Tuesday, May 23, 2006

an emasculating moment this evening

As I walked up to my apartment building this evening, I noticed this girl standing outside the bar next to my building, talking on her cell phone. I went into my building and got my mail, and took a minute to sort out what was important vs. what was trash (since the trash room is a few feet from the mailboxes, I usually toss the junk without ever taking it upstairs) when this girl came into the building. I'd also noticed two Ikea boxes, one long and one short, sitting in the foyer, across from the mailboxes. She was sort of poking at the boxes when I asked her if she needed some help with them. She had moved into one of the fifth-floor apartments last week and just returned from Ikea. She said she was waiting for a friend to help her, but he was having trouble finding a parking space. I offered to help her carry the boxes upstairs. I was able to carry the smaller one by myself, and while it was heavy, it wasn't too much trouble to go up four flights with it. My arms already starting to ache, we went back downstairs to get the second box. I looked at the side panel and saw that it weighed 156 lbs. There's no way I could carry that much myself, so she and I managed to get it up to the third floor before we ran out of gas. I was impressed we got it that far. She surprised me with her strength: she was maybe 5'4" and didn't look outwardly muscular, but she was capably handling her end of the long box. With the box on the third floor landing, she said her friend could take it the rest of the way. I told her to let me know if they needed my help when her friend got there and I went back to my apartment.

Just as I got inside, I had an idea. Why not open the large box and take the contents upstairs in pieces? I was about to get my box cutter and go back into the hallway when I heard the girl and her friend. I looked out through my peep-hole and saw this guy, who was definitely no bigger than me and maybe smaller, pick up the 156-lb, six-foot-long box, tuck it under his arm and go up the stairs with it. I just had to laugh. I can't compete with that kind of brute strength. Granted, I made his job a little easier by getting the box up two floors, but I couldn't carry that much weight under one arm to go up even one floor.

And now I'll be lucky if I can even lift my arms tomorrow. Damn.

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