Wednesday, January 10, 2024

OK, one more hockey related post but with furniture.

When we arrived in Toronto the weather was delightful, reaching up to the 50s during the day and sunny.  We walked a lot figuring out our temporary neighborhood and didn't have to wear the coats we'd judiciously bought back in Virginia.  That didn't last long, the coats were necessary a few weeks later,  but in the meantime it was cool enough to require a sweatshirt.  Remember we were still living out of suitcases packed for a tropical island, so.... I wore the same sweatshirts a lot and my go-to was usually a bright red Washington Capitals sweatshirt even in the land of Maple Leafs.  

We moved into our permanent apartment the first weekend in December and the weather was mild.  Out came the sweatshirt.  We received our shipments and most of what we requested arrived, including our bed frame and mattress.  Woohoo!  What didn't make it... the hardware to put the bed together.  We bought the frame from IKEA at least a decade ago if not longer (I think it's longer, a lot longer), but did what made sense - went to IKEA for replacement parts.

The customer service area was packed and at a kiosk we requested a number to get in line, at least 45 minutes.  Ian went off to the restroom and I wandered around when a woman stopped me and offered a spot on a bench near her and her spouse.  I declined but then she asked if I was a Washington Capitals fan.  Yup, my sweatshirt.

It's been a while since the conversation so I don't remember details, but we had a long chat about the Capitals, the Bears, hockey in general, and the Indigenous games (the Arctic Winter Games?) in Alaska in 2024, because once they asked us where we were from because of our ACCENTS (ACCENTS??!), and why we're in Toronto, there was of course a visa question about traveling to Alaska for volunteering at the games.  (Speaking of accents, we had dinner out on Christmas Even and our server also asked us where we were from because of our accents.... I'd like to inform all Canadians that we don't have accents - they do.)

The highlight of our interaction was the fact that she is Connor McMichael's great-aunt and they spent time over the summer with Connor and the Calder Cup.  With pictures.  What were the chances?  No really... what??  It was yet another very cool and lucky connection to the hockey world.

We chatted until their number was called and took their seats for what looked like another hour of waiting.  Until she came back and whispered that they told the clerk that we were their friends and had a quick question and she whisked Ian up to the counter so he could ask for our missing parts.  A few minutes later they were done with their return and came by to say farewell.  The mysterious Canadian rescue we didn't know we needed and just like that they were gone.  

So, Shanna and spouse (sorry, I forgot your name!) thank you for being so kind and a joy to encounter.

We returned home with our IKEA loot and, bleh, the parts didn't fit try as we might, so we struck out on foot that afternoon and had no luck at three other hardware stores within a mile of our apartment.  The next day we drove to Home Depot and, success!  Back at home the four sides came together and then it was time for the stability bar in the middle, a simple "slide into metal brackets" before placing the slats and finishing up.  It was then we noticed that someone had removed the metal brackets.  They've never been taken off before, they lay practically flat against the wood except where the metal support slides in, why would anyone take them off?  Why??  They were probably with all the other missing hardware.  Frustration started to boil over.  Searching online showed that the missing plate is no longer available and other plates had screw holes in different places.  The bedframe was solid wood.  We don't have a drill.  

We looked at each other.  This bedframe had served us well for probably 20 years, and after ranting about the stupidity of packers who don't tape hardware to the relevant furniture or replace them in the holes once the sections have been taken apart (that is something we absolutely love), we agreed we were OK with moving on to a new bedframe.  So we walked over to the nearby Structube, ordered a bed for delivery (four days later we put together a new stylish frame that had all its parts - woohoo!  Do you know how hard it is roll off a mattress on the floor in the middle of the night when you're nearly 50?) 

The next day we deserved a treat and actual groceries and went to Costco.  Once again Ian disappeared (it's a big place, I think he got lost?) and a stocker came up to me and asked about my sweatshirt.  Yup, same sweatshirt.  I promise I wash it.  A young person who then jumped into everything he likes about the Capitals, even though he's from... Poland.  Ian joined and we chatted for a bit longer about the players and about cities in Poland we'd been to.

Hockey, and in particular the Capitals... bringing people together. LOL.

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