Yesterday I went to Dandenong to get the foam for the caravan dinette. Honestly. If you ever need foam, go to this place. They were super helpful, did not think I was a freak for lying on all their foam on the floor of the warehouse and cut the piece into four bits to our specifications. And I got a discount because they didn’t have enough of the kind I was going to get – so I got the next best one, for considerably cheaper. Woo!
Then I went to the caravan shop. As is becoming wearyingly predictable when M sends me out to get things (as my name is on the credit card of evil and his is not) I told the bloke (it’s almost always a bloke) what I needed. Clearance lights for the sides of my caravan. This is what the ‘trailer pack’ on the VicRoads site said I needed. Did I think I needed to do more research? Or did I think that the VicRoads ‘trailer pack’ which tells me what my caravan has to have in order to be registered would cover it? I thought the latter. I am stupid. Apparently.
So we’re hunting for clearance lights that I don’t hate. I keep saying my caravan is tiny, do I really need them? Some other bloke tells me I need TWO on each side. Sigh. So I find one I think will be good. The first bloke finds me a matching one. I buy two metres of extra wire, just in case M needs it. I continue on my way feeling very competent.
I go to Bunnings in Cranbourne. OH. MY. GOD. I find what I need (flyscreen for caravan door). There is a Bunnings lady standing right nearby. She cuts me what I require. I am pale with shock that this has not taken at least half an hour. Then I ask her, high on hope, whether Bunnings might have that wire stuff that holds up caravan curtains – because if M solves the mystery of the windows…we might need curtains.
Get this. She tells me yes. She tells me what aisle. She tells me where in the aisle. I almost applaud. This has never, ever happened to me in a Bunnings before. Last time I was there it took me fifty minutes to find someone to cut me some timber and then he told me that the extra stuff I needed wouldn’t be in until Monday. I then found it in the building supplies aisle. I could go on about how then it wouldn’t fit in the car and I had to buy rope which took another fifteen minutes and then all the fumes came into the car and started to axphyxiate Small Z and myself and how I had all the windows open and Small Z was very scared and how I had to stop on the highway and hide all the wood behind a ‘for sale’ sign and drive myself and the baby home where I handed her gently to M and went and kicked many things very very hard while screaming for a very very long time. But if I told you that, it would take waaaay too long, but it would go some way to explaining my Bunnings incredulity of yesterday morning. If only it was like that every time I had to go there…
I finally made it home, feeling smug and together. I had everything on my list except the window rubbers and the aluminium trimming strip for the table and bench, because those places didn’t open on Saturdays. M, I realised later, looked reticent at my composure. He went through my bag of stuff.
“What,” he said, holding up the clearance lights, “Are these?”
“They’re my clearance lights. Amber at one end, red at the other. LEDs.”
“It says they’re red rear lights.”
My being – the actual inside bit of my inside bits – started a slow loop. Every. Single. Time. I have tried to get things for this FUCKING caravan I get at least one thing wrong. Actually, the people in the shops either DON’T give me what they say they are going to or they give me the wrong thing. My problem is that I assume they know more than me. I NEVER CHECK. WHY DO I NEVER CHECK? [beats self around head with large and heavy object]
The lights were wrong. Then M had a go at me because I should have done more research about what is required. He looked further into the VicRoads site, and it seems that I might not need clearance lights after all. I might not have even needed to bother with INDICATOR lights, such is the age and smallness of the caravan. So tomorrow M has to go back to Dandenong. Again. And this time to wrangle with the bloody caravan shop. I really hope I have learnt my lesson. Stop assuming. DOUBLE DOUBLE check. Gah. And the extra wire? M thought it was a joke. Apparently he needed more like 12 metres rather than two. Double DOUBLE gah.