Image courtesy magazineart.org
September: Pick out couches I like from a reputable company online. Think about it. A lot.
November: Look at coordinating fabric for curtains.
After Christmas: Order said couches. Should be here in 4–6 weeks.
6 weeks later: Call company. Where are my couches? Oh, they're still being made. Well, I hope they come soon.
2 weeks later: Couches in, hooray! Happy March.
2 days later: Couches delivered. So-called "white glove delivery," which theoretically includes delivery to the room of my choice, unpacking, and assembly ends up being a dump in the garage.
That night: Mr. Mordecai unpacks the couches for me. One of them has been crushed in shipping. He and a neighbor bring them inside to get them out of the garage.
The next morning: I notice that there's a hole in the other one, a manufacturing defect.
Later that day: I call the company. Oh, that's too bad, they say. They can refund me $150 (less than the cost of shipping) or I can return them. Come pick them up, I say, but we're going out of town in two days. I give them our return date. Do you want to reorder? they ask. No.
Over a week after we get back: I call again. Hello, are you going to pick up those broken couches? Oh, hmm, I wonder why no one has called you for a pickup. We'll try again.
The next week: Sure, they'll come. Tomorrow.
The next day: One guy shows up. He decides he can't get them out alone.
The next day: Two guys show up. They get the couches out, but gouge a hole in our living room door. Oh, call our boss, they say. He'll take care of it.
The next day: Mr. Mordecai calls their boss. We need to pick up the door we want, and they'll have it . . . wait for it . . . yes, delivered.
The next week: Mr. Mordecai manages to get hold of the boss after a few tries and tells them the door we want.
The same day: I call the nameless company to ask when my money will be refunded. I get a pretty vague answer, which I eventually construe to mean: however long the couches take to get there, plus one week. The couches took two months to get here. Not really thrilling, but what can I do?
The next day: The door is promptly delivered.
That weekend: Mr. Mordecai spends all day fixing the door (unfortunately it wasn't just a simple matter of hanging a new door: it involved much hammering, chiseling, drilling, sawing, and I don't know what all.
About two weeks later: Our refund arrives, half one day and half a few days later.
Now we're back where we started. Except we still need to paint that door.