.”  Snort.  Poor guy.  He knows me and this asthma business. 


What we didn’t know, was that an asthma attack with corrective medicine rather than shock treatment actually lets you continue to function.  I took my puffs, I coughed once or twice, and I was FINE.  I’ve never seen anything like it.


We start ordering.  This is at least a 2 hour process even though everything I needed was planned already.  While she entered our order, triple checked everything, and essentially made sure my kitchen happens, I shopped in that department.  Ahhh…  Cabinet pulls, organizers, towel racks, cute little shelves to hang from racks, magnetic knife holder…


“She can take your payment now and they’ll start pulling it.”

“Great!  I thought they’d have to do it down stairs.” 

“No, kitchens we take care of up here.”

“Well, I do have cash…”


Their expressions were priceless.  “Um… I guess you do need to take it downstairs.  I’ll print out your stuff for them.”


Kevin went off to get me a drink while I went to pay.  I hande over thirty-six 100.00 dollar bills.  She held each one up to the light.  Gee… thanks for showing everyone that I have a purse full of these things.  Then she tried adding in the second page of my order.  Wouldn’t take.  Third order wouldn’t take either.  We both stared at each other in confusion.


By the time she got halfway to the information booth, I knew what it was.  It was all on the first order.  Those pages were for the guys in the back.  Sure enough, that’s what the information people told us.  Gee… residual intelligence from Burbank.  Oh PLEASE Lord let it last until we’re done loading the truck.  We’re gonna need all the help we can get there.

I shopped in the marketplace.  I bought a rug, knives, storage container, pretty enamelware bread bowl, ooooh 2 big blue bags full of loveliness.  It was fun.  Even when I had to fork over another 400 dollars.  Alas, that’s life. 


Now it’s time to wait for our order.  The store is closed.  We’re waiting.  People are leaving with their orders.  We wait.  They’re triple checking every item on our FIVE carts.  I pray that everything is there because we won’t know until time to assemble kitchen.  I have no clue how to check this order in a reasonable fashion.


Loading the truck at 9:30 at night.  That’s interesting.  It’s dark, we’re all tired.  This stuff is HEAVY.  Oh, and we have to let 2 feet of stuff hang over the tailgate so we have to pack it wonky.  Guess what Kaylene; you get to ride in the front seat.


We tie it down.  Yards and yards of twine criss cross over our truck bed.  We pray it’ll work.  We pray it isn’t like the Christmas tree the year Jenna was a baby.  That would not be good.  Driving down the road and having it fly of in the first 20 yards… weeeeeeelllllllllllll.


We drive around the town a smidge.  Stop.  Check out the truck.  Looks sound.  We get on the freeway.  Remember, no rear window.  It is covered in boxes.  Bumper to bumper at 11 p.m. for 90% of the drive from Carson, past Burbank, and to the 5 interchange.  Except that we didn’t get to go on the 5.  It’s closed.  We get to divert to the 118.


Kevin says, “We’re taking Balboa and going that way.”  He was 2.43 seconds faster than me.  We want HOME.  Once on the 5 to the 14 N we were doing good.  Almost no bumper to bumper anywhere but lots of traffic.  At midnight-1 a.m.  Our town just doesn’t have much to talk about.  We were hicktified over it.


By the end of Red-Rock canyon, I was so exhausted, I was singing drunkenly and talking about nonsense to keep me awake.  I knew if I let myself stop, I’d never get out of the truck.  My muscles were screaming at me, my lungs were ticked, and life as we know it was pretty miserable.  I kept telling myself, “You didn’t loose 5k.  You are literally being smothered by your new kitchen.  Be grateful you fool.”


It didn’t help.  Thought you oughtta know.


We arrive and I try to help carry in the (EXTREMELY HEAVY) countertops.  I commence new asthma attack.  Kevin and Kaylene take over the removal of stuff from the back of the truck and I take shower.  His orders.  He’s so bossy sometimes.  I like bossy when I’m tired, stubborn, and trying to kill myself.


We crash in bed at 3 a.m.  Much of the pick-up bed is in the front of the truck.  The rest is in the house.  This is not because we live in a crime riddled area where we fear for anything outside, or even because our weather is unpredictable and could have ruined things. No, this is because Murphy is alive and well and we weren’t taking chances.


So, I woke up to this, this morning.


Note to self:  Trying to show length of boxes can make walls look oddly crooked.

Note to others:  Those outlets are as perfectly horizontal as you get with stuff like that.






Wiring guy comes some time after 3.  I’m going to bed when he gets here.




2 thoughts on “The Great Cabinet Caper- A Comedy of Errors

  1. I’m really glad I stopped by here! Your thoughts are dead on, and I think they reflect the thoughts of Christ, who refused to be drawn into the extremes of the Pharisees or the Herodians.

    Thank you for sharing this!

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