furnishing dreams and other sappy metaphors

In a continuing theme of Trying To Fake Like I’m A Grownup, I bought some furniture this weekend. I’ve been looking for furniture for a few months now, and while I wasn’t really in a time crunch or anything, I was starting to feel like I wanted to make a decision and pick something out already. I’m kind of ashamed to say this, because I know it shouldn’t matter, but I’ve been feeling a little self-conscious about having people over to my place because of my shabby mismatchy furniture. I also have a terrible, horrible habit of comparing myself to other people. It’s bad. I’ve done it for as long as I can remember, and logically I know that it’s really just a stupid way to spend my time, because I never come out ahead. I’m constantly comparing myself to other people so that I can justify the things that make me feel insecure.

Anyway, less navel-gazing, more furniture. So I’ve been looking for furniture. Because what you should really do when you feel insecure about something is go and spend a bunch of money. And oh my heck, I am SO picky. I seriously pity anyone who may consider marrying me in the future, because I’m both picky and indecisive. I have been shopping at several places over the last few months with various members of my family in tow, and I love that they’re so patient. I’m not patient. I was with my mom in freakin’ Big Lots this weekend and she was trying to decide between two little wooden bins, and I was like OH MY GOD JUST PICK ONE. Yet she didn’t complain a bit when I dragged her around the furniture store for three hours whining about the grommets on this couch and the color on that one and the shape of the cushions on the third. And when we narrowed our choices down to just two pieces, she very patiently went back and forth between them with me for at least a half an hour until I made up my mind.

I ended up getting this couch and loveseat. I did not get those tables, because I thought they were ugly and too light. I also got a mattress and box spring, which I desperately needed. My Nanie very generously gave me her old mattress and box spring when I moved last year, and though it has done okay for me, it’s really pretty old and I haven’t been sleeping well at all lately and I think the mattress is part of the problem. It’s a queen and I can pick the whole thing up and move it myself. I think it’s made entirely of dust mites and springs. My new mattress is so awesome that I think I could have fallen asleep on it right there in the store. It is seriously how I imagine a cloud might feel.

So I bought furniture in a very long and boring process. I will just say that my salesperson was awesome and if you live in the area and are thinking of buying furniture, please email me and I’ll give you her name. I am getting all kinds of free crap with my order, including a bed frame, a Lumpy doll, free delivery and setup, and free removal of my old furniture.

And that’s where I start stressing.

There are two reasons for the stress. First, I get all weird about strangers coming into my home, and start to feel like maybe I should scrub my chair rails with a toothbrush or something. Second, I’m getting all sentimental about my old furniture and kind of don’t want it to go away.

My main furniture is two pieces of this blue sectional sofa my parents bought sometime before Jamie was born. The blue couch and its associated parts are the only furniture we still have from when we lived in Colorado. There’s video of us holding baby Jamie on that couch, and that couch was her home base when she was learning to walk. We’ve opened birthday gifts there and recovered from surgeries there and spent sick nights tossing and turning there. Sadie the crazy weiner dog chewed the feet off of it, and Gordon the fluffy cat claimed it as her own, and Abby and Marco like the corner piece better than any furniture in the house. Yesterday, Sammi reminded me of a time when the recliner piece was the coveted TV spot in the house, and we would fight tooth and nail to claim it for the evening. So the blue furniture has lived in five houses with us, and now it’s a little ratty and falling-apart, although still comfortable. My mother would also want you to know that it has been stain-free for all these years because she paid extra to have it treated with Scotchgard. She brings that up a lot.

Mom doesn’t get attached to things like my sisters and I do, and she got over the blue couch years ago and wanted it OUT of her HOUSE. Apparently, it was a great feat of patience for her to keep it long enough for me to take it with me when I moved out. When I was talking about feeling guilty about getting rid of it the other day, my parents told me that they got it because Dad thought Mom wanted it and Mom thought Dad wanted it. We are great communicators.

I spent a long time yesterday trying to find a charity in town that would come and pick it up, and they were all closed or wouldn’t accept furniture with rips in it or couldn’t come in the time frame I needed. I considered Freecycling it but feel uncomfortable about random Internet strangers coming into my home, so I decided not to do that. Instead, the delivery guys will take it with them tomorrow morning and I guess it will go wherever old furniture goes to die.

And I know it’s silly, but I’m just a little tiny bit sad about that.

10 Replies to “furnishing dreams and other sappy metaphors”

  1. While the Old Blue Couch may go on to furniture heaven or hell, you can rest assured that the FH microwave that has been with us since Ginny was a babyone, will most likely be in our kitchen until Jamie starts getting the AARP magazine.

  2. What? No Salvation Army pick-up?

    So I must say you made a great move getting furniture with no buttons. Seriously, if anyone out there is considering buying a sofa that has buttons, please for the love of god, don’t do it.

    That is all.

  3. Yeah, I really don’t like fussy things, so buttons were straight out. I’ve been stabbed by many an errant sofa button over the years.

    I can’t remember whether Salvation Army fell into the closed camp, the no-rips camp, or the way-too-much-trouble camp, but like Goodwill and DAV, they didn’t come through.

  4. I think old furniture goes to die in college towns that feature porches with crooked rails and painted boards that, as inexplicably as the universe’s existence, have always been peeling. They are the elephant graveyards of furniture.

    The memory factor of old furniture reminds me of two things:

    (1) The Lemonheads’ old song “Stove,” about throwing out a stove. The line is sung in earnest as the speaker looks out at the stove on the curb: “But I miss my stove, she’s all alone, call it love, she’s replaced, I miss my stove. She’s right out front and looks a mess and I want to relight her, I miss my stove! I feel sad again.”

    (2) I have a couch that used to be in my family’s cabin. The couch was brought to the cabin by my uncle, who has worked for years in contract furniture. He took this couch from an office he was cleaning out, a Chicago Teamster office of a man who’d been convicted for murder.

    I totally understand the self-consciousness of second-hand and mismatchy furniture. I actually don’t let my family see my apartment, and I’m very selective about which friends I allow in. I’m embarrassed about that truth, but I need it.

  5. Aw… you didn’t get the furniture like mine… :( , but I guess those ones are okay too.

    I’m pretty sad about the couch going to furniture purgatory too…. but you know which furniture i don’t miss… that ugly brown furniture with like the barns or covered bridges or well houses… or whatever the hell the were on it… did not like that furniture… apparently mom loved it though

  6. maybe you could keep a little square of the cloth, just so you could have a bit of the couch still with you. it may sound silly, but it might make you feel a little better.

  7. Awww, I like Manny’s idea. That’s very cute. It could be just a little swatch in a frame. Although I suppose the couch might be gone already. Just think of all the memories you can have with your new furniture.

    I get very attached to things in a sentimental way. I once threw out a soap dish I’d had for years by just tossing it into the trash can. I felt so guilty treating it that way, I had to take it out of the trash can, tell it “thank you for everything” and place it nicely back into the trash can.

  8. freecycle is okay. really. they’re in and out. and sometimes, you can just leave shit on your porch if you’re that weirded out.

    but i put stuff up and get responses, and it’s been fine.

    and i don’t feel like a grownup because i always have mismatched furniture and shit. and while i want that to change, i also have to sort of feel like for the time being, peeps best not judge. like me for who i am, you know?

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