Preparing for a baby will leave you in all kinds of situations you never imagined. Take our search for a dresser/changing table, for instance. Under normal circumstances, Clayton and I might have greater self-preserving instincts. Like, when we have to lock the car doors and speed away from the gas station a block away from our destination because we are being approached by the man with a grocery cart full of aluminum cans…that would typically present a red flag for us. And maybe we would u-turn ourselves out of that neighborhood and find solace in a panhandler-less Circle K.
But not this time. This time, I’d been searching for a dresser for our well punctuated baby for weeks and finally found a good deal on Craigslist on what appeared to be the perfect fit. So we wound our way farther away from safety and into a part of town that could probably give you an addiction and/or Hepatitis from touching the sidewalk. I honestly don’t think I’m exaggerating.
We missed the street three times, and each time contemplated just scrapping the trip in favor of not getting car jacked. But then the vision of $400 price tags for wood laminate dressers flashed in our minds, and we headed back into the darkness. Except that it wasn’t dark yet or I would have ended this mission immediately. By the time we found the house, I had already committed to not stepping a foot outside of the car. Clayton had committed to carrying the cash in his jersey shorts pocket and not having his wallet anywhere on his person. And we’d both committed to silently praying to get out of there alive from the moment we saw the man with the can-cart at the gas station.
Once we parked on the side of the “road” (slightly widened sidewalk?), we were greeted by the incessant, charming barking of a Rottweiler that didn’t seem to be joking around. The chain length fence seemed awfully short at that point. Clayton took the route behind the three cars parked in the driveway, opting to not walk along the fence. I opted to continue praying. And check for the tenth time that my window was up as far as physically possible in the case of stray gunfire or Rottie teeth.
The door to the house opened, and then closed, and then opened again. Clayton went in. As soon as Clayton left my sight, I regretted this whole mess. I would have called Pottery Barn Kids that second and placed an order for any overpriced dresser they had to get him out of that house. I fought with tragic scenarios and escape routes and guilty tears (and maybe one little daydream about where the new changing table would go in the nursery) before he reappeared. Sans blood or stab wound, that I could see. And then I saw our beautiful, glistening espresso-colored dresser with changing table attachment and all was right in the world. Also, he was being assisted by an overweight middle aged woman with glasses who just didn’t fit the profile of my previous fears.
I even ventured outside of the car to offer an obligatory gesture of helping. I was outside long enough to make a few awkward jokes and offend the woman, and then I hopped back to my post in the passenger seat. We exited feeling somewhat victorious but mostly just plain lucky that our stupidity and frugality didn’t have more homicidal consequences. But that dresser sure does look pretty in its new home.