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I have spent 25 years longing for an orange sofa. Not rust. Not pumpkin. Orange.
And now I own one. Actually, I ordered one. It will arrive in a few weeks. If I make it that long.
The waiting is killing me.
Let me tell you, as someone who rarely spends more than $20 on anything for myself, buying a sofa has been a challenge. The term Sticker Shock does not even begin to describe the sense of fear and loathing that comes into making this purchase.
Listen, I like to shop, and I love me a bargain, but the thought of spending that much money makes me seriously uncomfortable. OK, so, perhaps I’m at a point in my life when I could afford to buy a decent piece of furniture, but as of yet, I do not own one. I look at pretty things on pinterest all day and fix dollhouses in my mind, but when it comes time to purchase something, I have always, always, gotten whatever was the best price whether I liked the look of it or not. In short: I am cheap.
Just entering a high end furniture store makes my throat tighten. Visions of unforeseen accidents and hospital bills shuffle through my head. What if there is an emergency and I need that money for something important? What if I find something less expensive next week? What if I get it home and I hate it? Isn’t this a waste? Do I really need a sofa?
At one point I even googled “make your own sofa” and spent two hours looking at interlocking bean bags and three-sided trundle beds. Wow. That was fun.
My father’s mother kept a ceramic canister of grease in her fridge (yes, a jar of fat), and on the side it read: USE IT UP. WEAR IT OUT. MAKE IT DO OR DO WITHOUT.
And that fat jar still haunts me.
And here is the other thing: I am pathologically superstitious. I genuinely fear that spending money on anything extravagant is going to jinx my stability and something horrible will happen on the way home. I know it’s weird. I’m wired that way. I can’t help it.
In order to make myself purchase something (something I actually really wanted) I had to force myself to realize that this sofa isn’t an extravagance – it is a practical piece of furniture that is used multiple times a day, every day. Now, isn’t that a good place to put one’s money? Would I deny my butt a decent place to lay down? And if I buy a quality piece with a warranty, I should get a good ten years out of it, right? So If I break down to cost per day, divided by the average number of times I sit down, it’s comes down to 3 cents per sit.
I am a grown ass woman. My butt deserves a three cent sit.
And besides, my old sofa was broken. No literally–broken. The movers cracked the central brace two years ago while shoving through the front door. Even after repairing it there was a sinking spot in the middle. It was still functional, so I embraced the imperfection and painted it. Then I reupholstered it in faux fur. Then I patched an old slipcover. Then that wore out and I threw a blanket over it. When moving day came around last month, the old broad was so beaten and withered, I didn’t have the heart to force her through another transition. I left her in the alley. She was a good solider. She was a two cent sit.
So now I have moved on. Hooray! After an exhaustive search and multiple trips, I have purchased my very first “good” piece of furniture from a quality store. Not a thrift store or a discount shop, not the clearance rack at the department store. No, sir, I went whole hog and chose a genuine furniture store with track lighting and a “beverage station” and lots of sales girls with long fingernails that go clickity clack clickity clack as they tap their fingers on the table, waiting to process my credit card, as I, hyperventilating in the corner, said a prayer that no one got hit by a bus on the way home.
So far so good.
And here is the other thing: it’s not just any sofa; it’s an orange sofa. I have wanted an orange sofa since I saw one in the living room of my childhood best friend’s home. That thing was so deep and wide that half-a-dozen of us could make a blanket fort on top of it without ever touching the ground. Then other times, they would slide it across the room under an old Mexican parrot swing and let us use it as a landing pad. One time I spilled orange juice on it and her mom didn’t even flinch. She just shrugged and said “Don’t worry, it won’t stain. It might even match.”
I want a couch that will match my stains.
I want a couch that matches Lola.
I want a couch so deep that my feet hardly touch the floor.
AND NOW IT’S COMING.