Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Bohemian Rhapsody (Part III)

After touring the apartment, it was time to get busy. We still had a truck to unload.

There was actually only enough stuff to take up about three-quarters of the available space in the 10-foot box truck. Fortunately Amy's Eagle Scout big brother Shawn, who is an absolute master of ropes and knots, had tied everything down so securely that nothing budged an inch during the trip down.

Amy and I began unloading, then after about 20 minutes she realized that her best friend Dianna was due to get off work and had asked Amy to pick her up. So she excused herself to retrieve her friend, and I continued to unload items from the truck that were small enough for one person to carry. The break was actually quite welcome. The weather was very hot and humid; my shirt was already soaking wet.

Before I knew it, Amy and Dianna were back, and she reached out to give me a big "Dad" hug. I advised her to opt for the "I'm-really-sweaty-so-let's-just-touch-each-other's-shoulder blades" hug instead.

Michelle and I really like Dianna. She's an absolute sweetheart. As a matter of fact, there aren't many of Amy's girlfriends we haven't really liked. And with a few notable exceptions, her boyfriends have all been winners as well. Happily for us, Amy seems to be an excellent judge of character. Her friends and companions have always seemed to truly be good for her and have supported her well. Dianna is no exception.

She is a year younger than Amy and is a fellow member of the UTC Theater Department. She hails from West Tennessee, but speaks with no discernable accent. She's cute as a button and she calls me "Dad," which is actually quite fitting, since we've all but adopted her as our other daughter.

She eagerly pitched in and helped Amy and me unload the truck.

The Sofa (A.K.A. The Deep Blue Something)
The final piece we had to move was the sofa. It provided the primary necessity for renting the truck. This was a special piece of furniture we were passing on to Amy: a comfy, blue, seven-foot long mixture of dog hair and family history.

This is the same sofa on which we had huddled together, a family in shock (no pun intended), as we awaited the paramedics following Amy's accidental tub electrocution so many years ago.

This is the same sofa that had been host to so many family gatherings, birthday parties, and friends over for homemade strawberry pie and coffee. If this thing could talk...

It became the first major purchase of our household in January, 1980. The sofa came with a matching loveseat, which we moved to the bonus room above the garage when moved into our current home in 1994. We had decided the configuration of our living room wasn't right for the combo. I still park my posterior on that loveseat as I watch TV each night.

It's made of a plush, still-bright navy blue, vertically-ribbed material that has been as durable as it is beautiful. It has surrendered every would-be stain that's attempted to violate its surface. From coffee to baby barf over the years, everything has cleaned right up. However that material does have one considerable flaw. It holds dog hair like a magnet.

We have an 11 year-old black-and-white Toy Fox Terrier named Spotty who joined our family about a year after we moved to Tennessee. She has short, course, curved hairs which she sheds 24/7/365. Prior to Spotty's arrival, the sofa could easily be cleaned with any upholstery brush or attachment that comes with most modern vacuum cleaners.

However "Spotty-hair" requires a bit more effort.

For the last 11 years, I had been tasked with the job of keeping the couch clean. It's a constant job. I have found the only way to do it is to take pieces of packaging tape and manually pressing and lifting them over the surface of the couch until all the hair is picked up. As you might guess, this wasn't a fun job, but I love my dog, so I did it.

And being the cool guy that I am, I brought my industrial-strength tape dispenser along to do it one last time. Amy and Dianna pitched in to help, and we finished in record time.

The couch looked great (it always did when it was clean) and was easily the best-looking piece of furniture in the apartment. I was glad that we were giving it to Amy. She and her roommate truly needed it and I knew they'd take care of it.

It was about 6:00 PM. Our work was nearly completed. All that remained was for me to change into a dry shirt, go to dinner, drop off the truck, and have Amy drive me back home.

Next: Breaking Bread
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