My life in couches

Monday, September 22, 2014 Permalink 0

IMG_2042I realized the other day that I have never bought a new couch.  I have just acquired used ones.  This is my life in couches…

When I graduated from college and moved into my first apartment, my parents gave me their fairly new striped couch.  I loved it!  But it didn’t love me.  My friends and I moved it in on a snowy night.  My apartment was on the second floor.  The staircase was outside the house with a mud room shanty as the foyer.  The couch wouldn’t clear the shanty doorway.  So, I authorized cutting off the legs.  It was snowing harder and getting colder.  The couch still wouldn’t pivot into the apartment.  I gave the command to break its back.  My first apartment had a couch propped on makeshift book legs and a sagging back. 

When I moved into my house, a gal at work was selling her couch.  It was mauve.  (Hey, it was the 80s!) Even though it was pretty new, her fiance opposed the color.  So, I bought it for $100.  It lasted several years and moved with me to Chicago.  In my new hometown, I decided to buy a new couch.  I couldn’t find one I liked.  I did find this 1950s long sectional couch with a curved middle seat.  The fabric was even original.  It was that old lady burlap texture.  It wasn’t terribly comfortable but it reminded me of “I Love Lucy” and it served me well for close to a decade.

I downsized to move into my current place.  And I needed to downsize my couch too.  My parents gave me one of their loveseats.  (Obviously, they had forgiven me for torturing their original couch gift.) The loveseat was comfy and the perfect size for my new studio.  When I did my rehab, I decided I needed to upgrade to more stylish furniture. Unfortunately, I was already in debt from the rehab. Luckily for me, Steve was moving out of one of his houses and selling his couch.  So, I bought it!  And I’ve had it for the last six years.  It’s not terrible comfortable but it looks pretty.            

Still, I’ll be 51 in three months and I think it’s time to buy a new couch.  This time it would not be a hand-me-down.  It’ll be store bought with a new couch smell.  My goal is to make the acquisition before my birthday.  When I turned 50, I was hooting it up in Guatemala/Cancun.  This year, I want to go low-key and celebrate my birthday sitting on my new couch. 

The new couch notion springs from my recent realization that I’m in a spending tizzy with nothing to show for it.  I’m not budgeted for a new couch this year.  I’m planning for the couch fund to accumulate in two ways.  One, I’ll pick up the occasional dinner shift at Wood.  I already started on Saturday.  Usually, tip money is ‘free money’ and I just spend it without thinking about it. This time, I deposited all my tip money right into my savings account.  Second, I’m going to rein in the frivolous spending.  I’m going to take my lunch to work.  I’m going to drink my coffee at home.  And dinner needs to be less lavish too.  When I’m seeing a play, I often have a pre-show dinner with or without a plus one.  I need to eat at home or chose more modest dining establishments. 

I can do this!  I can save money.  And in less than three months, I’ll have the grown up feeling of purchasing my first store-bought couch.    

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