Two Old Ladies and a Futon

A futon seemed to be the best solution for a bed in my office/spare bedroom. Also, it would give me a place to be comfortable while reading or watching television until my living room furniture arrived.

So, I told my friend Sharon about my plans. “Hey, I saw a nice futon at Sam’s Club,” she said. “I can take you there. If you decide to buy it, I’ll help you put it together.”

Well, I knew it wouldn’t be as easy to put together as she thought, but I wanted to browse around and until I found the perfect futon. So, last Thursday after work, we headed out to shop.

The one at Sam’s was gorgeous. Leather (or look-alike) and big…and very heavy…and did I mention BIG? There was no way we could put that into my RAV4. Plus, I remembered how Wilbur had chewed the fake leather on my late hubby’s brand new reclining bike!

So I decided to look elsewhere, but before we left, I signed up for a card so I could shop there again. (Don’t ask me…I don’t know why. When you are over 70, you sometimes have to make spontaneous decisions. You know, to make you remember your youth. Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)

The next store we ransacked searched was Big Lots. Right in the middle of the store in full view as we entered, stood lots of furniture. My feet hurried to the center and immediately I spied the perfect futon. Well, except for the metal arms instead of wood. But one can’t always be picky. The mattress was perfect, well, the one I chose was perfect. A nice brown shade and 10 inches thick.

The clerk, a beefy young guy, said they had both pieces in stock. He assured us it would be easy to assemble. My response, “Look at me. Do you really think it will be easy?” Sharon asked if he would be willing to come along and assemble it for us. Needless to say, that humor fell on deaf ears.

After telling him we had two SUVs, the models, colors, size of wheels…no, just kidding. Only that mine was a RAV4, which he said his parents had and the futon would fit inside.

Purchase secured. Two young beefy guys loaded the futon in my SUV and the mattress in Sharon’s. Off we went to the condo for some easy assembling fun.

Did I mention this was Sharon’s idea?

We had no trouble carrying the actual futon, in it’s nice sturdy box, into the condo. (Sigh. Another box to break down and stack with the others for Monday’s trash pickup). Once we accomplished that piece, we stumbled, grunted, and lifted, slid the mattress into the condo.

I was already tired. But not Sharon. She began opening the box and pulling out all those pieces and parts, including a million screws, nuts, and bolts…and one tiny bolt wrench and two tiny allen wrenches.

Unlike most men, women go about things by following directions. We started by laying out all the parts and assuring we had the correct number of each. Then we looked at Step 1.

The problem we immediately deduced was the pictures were not at all like the parts. The assembly piece which seemed to be the one that would make the futon lay flat or fold upright was not flat like the picture showed. And it would not flatten out by our trying to manipulate it. So we made sure the spring was on the correct side and began inserting the screws and bolts.

The instructions said to use a specific wrench for the first screws, but that was incorrect. The smaller one didn’t fit at all. In fact, we never had to use the smaller one in the entire process!

I tried to put in some of the bolts/screws to give Sharon’s hand a rest, but when the wrench slipped and I only missed her eye by an inch, I noticed she took over completely while I just held things in place. Her comment afterward, “I didn’t think you’d notice that,” shows her sense of humor!

Getting down to the end, we couldn’t figure out how to raise the frame to complete the final pieces. So we decided we must have put one of the pieces on upside down. While Sharon began taking it apart, I moved to the opposite side, and…whoa! I just pushed in the right place and that side moved!

So after belly laughing and rolling on the floor, and then my making a run for the bathroom, Sharon put the piece back on…the way she had done so in the first place.

In only 2-1/2 hours of work, we’d done the impossible. The futon was complete! We did sit on it to test it out and decided even though we were now experts, we didn’t want to add this to our resume because we didn’t want to have a future in assembling futons!

Yes, we had earned a nice meal out, topped with a wonderful toffee cheesecake for dessert.

Who says you can’t teach old dogs new tricks?

And the cats approved!


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