To avoid complications, she never kept the same address

When I was younger, I had no conception of how fortunate I was. I think this is true of most people. That’s because unless you have a certain amount of life experience under your belt, it does not occur to you that anything can go wrong and probably because of the sheer force of this oblivion it doesn’t. I had no idea at the time that my first few jobs provided more disposable income than I would ever have again nor that my first apartment was the best accommodation I would have for many years to come.

I have always strived towards the ability to be able to move in the middle of the night. For those of you who are stuff-challenged, that means only owning as much stuff as you can shove into a backpack (or even better, having your backpack filled and at the ready in case a quick getaway is required). And for many years I met or exceeded that challenge. I was able to walk down the street with my meagre possessions to move into my first apartment in Toronto. That meant I had to buy or otherwise cobble together my furnishings from scratch.

Most important was a place to sleep, which in bachelor (bacheloress?) digs means a sofa bed so you can pretend you have both a living room and a bedroom. I found the perfect convertible sofa. It was a beautiful two-toned beige stripe that looked kind of like raw silk. If I had ever had a beige sofa before, I would have avoided this but everyone needs to make this mistake at least once otherwise they would not be able to sell beige sofas. Anyhow, the folly of the colour choice did not surface (so to speak) until much later. The first problem was much more severe: getting the sofa bed up the elaborately curved stairway of the mansion that housed my apartment.

It was probably the hottest day of the year when the delivery van pulled up in front of my house (and at the latest possible window of the promised noon to 5 pm timeframe). When I opened the door and they got a good look at the chore ahead of them they were less than enthusiastic. Apparently, all of the people buying furniture that day lived in ‘character’ buildings without benefit of elevators. At this point, I had spent the entire afternoon sitting on the floor of my fabulous but very vacant (and very hot) second floor apartment waiting for my furniture. I am pretty sure I played the helpless female card (not that there is anything wrong with that) to persuade them to attempt the summit of the stairs. They got around the second bend before the couch decided it had a fear of heights. I don’t know whether the thought of having to abandon the mission – which meant trying to get the couch back down the stairs – or the thought of dealing with a sweaty and hysterical bed-less person was the lynchpin, but somehow the couch got dislodged enough to make it to the top.

Of course I vowed never to move again. And if you believe that, you still think my phone number is 967-1119 (the folly of which may be evident to those of you who order pizza in Toronto).