Phil and I have a tendency to bite off more than we can chew, particularly where furniture is involved. So when we got a call from Dania Furniture last Wednesday afternoon to let us know that our new sleeper couch was in, we wasted no time in borrowing my mom’s SUV to pick it up. (NO WAY were we paying $75 to have the couch delivered.)

1) Sleeper couches are really, really heavy. 2) The entrance to our apartment is at the top of a flight and a half of outdoor, L-shaped stairs. 3) Our apartment is in downtown Portland and has street parking only.

When we picked up the couch at Dania, the guys at the warehouse loaded it into the back of the car, so we didn’t exactly get an appreciation of point 1) above. The couch was just big enough that the hatch wouldn’t close all the way, so it had to be tied down with twine. It wasn’t until we began unloading the couch outside of our apartment that the true “weight” of our furniture moving situation became apparent. We somehow managed to get it out of the car and onto the sidewalk, but even that was a struggle, and, let’s be honest, Phil did most of the lifting.

So there we were, 6 o’clock on a Wednesday evening, with a ridiculously heavy sleeper couch on the sidewalk and no idea how we were going to move it into our apartment. We couldn’t leave it in the car overnight because the hatch wouldn’t close, and to be honest, I’m not sure we had the strength to lift it back into the trunk. The only reasonable solution was to laugh about it, which I did, quite loudly. I cackled like a loon right there in the street, bellowing over and over, “What are we going to do?!”

Beckoned by my shrieks of laughter, our (incredibly lovely and generous and wonderful) next door neighbors, Tim and Jimmy, poked their heads through the window of their apartment and called down to us, “Do you need some help?” Phil and I looked at each other. My first instinct was to shout back, “Nah, we got this!” Asking a non-family member to help move furniture is just plain cruel. But we needed help. Desperately. So we conceded.

You know that scene in FRIENDS when the gang is moving Ross’s new couch up the stairs to his apartment and he keeps yelling “pivot”? Imagine that, but not funny at all. By the time we had navigated the couch up the staircase, nearly dumping it over the edge a couple of times, and into the apartment, the four of us were a disgusting, sweaty mess. We thanked Tim and Jimmy profusely and assured them we had it from there, but they refused to leave until we had moved the couch into its appropriate position in the TV room. I will never forget their selflessness and generosity for helping us in our time of need. When Phil insisted that we repay them for their generosity (drinks? dinner? a kidney?), Tim responded, “Please, we’re neighbors.” Truly wonderful people, those two.

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