Sit Down, Stand Up (Snakes & Ladders)

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From my old blog, August 22, 2006

I recently did something I have never before done in the forty years of my existence on the planet Earth. And while I have accomplished much over that time - navigating the complicated path of a Physics Ph.D., moving halfway across the country twice, buying my first automobile over the Internet, sight unseen, and attempting to purchase decent Mexican food in central Pennsylvania - I have never before been so daunted by a quest before. A quest that upon its completion finally establishes me as a fully grown adult.

I bought a new sofa...

Never did I imagine how smegging difficult buying a simple piece of furniture could be. I have over the years acquired a few used sofas - usually donated - which adequately performed the dual roles as a place to sit and a cat scratching post. This is the typical way students obtain home furnishings. Either that or dumpster dive. However, trying to obtain a new sofa is a herculean endeavor.

First, one must find a location in which one can actually buy said sofa without having to donate an organ - in the State College area this is not easy since the population is best described as broke students or retired folk with too much disposable income. This will mostly likely require a drive of anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour due to the 'middle of BFE' location of the University.

Second, one must enter the establishment without being stampeded by the herd of salespeople headed in your direction. There are a few ways to thwart this oncoming threat - dress like a broke college student who has not yet discovered the location of the communal dorm shower, perfect a convincing tiger snarl, or, if you are male (and straight) bring your girlfriend and be a gentleman by opening the door for her. Make sure you are a few paces behind to avoid any collateral damage.

Next, you must find a sofa you can envision within your domicile. As an average American male, my interest in sofas only slightly outweighs my interest in, say, Richard Simmons. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it's just not me. There are two basic reactions I appear to have when looking at sofas, "Hmmmm." and "OMFG, that is ugly.", neither of which is entirely helpful. Or helpful at all, according to my now recovered girlfriend. This reaction will reveal itself as a major, but subtle trap momentarily.

Assuming you have now found something which, at best, has not caused you an aneurism, there are usually a few stylistic options. Does it convert into a bed? Does it recline? Does it have cupholders? (No, I am not kidding) Does the reclining bits rock? Does it have massage? Will it cuddle with you afterwards? You get the picture.

Once that is out of the way, you can, assuming there are any salespeople still living, approach one and see about purchasing the desired sofa. Here is the trap. Unless you have a overwhelming desire for furniture in blue, green, or brown fabric (or possibly in brown leather), there is almost no chance that the sofa you want, in the color you want, will be stocked by the store in which you are standing. You will likely ask the salesperson, who is once again courting death, how long it would take to order one. The reply of "Four to six (eight) (ten) weeks" should stun most individuals, especially those who work on Internet time. It honestly took my less time to buy my Honda via, and it was delivered directly to my office parking lot.

The explanation is simple - the myriad of coverings available. For example, the horrible, red and white Victorian Floral Striped sofa which made your eyes water will most likely be available in a far more soothing pattern, hundreds of which will adorn the walls of the store. However, the nice comfy reclining sofa you really like will only be stocked in a few fairly boring, normal colors and not the burgundy red which would make the boring, dull color of your apartment recede out of sight.

Thus if you hope to return home having accomplished your task, you must either go with the stock on hand or purchase what currently exists on the showroom floor. Assuming you can find something which is not too awful. Or you can place an order and wait.... and wait.. and wait...

Fortunately, we found a floor model that, while colorwise is amazingly dull - cream - is more or less what I wanted, at a decent price, and with some additions might actually look nice in the new apartment.

Now if I can keep the cats from making it theirs, I'll be in luck.

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This page contains a single entry by ERIC AITALA published on September 26, 2007 12:45 AM.

New Hat was the previous entry in this blog.

Brand new me... is the next entry in this blog.

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