When I was married, my wife came home with a present …£450 of petrol lawn mower because ‘ she thought I would like it ……….’ meaning that SHE liked it and wanted ME to cut the grass!
I hate gardening and had told her before we got married that if we got a house with a garden, anything in the garden would be her responsibility! This purchase was simply a means to get what she wanted without my being able to quibble about the price tag, or the extra work involved for yours truly.
After my separation, I thought this category of gift, (creating me more work that I hadn’t planned for) was a past memory. How wrong I was……
A phone conversation with my mum and a simple statement …” I am thinking of getting bunk beds for the boys for when they stay” …… was Mistake No 1.
An hour later, I get a call from said mother …” I think I have bought you some bunk beds,”….. My mother and eBay are a recipe for potential disaster. She has been known to purchase the most unlikely and useless items in the past!
Two hours later it is confirmed by email that I have been bought a second-hand set of IKEA bunk beds and mattresses presently residing in Guildford. But it’s okay Mum says “I will pay for the seller to deliver them” I say “ Thanks …that’s wonderful! ..The boys will love them..” Mistake No 2.
A little voice in my head is screaming …..But there isn’t room!!! It was just a thought, not a wish or even notice of intent. Is mum mixing HRT and alcohol? Should the non computer literate over 60’s be banned from e-bay altogether?
I organise an evening at home and await for the agreed ‘first’ delivery. I say first, because the delivery is cancelled an hour before the beds are due. The delivery is reorganised for a date which is only four days before my boys are next stopping over. Panic ensues, but after another evening taken off work … the beds arrive.
I live in a second floor flat and as soon as I walk to the door, the heavens open …… the first thing the driver says is …” I have to be careful in the rain I have a new hip!” So single handed I unload the beds from the van and deposit them in the ground floor hallway and off the driver goes…
… A completely wet me – now has to take the bunk beds and mattresses up two flights stairs and into my flat …. If I had known the size of them I don’t think I would have agreed to having them delivered at all. An hour later the beds are in pieces in the bedroom (one bed flat) and I have to download the instructions for construction of beds from the IKEA website …Definitely a job for tomorrow!
The following day I spend half an hour trying to find the correct model of bunk bed, before I download the instructions, and bingo I am ready to go. Hang on, it is actually a two person job to construct this most thoughtful of presents! By now the boys are due the following night, no time to enlist another person to help, so I revert to plan B – get the boys to help !! Mistake No 3.
The boys loved the mattresses on the floor, but I am not so keen on being awakened at 7am to ninja training rolls and jumps. What is it about boys and mattresses? So Saturday morning we play “build the bunk bed” game….We get the frame half made up, before the boys lose interest…
So now I have a giant mechano of partially constructed bunk beds sitting in the middle of the bedroom … I eventually finish construction the following morning …. Before spending two further hours juggling furniture trying to get the bunk-beds to fit and then for me to be able to move about again in my once spacious bedroom.
A call to mum to say the bunk beds are built, was mistake No 4 – “ Oh, I have seen some duvets sets in Sainsbury’s, I have put some money in your bank so go and buy them, and let me know when you have them, because If they have sold out I’ll go and get some in my local store”
So an hour round trip to a large Sainsbury’s to buy Stars and Stripes covers and basic duvets…. Good quality and low cost …..and eventually these bunk beds are fully furnished!
So with delivery, the eBay cost, the duvet covers, the evening off work and the day spent sorting them out I could have bought them new from IKEA when I was ready. But they are up now and Mum feels she has helped.
In divorce situations, parents want to help. Sometimes the need to help is part of coping, more important than our own need. I am a great believer that you must take positives from every situation. I am now an expert bunk beds builder!
Thanks MUM !!!