Honest Conversation Is Overrated
Actual Human Interactions Witnessed Or Overheard
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
In Twentieth And Twenty-First Century America
Shortly after we moved in 2020, Comrade and I decided to buy a couch. But the Pandemic was reigning hell on the supply chain even then, and we weren't able to order one that we liked until February. It took about two weeks to arrive, was exactly the style Comrade wanted but it was hella uncomfortable. We gave it nearly a month where neither of us ever really used it for more than a few minutes at a time, and then we returned it.
It wasn't too long after that that I became weary of Granny Entitlement, and didn't want to buy a couch and then immediately have to move.
So we haven't had a couch. We have a dozenish semi-comfy chairs from Comrade's parents, one comfy chair that we moved from JP, and some matchy furniture that we don't love, but no couch.
On Friday, we decided to go to Jordan's Furniture. We figured we'd find a cool couch, be told it was no longer available, and after three or four "What about this ones?", we'd finally settle on one that would arrive in March. That's just the way thing are right now.
So we grabbed a Lyft, and arrived at a store that Comrade informed me was the place he used to go to hang out when he was bored growing up.
If you ever want to feel popular and antagonized, just be a gay couple trying to buy a couch in a nearly empty warehouse-sized store. I think there were three other couples spread out amongst the building, and we were all outnumbered at least 5-1 by bored staff members.
Employee #1 greeted us at the door, asked what we needed and if they could help, and we politely told them we were looking for a couch, and possibly other furniture, but wouldn't need any help for quite a while.
The couches in the front room were terrible, so we started a counter-clockwise circuit which Comrade immediately suspected was wrong. "Should we ask where the couch room is?" he asked, as we walked into a room with thirty couches. "Nevermind."
My goal for a new couch is: comfortable and grey (because Selina and Goose are going to shed all over it). Comrade has style needs, and an idea of what else to get to create a room around the couch. So we satdown on the first couch in the room, just in time for Employee #2 to welcome us, and ask if we needed any help, and to let them know if we had any questions. We politely told them we were looking for a couch, and possibly other furniture, but wouldn't need any help for quite a while.
The couch was great. Firm on the back, soft on the butt, not too deep. Also, comfy and grey with the legs that Comrade approves of.
We hit every other couch in the room and none of them was quite as good.
"Should we ask if this is the only couch room?" Comrade asked.
""I thought you hung out here all the time. Surely there are other couches."
"That was forever ago. Also, it's much different now. This place used to be Mardi Gras themed, and had a musical interlude every hour. Plus there was a Kelly's Roast Beef with an aquarium globe in it. I wonder what happened to the fish?"
There were many more couches. There were many more "Can I help yous." Some were concise and to the point. One guy, though, saw us sitting on a couch that seemed to be made entirely out of springs and thumbtacks, and said "Great couch, right? It's made of Sunbrella." He said this, standing under a GIGANTIC Sunbrella sign. "Everything in this room is made of Sunbrella."
"Thanks." I said.
"You can get that couch in any of the Sunbrella colors available over there on the Sunbrella fabric wall." And I think he said Sunbrella fifty-leven more times before letting us know that he was happy to help us if we had any questions. We didn't give him our rote polite response, we just fake smiled and nodded.
"That guy is The Worst." Comrade said.
There was a leather couch room (no can do with they tiny grey terrors), a These Couches Were Designed By Contestants Eliminated During The First Episodes Of Various Project Runway Seasons room, an abstract art for people with broken spines room, a Millionaire's Lounge with sleek black couches and expensive looking art, a room of Tilt sofas that recline at the press of a button and have their own cupholders built in, and a couple of rooms of random sofa assortments. There was also a "sleep laboratory" but I knew if Comrade went in, I'd never see him again.
There was a terrible table designed to look like an early 20th century car, where the two square feet of table was supported by six or seven feet of car. There was also a weird little cubby chair that looked hideous and uncomfortable. While Comrade was demonstrating how the wooden back brace pushed directly into your spine if you tried to sit back, Employee #72 told us how cute it was, and how easy it was to maintain before realizing that the brace was supposed to be covered by a piece that had fallen underneath. We left her still struggling to figure out how to put the "easy to maintain" chair back together.
Eventually, we had completed the full circuit, and decided that the very first chair we'd tried out was the one we would first try to get.
Nearly every employee had mentioned the Supply Chain, and that they hardly had anything in stock, and we should pick out a bunch of alternates. We already knew this, and it was a little disheartening to realize we probably wouldn't get a couch until March or April.
"Yea, I'm sorry." said Employee #80-something, "I'll check and see if they have this in the warehouse, but we really don't have much right n---Oh. We have it. And in that color. That's a nice surprise. I never get to give people good news anymore. Unfortunately, because of Christmas and The Supply Chain, we don't really have many delivery appointments available. Unless you could do next Thursday."
"I have next Thursday off."
"And where do you live?"
I gave him the info.
"It says here we've made a delivery there before, so that's good. But I guess we had to take out a window because of the narrow stairs."
"We live on the first floor. This will definitely fit."
"Then, congratulations. You will have a new couch next week."