This past weekend, it was time for the big shopping trip.
You know, the shopping trip where Eric and I would buy 99 percent of the things we need for the apartment.
The shopping trip that had the potential to go badly and turn Eric and me into That Couple as a TV stand debate played out loudly in front of all the now-uncomfortable shoppers at Ikea.
Or the shopping trip that could make us fall a little more in love as we had a blast choosing the rugs, pots and pans, and furniture that were the perfect expression of US.
In the end…we definitely did not debate TV stands loudly in front of other customers..
But that was because we were barely speaking at all.
Six homemade doughnuts in the new $11 pan (to start things off right).
One misunderstanding of the right way to charge a nickel cadmium battery and a five-second decision on my part that ultimately ruined the battery (to start things off wrong).
“This is why we can’t have nice things” over and over again in Eric’s mind as we prepared to shop all day for nice things.
One silent car ride to the bank, where two names were put on one account.
Two hours of tense shopping at Ikea.
Zero TV stands or entertainment centers that we could agree on that could actually accommodate a 47 inch television.
One 15-minute trip across town to Crate & Barrel for my dishes.
30 seconds in Crate & Barrel before my dishes were vetoed.
$99 forty-piece dinnerware set for eight on sale for $49 at Kohl’s.
$89 45-piece set of silverware at Kohl’s…that would later be returned when we discovered a $46 45-piece set at Target.
Six hours of miserable shopping all over Houston.
Two large rugs plus glasses, dishes, bowls, a toaster oven, a garbage can, and all kinds of other goodies packed into the back of my Blazer.
One 300-lb box containing five chairs and one table that needed to fit into said Blazer, come out of said Blazer, and get carried up 15 stairs without bringing an end to the relationship that necessitated the table’s presence in the Blazer at all.
30 minutes with the Blazer double-parked as we attempted to make that happen.
One pizza with two wrong toppings.
Three pissed-off calls to Pizza Hut customer service.
240 minutes of intense discussion on money, spending, and what counts as a “necessity.”
One of us sleeping on the couch.
Both of us sleeping until noon.
Sixty minutes of unpacking dishes, curtains, and all the other good things we bought to cheer us up.
Three hours solo at Kohl’s, Home Goods, and Bed, Bath & Beyond to brighten my spirits.
Three more hours of cleaning, unpacking, organizing, and cooking to help me work through my feelings.
One apartment that is really starting to look more like ours.
And I can’t really put a number on how exhausting this weekend was.
The thing is though, I think this shopping trip is to couples like the Temple was to the contestants on Legends of the Hidden Temple. It’s like you should be prepared because you’ve rocked out during all the other challenges leading up to it…but then the Temple Guards are like, “Ummmm, fuck you — you aren’t going to space camp until you can prove yourselves one more time!”
And you totally think you’ll be able to survive the Shrine of the Silver Monkey (and the whole joint bank account conversation), but in the end, you crack under the pressure just like everyone else.