When we lived in Orange County our apartment was roughly the size of shoe box. It seemed the perfect size when Wes was living there alone, but when I moved in (with all of my belongings) it was cramped. The huge walk in closet was longer huge. And the enormous bathroom counter seemed continually overrun with my hair dryer or flat iron or Wes’ electric razor or any number of things that get banished to the bathroom. The quaint kitchen was actually fucking small and there was nothing cute about when trying to make dinner or breakfast or unloading the dishwasher while the other person wanted anything from the fridge. We managed, somehow, to fit everything in there – mostly by ingenious storage ideas and getting rid of anything that hadn’t been used and never buying anything that didn’t have a specific place already carved out for it.
When we found out we were moving to Oahu, our main goal for housing was to find something with at least one guest bedroom so that we could have guests, positive that Hawaii would make people want to visit in a way that Huntington Beach never would. Luckily, we found such a place and managed to fill up nearly every room – all three of them – with furniture from our 550 sq. foot apartment (did I mentioned it was really cramped back there in California?). There were a couple of pieces that we would need to make it look like adults lived here – a new bed for us and a kitchen table so that our guests wouldn’t be forced to hunch over and eat at the coffee table like first year college students.
Our first weekend after getting the keys to our apartment, we set out to find the missing pieces to our new home. Living on an island severely limits choices on things like where to shop and we ended up at a pretty generic furniture store, Home World Hawaii. We picked out a table that, unfortunately, wasn’t in stock but was to be delivered at the end of February, just about 4 weeks away.
Well, four weeks turned into 8 weeks. And then 8 weeks turned into 10, which turned into 12. And at no point did Home World call us to update us on what was going on. We had to initiate contact and listen to their half-assed attempts to explain why the table we ordered in January might not arrive until November, if at all.
After my grandmother and aunt died within two weeks of each other I definitely took my anger out on the employees of Home World for not giving a damn that a table we’d paid for over five months ago still hadn’t been delivered. After having already given us a 25% discount on the table they offered to buy it back and return the chairs as well. We took their offer, if only to never have to deal with them again, and for the past month-and-a-half, we’ve been back to stacking various household items on the folding table that we’d been using as our kitchen table and eating on the coffee table, while batting a curious puppy away.
We set about looking for another table and swore that we wouldn’t purchase one unless it was in stock and ready to deliver, which is a lot harder than it sounds, considering the lack of options in furniture stores. We spent a day looking last weekend, hoping to find something nice. And when we couldn’t find anything nice we were hoping to find something cheap to at least get us off of the coffee table, but even Target and K-Mart couldn’t come through for us on this front.
We finally found one that we both liked last week. It was sturdy and in the shape that we wanted and it was big enough to fit our neighbors – a family of five – over for dinner. Unfortunately, it was a little over the budget we had planned. So we hemmed and hawed and looked at still more furniture stores. And in the end we went back to the very nice table that was way over budget and talked them down to something that was only slightly over budget. It hurt a little putting our card down to pay for it, but having it delivered this afternoon – just two days after we paid for it! – and seeing it in our kitchen and typing this very post on it makes me so glad that we went for it. It’s the missing piece in making our apartment our home.