What do you know. Here it is, New Year's Eve eve. I've been feeling the nudges and pinches of 2016 asking me What Am I Going To Do Next? Huh? Huh? Huh?
RIGHT BRAIN: Yeah - prodded on by You-Know-Who
LEFT BRAIN:Well? Interested Brains want to know
Hush you two. I am doing the talking now
RIGHT BRAIN: LEFT BRAIN:Well, la de da.
I have quite a bit of time off this year - happily there are 2 extra weekend days following the Day of Demolition, when I take down the tree. Truth is - I would have taken the tree down already because we aren't having any company or any parties and, miracle of miracles, ThePrince is interested in buying a new couch.
I should say - buying a new loveseat since that's all the space we have in this house unless we do some major furniture moving and I don't like rearranging furniture. I like things to be done right the first time and to stay that way. BUT things change, time passes, and now and then you try to see if you can finally get rid of the World's Ugliest Couch.
I'm not quite sure why I have never been one to "fix up" a house. I have my suspicions but they don't reflect well on me or my self esteem or even my life choices so I shan't expose them to public inspection. Fortunately I do just enough interesting things that I have gathered about me “Stuff” that people find pleasing to look at and I'm enough of a mathematician to understand the geometry of arrangement. I tell myself "Oh I live in a studio" and use it as an excuse to not decorate, to leave things mostly as they are, to live with the World's Ugliest Couch.
As I said, though, it's really a loveseat -and it is also really a 900 lb fold out bed with a steel frame and, I suspect, steel upholstery. It may once have been pink. It may once have been a rosy beige. It may always have been throw-up colored. It came to me as a perfect meld of all 3 colors. It is also the perfect size to fit in our house and it's extremely comfortable to sit on.
But UGLY? Whooee! It takes the prize of ugliness and I have been wanting it gone for, oh, say, within 30 minutes of it entering my house - way back in the early 1980's. Grandma got it at a yard sale ... or bought it from some friend who was redecorating her kids rec room. it has a deep 1960's feel to it though it could be older. And even ThePrince thought it was ugly when it arrived, unexpectedly, in the back of somebody’s truck. He just forgets.
But in the 1980's we'd just closed the note on this house when ThePrince got laid off in the post Carter slump. We were living on pennies. We needed furniture and Grandma loved to lend a hand. Besides - back then I had the sewing machine set up in my bedroom. Fabric was cheap and easy to find. I know how to make slip covers. It's a project I hate, but I do know how to do it and I've covered that couch many times.
Only now - now fabric is scarce and expensive and I long ago packed away my sewing machines, to bring out only in emergencies. At times I've looked at the World's Ugliest Couch and thought that that much aesthetic pain is an emergency but then I'd look at the price of 8 yards of fabric - and worse yet - at the HIDEOUS colors and AWFUL prints that are available now (I am a dark red and green floral type) and I just can't bear to spend $$$ on a couch that is so heavy I can't move it - so it sits stubbornly on the floor hiding packed dust balls and mouse-chewed Christmas nutshells ... and even little dehydrated skinks that died under there on hot summer afternoons, after slipping under the screen door and getting caught in the packed dust balls .....
Yes yes. I clean this house but I don't try to get underneath that 900 lb couch more than every year or so. Besides - skinks are beneficial lizards ... just read this article ...
ThePrince and I don’t have such a great track record for furniture shopping. We have different tastes. Mind now – he has good taste. Just different from mine. And I care enough to not insist on pinkification or ruffle-0-mania. But he has a gruff irritated tone of voice when we shop for things that we’re supposed to share. He is very bossy and not only is he insensitive to anything but the most All-Hailes-are-Engineers language, he’s very dog-like in his response to my doubt filled weakness, fueled by my aforementioned self esteem issues. One sniff of fear-amones and he’s on me like a doberman.
So. So we have been desultorily looking for a New Couch for several years. His first reaction, held till just this month, was that he could disassemble this couch, taking out the excess steel bed frame and we could have it reupholstered. A day of unsuccessful furniture shopping in Farmville, Virginia’s biggest furniture town, last June had left me exhausted. What is it with these grossly over-sized couches with mammoth back cushions and ginormous rolled arms that take up 3 feet of floor space without giving you an inch of seating?!? I really HATE modern upholstered furniture design with it’s artificially puffed English Cottage fakey-ness. Like super homes – I suppose the designers think we need super-sized couches and chairs. They’re not even comfortable to sit in! Most of them have seat cushions so deep that when I sit down on them, my legs don’t bend at the knees but instead, stick out like a 3 year old in a high chair. And the fabrics? Lime Green in a living room????? I had still not recovered 6 months later so I was quite willing to let him continue thinking he could rebuild the W. U. Couch. He finally took a good look at the framework, though, and called me at work.
“Your husband has something to tell you” I heard over the phone. “You are right. A genius put that thing together and I am not enough of a genius to take it apart. Let’s go shopping for a new couch.”
Of course, we were too busy before Christmas but this week there is that sweet luxury of time. But first he wanted to drive 90 minutes in the opposite direction of any city to deliver a donation to the Deltaville museum. It was after 2 before we were headed north again and I was too hungry to go any further. We stopped in Urbanna at a darling little cafe: Bay Catch Seafood Bar and Grill. The blackened seafood salad was AMAZING! Perfectly seasoned scallops, shrimp and salmon on the freshest mescalin greens and with cukes and cherry tomatoes to boot! If you’re down that way I can’t recommend it enough.
But I digress. What I'm really excited about is that on the same street - the same block, I believe, we discovered The Garden Club - as their ad copy says "Exceptional Furniture in Urbanna and Saluda Virginia". And they're right. Everything was attractive and interesting and what do you know - she had smallish 2 couches that suited both TheQueen and ThePrince. "Yes" she said. They do come as loveseats. She would call her rep tomorrow to see what the dimensions were. ThePrince and I discussed actually doing some Dread Rearranging and we could probably fit one of those couches in our living room area anyway. So we left her our contact info and headed home.
And then ...
At our own local furniture store there was a couch that also comes as a loveseat that I really liked. It was perfect in size and came in enough old fashioned prints and colors that I actually have a choice when it comes to introducing something new to my very old fashioned living room. Small arms. Upholstered seat back, not ginormous ugly puffed out cushions. This is about the 4th time I've been in that store to look at couches and I'd actually taken ThePrince in to look at it and he'd rejected it flat out. The sales lady, an expert if ever there was one, didn't bat an eye as he asked her if they had any small loveseats. She showed him the cheap ones, then took him back to look at those same small couches he'd rejected 2 months ago. He sat. He sat in another. He said "this is comfortable" She never pounced, but she gently pulled out the machine tied box spring sample to show him. Guys so love to look at construction. (We all do, but for a guy it's a clincher) It was so much fun to watch and listen. I kept my mouth shut.
And so. And so I have the fabric card here at home so I can see which upholstery goes best with what we already own. As I said - there are several choices. I'm good with any of them but I need daylight to decide. I have to have the card back in the store by 9:30 so I hope the sun burns through this fog quickly. In the end I don't think I'll place an order anyway, till we talk to the lady from Urbanna. But I do believe that, come January, I will be able to say "We Have Couch".