Monday, March 25, 2013

Better Homes

So. The Great Apartment Purge of 2013 ended with getting rid of a couch. A couch-ectomy, if you will.


First, let me tell you this: last week? Started badly and ended on a sour, sour note. You know the face you would make if you put seven green Sour Patch Kids in your mouth all at once? (Or the face you're making right now, thinking about doing that?) It was like that, only you'd have to make that face both physically AND emotionally.

And then keep making it.

I knew I was in a funk when my new, pretty, fabulous office/library was failing to make me smile. I've been smiling since I finished this project. I mean, look at it:

This is a room that makes me HAPPY.
I knew I was in an extra-large funk when I realized that I didn't want to talk to ANYONE. Not even myself. I didn't spend time on facebook. I didn't want to answer text messages. I just wanted to hole up. (Which lead to me getting messages from my friends wanting to know if I was okay. Because my friends are awesome.)
Sometimes, when you're in an extra-large funk after the end of a miserable week, the universe tosses you a little gift. Or two.
It tossed me lunch with a former student who has become an outstanding man and educator. A breath of fresh air, I must say. You know how sometimes you're so proud of someone you can't even stand it?
And THEN it tossed me the opportunity to get rid of a piece of furniture that I have grown to loathe.
To be clear, there wasn't anything WRONG with my couch -- except, of course, for all of the things that I hated about it. I didn't like the fabric. I didn't like the size. I didn't like the shape. The couch, it plagued me.
I realize -- in case you are wondering -- that none of my issues with the couch had anything to do with the couch. My issues with the couch -- which began the day after the couch was delivered, seven years ago -- were about a million other, non couch-y things, starting with the circumstances under which I found myself buying a couch (which weren't happy), and the fact that the couch I had researched and wanted wasn't availble for sale anymore. I didn't wait and find something else because I felt like I couldn't. I didn't have FURNITURE. I needed a freaking couch.
(I also needed some self worth, and some belief in my future. But since I couldn't buy those things, I bought a couch. Because that's what you do.)
The couch -- which is perfectly serviceable, and which many people profess a liking for -- has irritated me for years, like an especially itchy wool sweater. Despite that, I've moved it up and down the coast more than once, because even at my craziest, I realized that no one gets rid of a really nice couch simply because she's grown to loathe it for no clear reason except that she was in a bad place when she bought it.
But then -- THEN -- came the Great Apartment Purge of 2013.
And the realization that I am not married to this couch.
I asked my friends if they wanted it. They said they did.
Great, I said, come and get it.
They came and got it yesterday.
"But will you get a new couch this week?" they asked.
"You know?" I said. "I don't even know."
And I don't. I have said, in the past, that I am not the sort of girl who buys a house -- and it's true, I'm not. I may have discovered that I'm also not the sort of girl who even wants a couch. You might think that's weird (and maybe it is) but I think -- hell, I know -- that what I really want? Is a nice servicable bench. Something sturdy. Something functional.
I think I always wanted a bench.
I also think that wanting a bench is the reason for both the funk and the loathing of the couch. I think that I'm still learning that I don't have to want what I'm supposed to want. I think that I still struggle with the realization that there are a million and twelve ways to live and live well, and that my particular way doesn't need to look like the way anyone else manages it.
It just needs to work for me. In my apartment. Without a couch.
And with -- or without -- anything else I choose.

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