We recently got a new couch. It’s the first real decent piece of furniture we have had on this island, besides my desk chair (a necessary expense considering I spend 2/3 of my life in it). The couch we had was not really a couch, but a futon frame acquired from a lady in Kailua who was moving to another island. We also bought a black dresser from her and the small table with paintings of turtles on it, which I love. The table was only $20, the dresser was like $10, but this couch cost $100.
When we first looked at the futon, it was equipped with a cushy and thick cushion. Later, after we got our other stuff, we decided to buy it and sent Cadillac back to get it. It arrived at our home with a paltry thin and worn out futon cushion. What happened to the cushy one? No idea. It’s not the kind of thing my husband notices, and of course I did not say, “Be sure the lady doesn’t switch out the big cushion for a thin pad!” because I assumed she would keep the same cushion on. After looking around for a new futon mattress and deciding it wasn’t worth the extra $300 or so, we added several layers of foam padding, various kids’ quilts, and pillows to make it feel better on the tush. Nope. It was still like sitting on the most uncomfortable wooden slatted bench you can ever remember sitting on.
So I looked and looked on Craigslist. But the funny thing about the island is, everything new is expensive, and so is most everything old. People only sell stuff if they are moving, or if they have plenty of money and wish to redecorate. In either case, they seem to want more than their stuff is worth used. (The exception is military, whose stuff under a certain weight gets shipped for free and who with their PX access probably can get a couch for less; when they get rid of stuff they seem to charge less, probably figuring they’ll get a new couch at the next duty station. )
Anyway, I could not stomach spending a huge amount of money on a used couch, nor did I want to buy one on credit.
Finally, Costco stepped in and offered a sectional that was just the right size and price for our place. Fortuitously, our Costco rebate check arrived along with some back-to-back paychecks for me and we were able to score the very last sectional.
But you’ll never guess what happened in getting the couch IN THE DOOR. Cadillac had gone to Costco alone, folding down everything in the minivan to fit it in the back, and told me he needed no help. Of course. So I was inside when he was trying to maneuver it in and heard voices shouting.
I looked out to see him trying to maneuver a 7.5 foot tall box up the stairs to the townhouse, and a stranger, a middle-aged Chinese gentleman, helping him. They were yelling directions back and forth to direct the box.
“All right! I’ll get it from here,” Cadillac said once he wedged the box through the front door. “Thanks! You’re a great neighbor.”
“Glad to help!” The man waved and took off on foot.
What happened was a man and his wife were DRIVING BY and saw Cadillac trying to get this couch (on a little dolly, the fold-up kind) over the curb without the box toppling. The man stopped the car, told his wife he’d walk home, and jumped into action by helping a stranger move a gigantic box.
What? Have you ever heard of such a thing in the year 2010?
He does not live next door; we don’t know where he lives. But we’re glad to know he lives near us.