Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Rocky Road to Romance

Over the past week, Andrew and I have managed to acquire the following:

---TV
---DVD player
---Futon
---Daily delivery of the New York Times
---Printer
---A copy of The Rocky Road to Romance by Janet Evanovich

One would think we were—at last—getting settled. And indeed, it would appear that way. The last time I had cable TV was—never. I have never subscribed to cable in all my years of living as an independent adult. In Spain, we had cable for approximately one month; but Spanish cable boxes and the television sets that accompany them are complicated to a degree unknown to the rest of humankind, and I never learned how to turn the TV on once everything was installed. This is not an exaggeration. We moved to a new apartment shortly thereafter and didn’t bother signing up again. I can’t lie: it’s nice, very nice, to have TV. I can watch Everybody Loves Raymond as I clean up dinner and watch Iron Chef America before going to sleep. On weekends like this one, when Andrew is away for work, I’m especially happy to have it.

And it’s fabulous to have the Times. And its attendant subscription to Times Select. And the ability to print things without emailing them to Andrew’s office.

But some distance remains until we’re as settled as we can be without any of our things here with us. For example, one would think we’d be happy to no longer be sleeping on an air mattress on the floor. Yet we’ve somehow succeeded in upgrading our sleeping arrangements to something even more uncomfortable. The futon mattress sags in the middle, and until we shore it up with strategically placed pillows, it will continue to kill us. We got it from a nice couple from Craig’s List, mainly because it met our main criteria: it was cheap enough that we won’t feel compelled to move it back East whenever the time comes, and the seller agreed to deliver.

I thought we were being given a sign of something on Thursday, in the midst of all this settling in, when Andrew opened up his package from a Half.com seller. He expected to see a Chicago guidebook he’d ordered for his business trip, and instead pulled out a romance novel. The swirly, heart-festooned cover of The Rocky Road to Romance was a surprise. “What did you order?” I smirked, as Andrew went on about it being a “shipping error.” Whatever. I felt sure that some greater meaning awaited us in this chirpy, oh-so-domestic piece of supermarket fluff, that a clue lurked within the pages of this book where, according to the “Dear Reader” section from Janet Evanovich at the front, “[t]hey all fall in love, they outsmart some bad guys, and they eat a lot of dessert.” I was hooked. Alas, about a half-page in, more satisfying reading (the cereal box, the cable bill, a Pizza Hut flier) beckoned, and the mystic sign, if there is one, will, I fear, remain undiscovered.

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