1. 2. 3.4.

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.



  1. says

    LOVE this post! Whew it was like a therapy session!!! Good for you getting a grown up, beautiful, bright, couch that will put a smile on your face every time you look at it. I have a red one 🙂

  2. says

    congratulations!!! orange is the best color. in fact, i still have like 3 yards of orange velvet left from making curtains a couple years ago…

    you should make a ‘sit jar’ and charge guests three cents for each sit.

  3. Cindy D. says

    Awesome!! And how could you ever regret an orange sofa? I’m smiling just thinking about it. (I used to live near a big, old victorian house that the owner painted purple… the entire thing… even the roof. All the neighbors were furious. I thought it was GREAT! How cool that they loved that color so much… made me happy to see it every day!)

  4. says

    Sister, it sounds like that old couch was the definition of worn out. You done that jar of fat proud. Enjoy your orange couch!

  5. Anonymous says

    Mine is Orange LEATHEr, they called it saddle brown but its orange and I love it! I have had it for 11 years and probably 11 more but that is ok ’cause it is the best place for a nap, a maze of pillows or a fort… Enjoy!!!!!!!!!
    Junk Buzzard

  6. Anonymous says

    I sympathize with your agony of buying something first-hand, kills me…but sometimes a little splurge is good for you!

    My mother always said the use it up, wear it out thingy. (In her kitchen hung a sign that said “Two choices for dinner, take it or leave it!)

    My couch is beige…hmmmmm

  7. says

    First of all,I’ve gotta say your blog posts always make me infinitely happy.

    I am glad you got your dream orange couch! Congratulations! Totally get the anxiety about spending too much money on things, but sometimes, you’ve gotta TREAT YO’SELF 2011. Sorry for the Parks and Rec reference.

    I have a dream furniture story of my own. We had some family friends in our town, and the grandmother happened to live next door to us growing up. I would go over to her house to get cookies and to try on her costume jewelry, like enamel cat brooches with rhinestone eyes, and dachshund sweater clips. Anyway, she had these AMAZING avocado green chairs. I loved the way they were shaped and the way I could curl into a perfect ball while sitting in them. I loved the weirdly disgusting shade of green. I loved the soft, plush upholstery. They were just the most wonderful chairs.

    Sadly, about two years ago, sweet Mrs. Bryant passed away. Her family got rid of a lot of her things because they couldn’t bear to look at them. The chairs happened to be sitting in their driveway. Of course, her daughter remembered how much I loved the chairs growing up and asked me if I wanted to take them to my new apartment. Of course, I said yes!

    People might come in and look at my gross pea soup chairs and think I am a crazy person, but I do not care in the least. Every time I look at my chairs, I think about Mrs. Bryant’s sweet, powdery perfume, and how she always had her nails painted in a vibrant pink (I mean, she insisted that her nails be painted in the hospital. Mrs. Bryant had to be ON all the time), and crazy brooches pinned to her jackets, no matter what the occasion. She had a good sense of humor, a big heart when it came to her family, friends, and neighbors, and she could bake a mean oatmeal cookie. Damn.

    Sometimes, I’ll sit in my chairs and think that maybe, just maybe, the slightest ounce of her cool is gonna rub off on me. That woman was like a grandmother to me, especially because my grandmothers lived states away from us.

    I hope your magic orange couch inspires legions of girls to be as cool as you are.

    (sorry if this is a grammatical mess or hard to follow; I am super exhausted and a little emotional thinking about my magic furniture)

    Lots of love,

  8. says

    You are now officially a grownup! I used to have an orange sofa. Eventually it was recovered in dark red canvas. I have had three or four other red sofas since. You will love your sofa forever. Ann

  9. says

    Life is for us to enjoy. We should do it with an ORANGE sofa, or a set of pea green comfy chairs or ORANGE Leather! Whatever makes us smile. My parents gave me a BLUE swivel rocker that was in their living room FOREVER, and I won’t even let my husband sit in it (well, he doesn’t sit in it right!!!) It is best to be curled up in it, or have your legs hanging off the sides.

    Looking forward to seeing pictures of your new friend in your home. With Lola perched on it, of course. Maybe you too???

  10. says

    Niiiice! I can’t wait to see the sofa in action! I’ve never seen that saying before, and think that it should probably be pasted up in every room of our house!

  11. Anonymous says

    1. life is to be enjoyed.
    enjoy your orange sofa!

  12. says

    Thanks for the feedback everyone! I’m gad y’all approve of my choice. Pictures to follow!

    @Veronica, what a wonderful story! Mrs. Bryant sounds like a hoot!

  13. says

    Hilarious…I read part of this to my husband because he always give me a hard time about my extreme buyer’s remorse. I can’t even look at the total on the register when we have to buy something large…it kills me. Glad to know I’m not the only one who has to be convinced to splurge!

  14. says

    Sweatpants, rhinestones, orange sofas, Chuck Norris, glitter. etc. etc. I love it all. It’s like you’ve roundhouse kicked me to my heart. Happy to have found your blogginess!

  15. @dionnetrifiro says

    I swear I will be more patient, a better mommy, nicer to everyone (including my husband) if only I can have an orange sofa, or even a chair…… pinky promise?

  16. Jeremy Rosado says

    Wow! I never thought that an orange furniture looks really modern and stylish. I’m loving the color.

    office furniture nyc

  17. David John says

    The post is telling how to distress furniture. You can get details about it.

    Bunker Beds

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