Note: The "Trooper" in question is not actually in the military. It's a metaphor, people.

June 19, 2008

Assume the Position

We did it. Our first grown-up, couple purchase. A sofa.

I couldn’t stand the sofa Wine Guy had before. It was very heavy-looking, bulky, velvet (too warm for southern California in my book), and a dark maroon color that, although attractive, just didn’t match my color palette in any way, shape or form (I’m all about the reds). Plus it was technically owned by ex-Wine Gal (I’ve not written much about her but not because she isn’t around. She is, in fact, still quite good friends with Wine Guy and we see her on a very regular basis. Makes for awkwardness at times but overall I like her. Her furniture that used to be “their” furniture? Not so much).

Over the last few weeks, I’ve thrown out comments here and there suggesting it might be time for a new sofa that was “ours,” but he never seemed to bite. That is, until we finally arranged our living room last week and realized that it just wasn’t working.

We originally planned to just browse the furniture district (I use that term loosely. In San Diego the furniture "district" is basically a ghastly road of furniture strip malls) to see what was out there. My priority was comfort and a chaise. His was price and appearance. We both agreed it couldn’t be too overwhelming for the space. In all honesty, I was prepared for battle. He tends to prefer more modern styles and I tend to prefer something you might actually want to sit on after gazing at its beauty.

I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly we were agreeing on things. In fact, we thought we found the couch pretty early on. A nice, simple microfiber sectional with a chaise. We got a quote, sat on it in a multitude of positions, and almost pulled the trigger. But I took one more sit and finally admitted (out loud thank goodness) that it just felt, well, low–budget. Like it wouldn’t last long, so what was the point? He agreed and we moved on.

Moved on to the most perfect couch in the world.

I am giving myself full credit for spotting it first. It was a tad over our price range but it was everything we wanted. Comfortable, but modern, spacious but didn’t feel huge due to its low profile. It was love at first sight for both of us.

We needed to make sure it fit so we rushed home and were devastated to discover that it was far too large to fit where we had originally intended. But I was not going to roll over that quickly. After some brainstorming, we found an even better furniture arrangement that would accommodate the sofa perfectly and even add to the illusion of having distinct dining and living areas by using the chaise as a sort of room divider.

We called and purchased it over the phone right then and there and spent the next two days saying, “I can’t believe we bought a couch” over and over again.We picked it up on Monday and had it assembled and in place by Monday night. Here's how it looks (if you look closely you will see my cat, AppleButt, making herself quite comfortable):
One big question did loom over this all-too-happy purchase experience. Ex-Wine Gal’s couch. I could tell from the first moment I started hinting that I wanted a different couch that Wine Guy felt a bit touchy about just “dumping” her sofa. Wine Gal is somewhat cash-strapped, so if we sold it, the money should probably go to her. But we didn’t want to go through the time and hassle of selling it for a measly $100, and she certainly couldn’t fit it into her tiny studio apartment. I suggested donating it to Goodwill but that was also met with some reluctance by WG. Finally out of frustration I called him out on it, “So what exactly are we supposed to do with it?! We can’t have two couches here!” That’s when it came out. He feels sad for her. Just like this couch is my first grown-up couple purchase, this couch was hers. And here we are, happy, and unceremoniously dumping it for something newer and better.

I get it in theory. I feel badly for her too – she has become a friend of mine as well. But still. Like I said, this relationship can be awkward at times.

So WG finally picked up the phone to call her and ask if she was OK with us donating it. He went outside to have the conversation, I suspect because he wanted to tell her privately that he was sorry if she felt sad about it. I don’t know exactly what was said, and I alternated between being jealous and compassionate the whole time he was out there. But he soon returned with the news I wanted to hear - we could take it to Goodwill and be done with it. And that was that.

Back to the good part. I feel like a whole new world of comfort has opened up to us. We used to squirm and adjust every five minutes to try to squeeze us both onto the velvet monster. But we never really got comfortable. The cushions slid out, the cat hair stood out like dandruff on a black t-shirt. It just sucked.

But now? Now we can each have our own section to ourselves (though I can see we are already fighting over the chaise) and our own physical space. Or we can snuggle onto one section together if we so choose. The cats even love it because they can have their own territory on either end without feeling threatened. AppleButt has already started to show her love for the couch by scratching it, so it was quickly covered in StickyPaws before she could do much damage. But other than that it’s heaven.

Is this what cohabitation is all about? Being comfortable while sitting together in front of the TV? We’ll see. Right now I’ve only had one night of being able to veg out on it and Wine Guy wasn’t even home. Hopefully this weekend we can really test it out with the ultimate boring couple test – a movie and a few glasses of wine.



Maryam said...

Your couch looks fantastic. I wish I had found something like that when I was looking for one last year.
I wish you two happy TV times on the new couch.
BTW, I have been reading your blog for a while now, but I never left a comment. I like the way you write, honestly and critically about yourself and your relationship.

mimi of 'sexagenarian and the city' said...

i love it. it looks terrific.
and one cat seems to like it....and the other cat?

anyway, great taste; a really elegant modern-looking room.

Ian Romaine said...

Hi, I just stumbled across your blog and I've got to say it looks great - as does the sofa!

The TV test is obviously a very important step for any cohabiting couple but I'd also recommend a couple more to really check out whether the sofa is suitable:

a) the sitting-at-either-end-with-arms crossed-while-you-both-sulk-during-an-argument test and

b) the making-it-up-to-each-other test

Have fun! :D

- Ian

Loverville said...

Love it! As I was reading, I was already thinking that I was going to have to write to you and ask for a pic -- and voila!

Nice how it turned out as well with the ex-couch.

Sonny Amou said...

So that's where my couch went.

Give it back, lassie!


jess said...

The couch is perfect, and yes, that is what cohabitation, love and marriage is about, sometimes just hanging out on your on end of the couch, reading or watching tv, but together. My husband does not like it if I want to read in bed while he is in the TV room, he wants us together, even if we are doing something different. And, it is kind of nice (once I manage to get up and move).

I have been reading your blog for a while and am thrilled to see how your relationship with wg had moved forward. Yay you!