A first: going into a furniture store alone
After a lovely happy hour with a friend yesterday, I decided to brave a new frontier – the furniture store. I only had one glass of wine so I figured it was safe.
Now, these can be pretty intimidating, even with a spouse. Not to mention overwhelming – the choices, the styles, the prices, the salespeople.
And, boy, there’s nothing that makes you feel quite so alone as the realization that the choice of couch color and style is completely up to you.
I circled the entire showroom twice, maybe three times. I pictured myself sitting on the couches, the dogs lying on the couches. I envisioned vacuuming behind them, moving them. I took down measurements. I bought nothing. Of course, I didn’t expect to really buy anything. This is a major purchase, and I refuse to make it standing on one foot. I felt no pressure. I took photos of stuff I liked, but that’s all I walked out with.
I looked at the only other customers in the store: a young couple with a new baby. I remember those days. It seems like it was both yesterday and a lifetime ago. They were excited to be making a purchase, heads together, whispering, no doubt, about how they could afford the purchase, would it survive their children (answer: no), would it fit in the living room… It’s almost hard to believe that they and I are in the same universe sometimes. If this was a movie, the scene would flip from the young couple to Mr. Ex and me 30 years ago. That scene would be faded-looking, clearly the 70’s (elephant bell bottoms, anyone?), but we would be just as hopeful, just as clearly children playing at being grownups. The first furniture purchase – the upgrade from hand-me-downs, college-era, potchkeyed-together stuff.
The following scenes, of course, would show the transitions – sitting on the couch as we held the first baby, cleaning up the spit-up, discovering the cushion that oldest had flipped over after spilling milk on it, waking Mr. Ex at 2:00 am after he would fall asleep watching TV. Arguing after he told me he wanted a divorce.
Wow. You can go through a lot while shopping for furniture. Today I’m looking at what I have to see if any of it will work – maybe I don’t have to buy something else after all.