Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Heavy Lifting

When I bought my house, it had an ancient all-in-one washer/dryer in the laundry alcove off the second-floor bathroom.

Which is better than nothing, except I couldn't figure out how to open the door on it. 

"Jenn used to do it with a butter knife, but I just went to the laundromat on Communipaw," my tenant volunteered. 

MK couldn't get it open either, and when I called the one specialist I could find for this off-brand, he said "A piece of advice on that model: Throw it out." 

I dug around on the holiday sales but missed them all because I was afraid to commit. Could I get them up the stairs? The old unit was only 22 inches wide. Nothing I could find was quite that compact. 

"They can always lift it," said BBF (Best Boy Friend is super-smart about this sort of thing). 

But I missed the sales, I thought when I went back online to look at prices. Then I found a loophole--the LG models were disguised as Kenmore models at Sears. I bought them. They look great. They are huge. 

The phone rang on delivery day. "They aren't allowed to lift them over the banister," MK said. "They want to know if you still want to accept delivery." 

"Yes," I answered. I didn't know how to get it upstairs, but I knew smaller units were useless. My new tenants have two babies. Children create dirty laundry. 

When I arrived in my house and looked at the washer and dryer sitting in my living room, I had a twinge of panic. They...look...so...big! But there must be a way. 

I thought for a while, back to when I'd had to drive Babcock to his storage unit at U-Haul. It was a container that was taking his stuff out to his new home across the country. As MK and I had sat there in the car while Babcock rummaged in his container, I'd noticed a gaggle of men standing by the entrance to U-Haul. 

Day laborers. Hourly guys, looking for pick-up work. 

"Let's try them," I said to MK now, a year or so later. "You do the talking. You're a big guy. They'll take you more seriously. You look like you can actually lift something." 

We drove over to the Tonnelle Avenue U-Haul. MK got out and choose the two largest men out of the line-up. He negotiated and brought them over to the car. 

Marcus and Augusto were lovely people--both nice, strong, and clever. I can't say it looked easy, but between the two of them and MK, they lifted the washer and dryer up over and the banister and up the stairs. We then had to drive them back to U-Haul, and the entire experience would've been easier if I didn't live in an 1895 row house with tiny stairs and huge banisters, but at least it's done now. 

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