This is my living room sans couch, dining suite, and pictures on the wall. Ironically, it now shares common traits with the Seattle apartment, where we have yet to buy a couch, a dining suite and to put things on the wall.
Ben and I started looking at couches, dining suites and things to put on the wall while I was there a few weeks ago. I think we share a common vision. I say this, of course, with the understanding that we may be seeing that common vision from completely different perspectives.
We have agreed, as a start, that the entertainment system is all him, and the kitchen is all me. While that division in domesticity may reek of 1950s ideologies, it is a fair call on our part. I love to cook, and have very specific ideas of how I want ‘my’ kitchen. And Ben knows more about electronic components and how to make them ‘talk’ to each other than I thought was possible. So, in this arrangement, we are playing to our strengths.
We have other differences too. Last weekend my boyfriend admitted that he has added to his collection of plastic 2:1 scale musical instruments (Rock Band, Guitar Hero), while I confessed that I have bought 4 pairs of new shoes in the past two weeks. He loves video games, I love shoes. We’ll make room for both, somewhere.
In the meantime, we get to choose a couch that says, “Ben and Sandy live here.” Likely it will NOT have one of those fabric contraptions with pockets that hangs over the arm and holds the remote controls.
We did find one we both sorta liked. Mostly what we liked about it was that it had a chaise lounge on one end. That says to me, “stylish, yet perfect for snuggling.” To Ben it says, “I can watch TV horizontally.” The point is, we both like that style of couch.
I had to be honest with my soon to be ‘domestic partner’ when he mentioned that ‘La-Z-boy’ had couches on sale that recline on both ends.
If we get a couch like that, I worry that we will become a couple who have ‘his and hers’ end tables, mine littered with empty tea cups and books yet to read, and his piled high with remotes and back issues of ‘Fortune’. We’ll head to our respective ends, recline and get comfortable. Comfortable, we three feet of leather between us. Yes, the couple with one of these is a couple that no longer enjoys a passionate relationship.
His response to my impassioned argument was to laugh, and say, “Well, it IS true that we are defined by our furniture.” He is teasing me, but I think we’ll be getting a couch with the bit that sticks out.
These are the details that will be a welcome relief from paperwork and red tape, packing, giving away, storing, and sorting, and from the endless lists that govern my life at the moment.
So, I am looking forward to working through a new list, a list for the next chapter in my life. So far it looks like this:
Buy a couch
Get a job
Make some friends
Join a gym
Learn new running routes
Yes, all that to look forward to, but notice that the couch is number one on the list.
When Ben and I stayed at the B and B in Yosemite, I was busy nesting – unpacking and looking in cupboards – and I heard a call out from the living room, “Honey, come in here.” When I got there, Ben was sitting on a big, lumpy, seen better days couch with his arms outstretched. “Look, Honey, we have a couch. Come sit with me.” And I did, and we sat for quite some time on that big, lumpy, see better days couch, enjoying the simple pleasure of snuggling up on it together.
That is why it is first.