1. Be stuck in a chair, nursing. Idly browse kijiji on your phone because breastfeeding is so, so boring. Happen across an ad for a piano. Note the reasonableness of the price.
2. Reminisce about how nice it was to grow up with a piano in the house. Imagine how nice it will be for Anselm to do his piano practice on a real instrument instead of the electric keyboard. Imagine spending afternoons playing hymns and folk songs while your (cherubic and in-tune) children sing along.
3. Send the ad to your husband, subject line: “I want this.”
4. Phone conversation with husband: Should we buy the piano? Conclusion: Reach out and see if it’s still available.
5. Call the number listed on the ad. Talk to “Mike”. Mike can’t tell you if the piano is available since he’s not in the office. He’ll call you back within half an hour.
7. Phone call from Mike: the piano is available. But can you remind him what the ad said the price was? Put the phone on speaker while you look for the ad. Why doesn’t Mike know this?
8. Kijiji app won’t load. Grab the link from your email’s sent folder and read it back to him.
9. Oh, “Midsize piano rich sound half price for piano and delivery” means that delivery will be half-price, not that delivery is included. Ask Mike how much delivery is. Mike tells you how much of a deal half-price delivery is, no other shop in the city will do it, you know a piano weighs four hundred, six hundred pounds and you’ve got to use the ramp and the sledge, and by the way, how many stairs do you have up to your house? Say you’ll call him back in half an hour.
10. Phone conversation with husband re. updated price: Should we still buy the piano? Conclusion: Mike seems… odd, but sure, let’s do it.
11. Phone call with Mike: Yes, you’ll take the piano. Confirm all-in price for instrument and delivery. Ask when he can do the delivery. Well, maybe tomorrow, maybe sometime in the next week or two, he’ll have to check and call you back, he’s not in the office right now.
12. Rearrange the family room to make room for the piano. Vacuum behind the bookshelf you just moved. Comfort Tertia, who is scared of the vacuum.
13: Phone call from Mike: miscellaneous thumping and crashing noises, muted yelling of men at work in the background. Hello? Hello? Phone call is apparently from Mike’s pocket. The call disconnects. You still don’t know when the piano is coming.
14. Husband is home from work. When is the piano coming? You can’t answer. How are we supposed to pay for it? Well, you’re not quite sure. You didn’t pay him already, did you? No, no. We’ll pay on delivery.
15. Eat dinner. Put the baby to bed. Start Anselm’s piano practice.
16. Text message from Mike: “. 7uhj”. Respond “?”. Receive reply “Who’s this”. Be in the middle of writing your answer when your phone rings.
17. Phone conversation with Mike: Man he’s busting his butt for this job all day and his f’n phone’s sending messages while it’s locked, I mean how does it even do that, well anyway where do you live again? Yeah, maybe tomorrow, he’ll let you know.
18. Resume piano practice. Mama, when is the real piano coming? You don’t know, buddy. Soon.
19. Start getting the children ready for bed. The phone rings. It’s Mike! Mike is right around the corner so he’s going to bring the piano now. What’s your address again?
20. Your husband runs out to the ATM for cash. Perpetua is too excited to eat and wants to stand at the window until the piano comes. Convince her to come back and finish her snack. Time passes.
21. Your husband is back from the ATM. Are they not here yet? No, not yet.
22. Get the children in their pyjamas. No piano. Start reading their bedtime story. No piano.
23. Phone call from Mike. What’s your address, again?
24. Two minutes later: phone call from Mike. Sorry, long day, what’s your address, again?
25. Finish reading bedtime story. Pray. Resign yourself to the fact that the children absolutely will not go to bed until the piano comes.
26. Oh, there’s a truck! And it’s backing over your lawn. There is a lot of inching, adjusting and yelling. The piano is coming! Briefly consider stapling your children’s pyjamas to the couch as a means of keeping them in place.
27. Explain to Mike that even though the family room is right there, the clearance is too tight and the piano will have to take the long way around: front room through kitchen through dining room through back hallway and finally through the family room to its far wall. Maybe this is why the previous owner kept her piano in the front room.
28. Realise that whatever Mike’s phone habits may be, he is a bonafide piano-moving savant. The piano goes all the way through and around the house with nary a hitch. He has been doing this job for twenty years and is in complete control of the instrument, his teammate, and his tools. Thank you, Mike.
29. Everything is in place. Mike and his associate leave with the cash, and a bottle of scotch for a tip. Notice the handy way the piano shows off the slope of your floor, which you hadn’t noticed before. Wrestle the kids to sleep.