Since I commute now, I do a bit of adventuring alone (by adventuring, I mean running simple errands that I – for some reason – have trouble with). For me, it helps to document because I rarely have the energy or boldness to strut into situations that are too foreign or “extra” so yes, moments like these are big accomplishments for me. I am trying to practice how to do things for myself, even if no one is there to show me. That’s all I have to say this intro is getting too long please carry on
Yesterday, I went to Ikea because I had a gap from 1-4 and Ikea is only ten minutes by freeway from school. I had gone over the weekend with my friends to scope out what desk I wanted, so it helped that when I got there, I already knew what I wanted. There was this minor scuffle that dealt with me having to Facetime my mom and nearly yelling through the phone because she couldn’t describe to me what she wanted as a lamp for the office. After that, I made my way to the bottom floor where all the warehouse items were and headed straight to the aisle my desk was supposed to be. I found it no problem. But then it took me a good seven minutes just standing there, nudging the box with my hands, sizing up how big it was, testing my strength, giving up when I could barely lift it. I realized that there was no way I could carry the desk and its shelves all on my own. Mind you, I’d been planning on getting this desk for a while, so I did feel very defeated when I blatantly decided, “I can’t get this for myself today.” I walked out of there with just my mom’s lamp and i texted my family groupchat of my situation. Surprisingly, they responded immediately with “ask for help” (I say surprisingly because they rarely respond immediately). But even as I dismissed it, on the way to the car, I knew I couldn’t just leave without coming what I came here for. I unlocked the trunk, put the lamp in the trunk, admired at how well I had prepped my seats (reclined all the way forward to make room for the cargo), and headed back inside – this time, with a mission.
I walked into the entrance, slipped through the side opening leading straight into the warehouse instead of taking the escalator to the showroom floor, slid past the closed registers and eventually found myself standing in front of Aisle 6, Bin 13 once again. I pull at the box just in case my strength somehow leveled up since the last time I’d been there ten minutes prior. It was still very heavy and very large. There was no way.
I wheeled one of the heavy duty carts with me to a worker in yellow stripes. His back was facing me so when i said, “Excuse me?” it came out extremely hesitant. I hated it. I could hear the weakness in the words as I spoke them. I said, “Can you help me carry something?”
He said, “Sure” and followed me to that goddamn aisle for the THIRD TIME. He pulled the box out, cardboard sliding on cardboard, tilted it downwards – “I’m gonna tilt it down first” – and then lifted it with his OWN TWO HANDS – “and urgh, here, hold the cart in place, yeah, there we go”. It took five seconds it was so easy. And everything else went as smooth as what an average Ikea customer would experience, until I got outside. The employee who previously helped me carry the items said that I’d be able to find help at the loading dock, to help me haul things in my car but there was no one in sight. I stood at the edge of the curb, clenching onto the cart to prevent it from sliding away, trying to decide what I was gonna do. Again, “Maybe I’d gained the strength by now” was my biggest argument as to why I should just try to do it myself. And as irrational as it sounded, it made more and more sense, winning over all other options I had. Options like: should I go back and ask for an employee specifically to help me? Should I wait until someone realizes I looked hopeless and helpless enough?
I eventually wheeled the cart over to a spot against the wall and left it there – definitely open and susceptible to anyone who wanted some new furniture HAHAHAH. I tapped the box once, demanding a silent stay there before hustling to my car and driving it to an open spot in the loading dock. And as I was pulled up into a space, I finally found an employee. He was helping some other lady load things in her car so i just opened my trunk, brought my cart to my car and waited there. A couple of minutes went by and I didn’t realize I was staring at the lady and the employee until the employee made eye contact with me.
“Hi,” I blurted out. I had rehearsed in my head that I was supposed to say Hi can you please help me? But the rest of the sentence didn’t come out HAHAHA.
“Did you need help?” he asked for me. His eyes were squinting and I couldn’t tell if he was irritated or not.
He paused from helping the other lady (because she was still rearranging her car) and came over to me and again I witnessed with HIS OWN TWO HANDS – he gripped the box on either side, hefted it up and smoothly slid it in. it took up the entire space of the back seat + the trunk and IT FIT!!! I sighed a “thank you” and headed to drive back to school.
The freeway drive back was horrible. Of course, I got lost. What was supposed to be a ten minute trip back turned into a twenty-minute detour. First of all, I missed the freeway entrance. Then when I finally got onto the right ramp, I somehow convinced myself to exit 55 south instead of staying on the 73 north so basically, as soon as I got on the right freeway, I got off it right away. So then I had to park in a gas station, circle around, give myself a pep talk, and find my way back onto the right freeway. Okay easy enough. I found the entrance. It had one of those stoplights, saying “2 cars per green” – yeah well I’d only ever been used to the ones that say “1 car per green” so when the car in front of me went, I stopped and as soon as I did, what do ya know – someone honks at me. And it wasn’t just anyone; it was this HUGE truck like bigger than a dumpster truck. And by the way, if he intended for me to go faster, it backfired because the sound was so loud and OBNOXIOUS that I freaked out and I took the time to look around me until I saw his glaring bumper right up against mine in the rear-view mirror.
When I got back on the freeway, I made sure to stay in the correct line and exit at the right time and luckily, I got back to school before my class started. All was good after that.
Except while I was sitting in class, I realized I’d forgotten to get my chair from Aisle 10, Bin 14.