Note, this is an update to a former post called Serendipity looks good too:
Serendipity NEVER happens to me but I’m telling you people, I’m on a roll!
First I’m visualizing community, now I’m manifesting French interior decorating. Honestly, does it get any better?
On my (vision) Please Universe-Cut-Me-A-Break-And-Let-Me-Live-Large-Board I posted my dream couch:
I have no idea how much it costs because after stalking and finding it on the Chintz & Company website I noticed it is no longer available and also, that they don’t list the prices of their items. In my experience, if there is no price listed, I can’t afford it.
Also, I can’teven afford organic grapes so I’m thinking a custom designer sofa is out of the question.
A few days after posting Dream Couch in my Pinterest Album, something beautiful happened.
I was browsing craigslist, looking for a free upright piano when I stumbled upon an add for this:
WHAT???And it comes with this:
And guess what else, Now it looks like this:
IN MY HOUSE.
GET OUT OF TOWN AND TAKE A BUS!!!!
*Note to self: Add photo of sexy, antique, upright, mint condition, piano to Vision Board.
At the time I posted this, I was a single mother of 3 beautiful daughters (still am) who still lived at home (not anymore). I was making $12 an hour, had recently had the gas cut off at our house for late bill payment, and was barely scraping by to make ends meet. We were probably behind on most of our bills, to be honest.
I showed the photo to Thing 1, who was in her late teens at the time. Can you believe this? I asked her. It’s almost like I manifested it… only I didn’t, because I don’t have any money. She looked at me and said “I have money mom. Buy the sofa. You’re supposed to have it. You asked the universe for it and the universe gave it to you. Call them. I’ll buy it and you can pay me back one day when you’re rich and famous.”
When the sofa arrived at my house, I felt like I was living luxuriously, even though the set desperately needed reupholstering, new cushions and new springs. I promised myself at the time, that as soon as I could afford to, I would give my Queen her much deserved makeover.
9 years later… My daughters no longer living at home. The debt to Thing 1 paid, (now that I’m
rich and famous not as broke as I was then and no longer behind on all of my bills. My dream sofa demoted to an oversized cat bed in the basement, the fabric threadbare and torn, the cushions flattened and crumbling inside. The straw stuffing crawling out, and probably home to a family of feral chinchillas.
Just looking at her reminded me of how far I have come. How much my family has been through together, since the day I brought her home. I realize that it’s time. It’s time for this symbol of my own evolution to be re-crowned and celebrated. It’s time to acknowledge that I deserve this. A piece of furniture that makes me feel like I am at home, the home that I envisioned for myself. I mean, perhaps it wasn’t a realistic or practical vision. It was more like a 1920’s speakeasy/salon … or 1930’s British estate, but that’s neither here nor there. It was my vision. My dream. It’s been over 9 years and I finally felt ready to invest and give her a place of honour as the centrepiece, the metaphorical heart of my home.
I contacted an upholstery place, a small local family business, and had them come give us an estimate. I went briefly into shock upon hearing the price, but I’m in. I agreed to the terms and I went into the shop to choose my fabric. I was there for over 2 hours, waffling back and forth and back and forth, from plumb to wine to olive green. Something rich but calm. Something that would go nicely with everything and anything else in the house. Something practical, so I won’t stress about it getting dirty or stained. I hear the shop owners giggling, then rolling their eyes and eventually starting to lose patience with me. Going back and forth and back and forth, from bolt to bolt of fabric, until finally a cream and yellow chenille, so unpracticed, so unnatural, so not-me begins seducing me into the corner of the basement. Once I’ve seen it, I can’t let it go. I try to be reasonable, I force myself to visualise discolouration from natural hair and body oils, spilt wine, melted chocolate and bits of stray kitty litter… but I can’t bring myself to walk away. It’s this one.
Everyone looks at me like I’m nuts. And that’s ok. This is the fabric going on my dream sofa. This is a celebration after all. A celebration is no time to be practical or calm or “nice”. The photo doesn’t do it justice. Trust me, it’s butter-soft and the colour of cornsilk.
Two weeks ago the upholsterers came to the house and picked her up. I felt emotional. It was finally happening. I followed them out to the curb and watched them drive away with her in the back of their van.
A week ago I passed by the shop and saw her naked frame perched right the big front window. The woman who runs the shop saw me through the glass and laughed. She motioned for me to come in, giggling about how funny I am, offering me a few minutes to admire the progress. I hid the tears that snuck from my eyes.
I’ve fought the urge to go back and see what new progress had been made since. Shiny new springs? Refinished wood? But I work only a few blocks away from the place, I couldn’t afford having the owners of the shop getting a restraining order issued. It’s probably for the best, if it was starting to look good, it would have made the shock of seeing the place on my next drive by that much harder to take.
I’m not sure how the fire started. I did hear that nobody was hurt, which gave me an enormous sense of relief.
And then I felt a bit sad. I reminded myself that material possessions are nothing more than exactly that. I insisted with myself that there are probably more spiritual ways to celebrate one’s milestones and personal evolution than a sofa.
I acknowledge how privileged I must sound to be grieving the loss of a freaking sofa, but it’s even worse than that. I not only felt sorry for myself (and I did. I do. I still do, it’s only been 24 hours after all, and I really loved that sofa) I felt overwhelmed with grief over the fact that I had led my poor innocent and unsuspecting sofa into a scary unknown place where it would meet its demise. And a fire… a fire feels so aggressive. Don’t worry, I’m doubting my sanity. I understand that this emotional attachment to a piece of furniture is perhaps not very healthy and certainly misplaced. And I understand, in theory, that my sofa wasn’t the key to my happiness or self-worth. I get that. I just need a minute.