Wow, we’ve been spending. . . so very much time at home. Really. So much. But we are doing our best to appreciate the hygge aspect of all of this hanging-out-at-home stuff.
One part of our embrace-life-at-home initiative is that we bought new sofas! This was a hugely big deal for us. Cute W and I hate to spend money on random things, and the couches that we had in the living room are more than 20 years old, bought when we lived in an apartment in Brooklyn. We loved them dearly, and they were very comfortable. The first week we owned them, we literally could not lie on them to watch TV because we kept falling asleep. Sure, Macy’s had shorted us one small end-cushion, but I was a (much) younger woman then, and disinclined to make a fuss, and by the time I worked up a fuss, too much time had passed. So for over 20 years, I have strategically folded a blanket over one end when we were expecting company.
When we moved into our current house, it was a little awkward because the green of our sofas almost exactly matched the green paint of the walls. And we thought it was altogether too much green, but there were so many house things that needed to done that were more pressing than a living room repaint, and the sofas were still functional, so we just lived with it like that for 13+ years.
I distinctly remember that I had a friend who’d bought new sofas since I’d met her and then replaced the sofas with a new set, and I thought, “Hmmm, I guess buying new sofas is something that we could do in the next decade.” And then things degenerated. We had a couple of cushions that no longer had a “good” side. You could see and feel the wood framing of the sofa arms, which used to be hidden by cushioning that had disintegrated. That meant that now I had to strategically drape blankets over the missing end cushion as well as the suddenly-very-bony-feeling ends of the sofa. Then, over the summer, we had A Stink. It was not clear from whence this Stink originated, but Cute W and I feared that it was possible that a rodent had died in the inner workings of our loveseat. As it turned out, we’re pretty sure it was an air conditioning unit-related Stink, but it was at that point that I finally said it out loud: “It might be time for new sofas.”
What followed was a long process of researching and stewing. Cute W and I hate to shop and hate to spend money, so we tend to do this thing where we sort of marinate in the notion for a long time. And then one of us decides, quite urgently, that it’s time to “pull the trigger,” and the other person has been emotionally preparing for the moment and grabs on and holds on tight through what we’re sure will be a deeply painful process. And then, basically, it is never a painful process, because we know, now, that the end is in sight, and we appreciate how in sync our tastes are, and of course when you are a quick thinking and pleasant couple who are preparing to spend a crapton of money, people are super, super nice to you.
So back at the beginning of November, when Cute W chatted with our neighbors and found out that they’d just ordered custom sofas from the Bassett Furniture place at Huck Finn’s Warehouse, it was time to pull the trigger. One of our last outings as a family before M went to Breckenridge was to the furniture store. Picking out sofas this way means that you can micromanage every bit of it– how long the sofas are, how deep the seating space is, how the arms are shaped, how the cushions are shaped, the density of the cushions you sit on and lean against, the shape of feet at the bottom, the type and color of the fabric. Oh, and the throw pillows. Considering how many choices we had to make, we made pretty short work of it. Cute W and I wanted to be able to spoon while watching a movie, we wanted one of the stain-resistant fabrics in a color that basically matched what we had, and the rest was just details that we happened to agree on because We Were Meant To Be Together. So we’d look at a laminated card displaying something like eight different possible shapes or styles of bottoms-of-the-sofa and each automatically point to the same first choice, then we’d make eye contact and sigh dreamily and wish that both of our teenagers would leave the house simultaneously more often, like they used to do in the Before Times.
So, the point is, we ordered the sofas.
Of course, then we had to wait for our sofas. And, you know, there is something about putting a statement out into the Universe. When we said, “It’s time for new sofas,” it was like our current sofas heard and gave up their valiant efforts to serve us. Overnight, they seemed to slump more obviously then ever. Did you ever have a boyfriend or girlfriend whom you decided to dump, and in the short interval between making that decision in your heart and actually dumping the person, you realized that every single thing that person does irritates you and actually possibly they had never had a single redeeming quality, ever, and you just missed that because you were blissfully unaware? Well, okay, maybe that’s never happened to you, but that is how we started to feel. We were so ready to dump our couches.
Meanwhile, a small part of me was panicking, because of course when you make a dozen different separate choices, you don’t actually see the exact sofas that you’re getting, and so while you’re waiting, all you can see are the drain on your checking account and your doubts about whether it was worth it. I also started mis-remembering the process. Had we ordered blue sofas? That was a terrible idea. Why would I want blue sofas? I mean, obviously, our choices were limited to the stain-repelling fabrics, but blue wasn’t a good idea at all. I might hate these sofas!
Finally, the sofas arrived.
And we love them! First, as you can see, they aren’t blue. I think I got confused because we were looking at a swatch of the beige, but the only version of that fabric on a couch in the showroom was blue, so we were looking at that part to see what we thought about the fabric. And then I panicked and forgot. And yes, these look rather staid and un-squishy, but they are deeply cozy and also supportive in a way that our floppy old cushions never were. And the arms are so low-profile that we can even lie full-length on the shorter loveseat. So: yay! We are completely happy with them.
Now, the surprise joy of this situation is that now that we’ve moved our B-list couches down to the basement playroom, we love them again, too!
The playroom has long been a repository of cast-offs and quirky tween furniture for the girls, like a Yogibo and poufy bean bags and a stretchy net chair and a swing — all fun stuff, but not stuff that grown-up people want to actually sit in. By moving the old sofas into the playroom, we’ve magically turned it into a second comfortable living room space (along with being the crucial COVID-era home gym), which is something that is super-fantastic to have with us all staying home most of the time. So we can appreciate our old friends again!
Sure, we canceled the spring break trip to Mexico and the summer family trip to a lake and we haven’t seen once set of grandparents in over a year and the other set we’ve only seen from a 6-foot-plus distance. But the end is in sight, and for now, we’ll just sit here on our cozy couches.