“I’m really excited,” I told Ben. “This will be the first piece of furniture I haven’t found in a Dumpster.”
“I know the feeling, I just got to that point myself,” Ben said.
That made me like him. I hoped he would get paid on commission.
“Do you have anything specific in mind?” he asked.
“A sectional that cats can’t destroy.”
“Ah, I know how that goes. I have cats too.”
That made me like him more.
It had occurred to me only a few hours earlier that I could afford to buy something semi-significant for the first time in my life. So I had asked my heart what it desired, and its answer was a couch. A nice, new, comfy couch that I could truly call my own (we’re currently using Doug’s sister’s ex-boyfriend’s old furniture set… don’t ask).
Ben showed me around and then left me to explore, and I settled into a cozy sectional. It was nice. It was more than ten times as much as the most expensive item I had ever purchased for myself (ipod shuffle in 2006 for $70), but I could afford it with money I’d saved from my second job.
I sat there imagining typing my session notes from that couch, chatting online from that couch, writing books from that couch, watching Ellen from that couch. Ben brought me a bottle of water.
I thought about how money is a strange thing. I had been spending a few evenings a week interviewing confused elderly people at hospitals, and now, because of that, I got to own something large and concrete like a couch. It didn’t seem like the two things should be related. But I was glad they were.
This was right before we left for Yellowstone, but I told Ben that I’d be back in a couple weeks for the couch.
On my way home I stopped by another furniture store, just to be sure. (I had entered this store once when I first moved here but had turned around and left immediately, before even making it to the real entrance, because I had been able to tell just by the smell of the store that I would not be able to afford anything in it).
I was greeted by Drew. Drew seemed kind of frat-boyish and like he probably didn’t own cats, so I found him less endearing than Ben, but he was friendly enough. He asked what I was looking for and then pointed me in the right direction.
The first and only couch I tested was a sectional made of goose-feathers. I sat down and didn’t get up for a long time. It was possibly the most comfortable twenty minutes of my life. It was over. That was my couch. I felt guilty about cheating on Ben, but I couldn’t help it. I knew that now there could be no other couch for me.
I tracked Drew down to ask the price. He looked it up. I winced. It was more than twice as much as Ben’s couch.
But I could make it work, right? I could sell my car and bike to work. I could stop using electricity. I could eat nothing but lettuce leaves for a while.
I told Drew I’d be back in after my vacation.
Well, we all know what ended up happening on my vacation.
Goodbye, savings. Goodbye, couch.
I will keep you in my heart as I continue interviewing old people. I hope to see you and your goose-feathers next summer.
Aw! We have never owned an expensive couch. Or an expensive bed. But we have had some expensive surprises like your car one. Those expensive surprises almost make you appreciate your cheap couch or your cheap bed. I don’t have much interaction with the Bens and Drews of the world!
Today for the first time I realized that our current couch can recline, so the joy of this discovery will keep me sustained for a while 🙂
Yeah, I hear ya. I really just don’t have much to say eihter. I’m in a slump writing-wise and don’t really feel like even coming out of it!I still look forward to reading about the Italy trip though. Hooray for the new furniture!
This part cracked me up: “That was my couch. I felt guilty about cheating on Ben, but I couldn’t help it.” Ha!
I’m sorry about your car! I hope you are able to get your goose-feather dream soon!
Thanks! A girl can dream!
I’m back from the picnic I had a rellay lovely time, but I just don’t have the same staying power as some (it was already 6 hour long picnic by the time I left!)Very much looking forward to seeing the blog all about it tomorrow.Hope you have a lovely time in Portugal, Mark (a bit of relaxation and extra sleep will hopefully be important ingredients of the holiday!)By the way, today’s mini-blog was just 53 words long think that was the shortest so far (understandably).
Super impressed by your ability to only buy things you can afford! Can you teach me how to be that way?
Well, probably because I never owned a credit card until about a month ago. Change may be on the horizon.
My car kinda looks like that right now…my mom forgot I was parked in the driveway behind her AFTER she said goodbye to me that morning. I guess my poor smurfmobile is not very memorable to anyone but me:(
Ugh, that sucks!!!! I’m sorry 😦
That’s the thiiknng of a creative mind
Great blog I enjjoyed reading