When we met, Gar was a bachelor with an eclectic assortment of furniture and decorations that I was fairly certain we needed to burn. The couch was gold corduroy and I might have been able to live with it on a temporary basis if it hadn’t sagged in the middle and had worn arms at each end. He’d never noticed and would still be sitting on it at this very moment if I hadn’t saved the day. He also had a velvet, wall-sized Elvis print, and a stereo system with 3-foot-tall, bright blue speakers, but the best was the statue of a naked woman bathing in a pond. He was completely befuddled that I wasn’t smitten.
As the wedding date approached we needed furniture and, because I’m frugal, I didn’t care what kind as long as it wasn’t what Gar already had. I’m a little more high maintenance now, but then I was up for whatever we found that was affordable and not too ugly. Without social media we had to buy and sell by word of mouth and I happened upon a gentleman getting a divorce. It felt like my lucky day and that tells you a little about me. The guy was dumping the wife, a seven-piece living room set, serving dishes and a mirror, and the price was cheap. I was in my element. The couch, ottoman, chair and rocker were brown and cream plaid and almost new. Apparently, he and the bride realized right away they were not a good fit. It took Gar a little longer to recognize that I was a nut, but by then I’d thrown out all his worldly possessions, so what’s a guy to do. The coffee and end tables were solid wood that I’m convinced will never die and, in fact, are still being used in a rental to this very day.
Years later, our next living room furniture was a hand-me-down sectional from Gar’s parents. It was about 20 feet of curved, dark-rust fabric that didn’t go with the color of their newly installed carpet. It was nice, in my price range; free, and I liked it. By now, I’d become persnickety so Gar learned that if I gave a thumbs up, he was jubilant. That set was well made and lasted a long time, which was perfect to get us through teenagers and their buddies’ wrestling matches.
What came next was Dutch chocolate leather furniture because we had malamutes and I was exhausted from dog hair weaving sleuth-like, into the cloth cushions. A malamute’s hair is like nothing that could ever be explained; a horror movie and magic trick rolled into one. We could start vacuuming at one end of the couch and, when finished, immediately start over; hence, we got leather. We still have this well-worn sofa, loveseat and recliner, but when I refer to it as well-worn, I’m probably being too kind.
Recently we began to look for a new living room set that made us feel “fulfilled,” which Interior Design magazine said was an absolute must. Online, we searched near and far, then finally drove to the city, hitting every major storefront selling a sofa. We were quite surprised to find that nobody had anything for sale in the showroom. It all had to be ordered. We picked an over-stuffed, American made, matching loveseat and sofa sleeper in mushroom color and was paying the tab when the manager said something that caught us off guard. “With a little luck, you’ll hopefully get this in 18 weeks.” Due to COVID, bolts, nuts, foam, fabric, wood, metal and glue are in short supply. So, we’ll acquire the set sometime around hunting season; just in time to break it in Eiden-style, by spilling hot beverages all over it.
Weary from shopping, on a whim we wandered into the gadget store next door and was soon accosted by a young salesman attempting to sell us a Zarifa gun. It’s a therapeutic, massaging instrument, and he asked if I’d like the gun used on me. Gar, stoic as ever, heard “gun” and deadpanned, “I don’t see why not.” Such a comedian. As the fellow ran it across my shoulders, he mentioned, “This will help with weight loss by burning calories.” Curious, I asked how much bulk he was thinking? Eyeing my mid-section, he advised, “Well, don’t stop going to the gym.” I didn’t know if I should be peeved at his insinuation I needed the gym, or intrigued that he thought I actually went.
Trena Eiden [email protected]