play it again, sam

So when I wrote about the move last month, I actually left one big thing out. I was too depressed to write about it at the time, but now that it’s (spoiler alert) fixed, I can: the piano got damaged in the move.

IMG_1904Owning a piano when you move is like having a giant boulder chained to your ankle. You have to move, and the easiest thing to do would be to leave the boulder behind, but you can’t. You’re attached to it. I wanted a piano all my life. When my mother died, I used some of the money she left me to buy this piano, and I’ve loved it ever since. I can no more get rid of it than I could my left arm. Pianos are sentimental possessions, and that would be fine if they weren’t so damn unwieldy.

Having a piano professionally moved door-to-door from Buffalo to Long Island was, to put it mildly, cost prohibitive. Four-figures-prohibitive. We settled on a solution that still involved professional movers, but we’d be doing the freight ourselves in our U-Haul. It was a good (and professionally recommended) solution. And for the record, a perfectly good one. The piano was moved onto the truck, across the state, and off the truck and into the apartment with no problems. What went wrong? I was tired and not careful, that’s what, and the damage occurred less than a mile away from the house, and just because of forgetting to secure something at the last minute. No one’s fault but ours.

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*Piano only. George’s butt not included.

We were lucky: the damage was mostly cosmetic, and did not involve the mechanics of the piano. Firstly, one wheel broke, which was inconvenient, but not that difficult to have fixed, once we found the right guy for the job. That put us back at 100% fully functional, but there was still this unsightly gash, a few inches in diameter and an inch or so deep. It didn’t go through, and it was in fact going to be on the side of the piano that is up against the wall… but I couldn’t leave it that way.

I’ve been told that hiring a contractor is a nightmare — people don’t call you back, or if they do they’re unavailable, or if they promise you a quote they don’t give it, or if they do, they sometimes don’t show up when they’re supposed to start the job. Apparently finding a furniture repairman is the same way, because we searched and searched and searched. We made calls and inquiries that never got answered, we spoke to people who said they couldn’t or wouldn’t help, we had no-shows and no-call-backs. We got one quote (pretty steep) and then couldn’t get the guy to set up an appointment. We were striking out everywhere. Frustrating.

IMG_1858Michael’s Furniture Service was our savior. The owner not only answered right away, and not only understand just what we needed, and not only gave us a reasonable quote, and not only came out and did the job that very same day, he also did the one thing that’s really needed doing: he fixed the piano, and that fixed my peace of mind. All better. You can barely see where it was, and if you didn’t know there’s ever been damage, you wouldn’t know or see anything other than wood grain. We’re really grateful, and recommend their company to anyone in this area.

So, all better. Whew. Now I just need to practice a little more often. 🙂