October 22, 2006

Who is that masked man?

Yesterday we participated in the great American tradition of conspicuous consumption. We left our Victorian looking camelback sofa in Baltimore. It fit the living room there and frankly, wasn’t really my style. Within the context of that house it was perfect, but not otherwise. The original plan was to say yes to a free sofa that our friends had. In fact we did. They brought it last weekend and no matter what angle we tried, it was too long and wide to fit through the door. Since then we’ve haunted IKEA while sampling every available sofa. We picked one we thought would be great, but realized it might not fit through the door of the apartment.

[I need to point out an unusual word: ‘we’. Every other time we’ve set up an apartment or a house (ok, ok, twice so far), Jrex has been drowning in his PhD dissertation or dying oncology patients. All valid reasons for not being involved. Well he’s currently trying to set up a new lab and one of his least favorite activities is organizing space. Apparently couch shopping outranks organizing. The truly surprising element in all of this is that not only does he have opinions, he has STRONG opinions. I’m definitely not used to this. Don’t get me wrong, I love having him involved, it’s just an adjustment.]

Given our doubts about the IKEA couch, I searched the net and found a place in San Francisco that does custom couches for the price we were willing to pay there. We ventured north yesterday morning. First, we had to agree on a degree of cushion softness. After much up and downing the truth came out: I married Goldilocks. This one is too hard. This one is only a little better. Ah, this one is Just Right. We quickly agreed on the style we both liked. Then there was the debate about color. He likes gray and brown. Gray is depressing and brown makes me think of couches in the 1970’s buried in oak-paneled basements. We found three shades we both liked. Back and forth we went between fawn, camel or peat. The attentive and intuitive salesman finally came over and exclaimed, “Any one is perfectly safe. Look, it’s tan, tan, and tan!”

He was right. We picked the light tan and left quite happy. In three weeks I’ll show you a picture.

On the way home we stopped off at Costco. The ‘sad’ event last week was that my cheap TV bit the dust. Dead dead dead. I don’t think Jrex was upset at all as we toted our ‘real flat’ TV up the stairs. Nothing LCD or plasma, but its big. It picks up Chinese, Spanish AND Korean stations without cable access. He sat there all night flipping channels with a goofy grin across his face.

So, not only does he have strong opinions, the guy who could make do with a reed mat in a mud hut is joining me over here on Shoppers Island. This could be really bad. If only I could persuade him that shoes are a valuable commodity.


k. said...

Hmm, think you could send some of that vibe my way? I mean, the "domestic comforts shopping" vibe, not just any old shopping vibe. If you're not specific, we may end up with yet another guitar.

When I see JRex, "Goldilocks" is not the first thing that comes to mind. I am looking forward to the pictures of the ideal couch in all its glorious tanness.

bg's Little Sis said...

good story, good telling of it.

My husband since becoming a stay at home dad has taken an interest in fixtures, furniture and home repair. Some good some bad, we're still trying to figure out how to agree...good luck on the shoe thing!

Deirdre said...

I love the "tan, tan, and tan" comment.

Our television nearly bit the dust a few weeks ago. My husband was sorely disappointed that a repair shop easily fixed it.

scarp said...

(although I understood your absence...)
I have missed your blogging :)

Welcome back!

weigook saram said...

Sofa shopping is tough, because the couch can make or break the living room. My husband also has very definite opinions about these things. I'm glad you didn't go with Ikea. We bought a couch there a while back and it hasn't held up very well.

snickollet said...

Have fun settling in. Couches are such a big commitment! I'm glad you were able to find something that you both liked.