Out With The Old

old couch

Over the weekend, Sean and I bought a new couch on impulse. In case you're wondering, that picture above is of the old couch; I don't yet have a picture of the new couch to show you, because I'm still getting used to it, but it is taupe and suede and L-shaped. You can see it here, but you have to promise not to picture it with those lime green pillows. Instead, insert it into the picture above, replace the coffee table with something lower and darker, and there you have my living room in San Francisco. You know, in case you cared.

Getting rid of the old couch was far more traumatic than I thought it would be. Sean and I bought that couch the first week we lived in Charleston, and when it was delivered, we looked at each other with mounting panic, as it became clear that it was entirely, ridiculously too big for our teensy 500-square-foot apartment. When we moved to a new place a year later, a place with 13-foot ceilings and more space than we knew what to do with, it suddenly looked proportional again and not like something from Alice in Wonderland. But then we moved again, across the country this time, and when we'd dragged it out of the U-Haul and into the living room in San Francisco, we realized we had to get something new. It was taking up space that could otherwise be used for all the other things we couldn't fit in our new, smaller West Coast flat. (See visual aid above!) Also, its cushions were like a map of every party we'd ever had in the last four years---at least every party where we'd served red wine to drunk people.

So we cheated on the big grey couch. We went to visit this other couch, a couch we'd been visiting for a while actually---the store it was in was right across the road from Trader Joes---and we cooed over its soft suede and its squishy pillows and its unabashed L-shapeness (what possibilities there are with an L-shaped couch! What hope!) And it turned out that on Saturday the new couch was on sale, WAS ON SALE ONLY UNTIL THE END OF THE DAY, and so we said screw it, we'll have a new couch, and we plunked down our credit cards. I put an ad up on Craigslist for the old couch on Monday evening and by Tuesday afternoon, we'd sold it. I'm sad, actually, about the person we sold it to, a rather brusque young twentysomething who was far too blase about is squishiness and comfiness, who didn't appreciate sufficiently the fact that you could pull all the pillows off and use it as a perfectly serviceable bed. Right after she'd paid me for it, another girl came to see it, and I almost ran after the first girl and told her the deal was off. The second girl was far more enthusiastic about the couch, would probably have vacuumed it religiously, but of course it was too late to change my mind. And whoever heard of turning down a potential buyer because they didn't seem enthused enough about their purchase?

It seems bizarre to mourn a couch, a couch that was covered with cat scratches and stains, a couch that was so incredibly large and hulking yet didn't really seat more than two people, a couch that sucked all the air out of the room. But it was the fact that Sean and I chose the couch together that made it significant, the fact that we made a decision as a couple, that we went around sitting on all the other couches in the Sofa Superstore in Charleston four years ago, hmming and maybe-ing and measuring and imagining. It was something more than a couch. It was a beginning.

To tell you the truth, I'm not digging the new couch as much yet---do mothers feel this way about their second babies? That their hearts are too full of love and nostalgia for the old one to care too much about the new one?---although I think I'm slowly getting there. I never like anything at first, of course, it always takes me a few days, which is why I was sort of nervous about getting my hair cut the day after getting a new couch; I mean, imagine the potential for tears! The minefield of frustration! The pondering about which I hated more, my living room or my head! But strangely, the new haircut worked out pretty well; I sort of really like it, in fact. I chose my influences well, you see: I printed out this picture of the back of Dooce's head (creepy or smart? You decide!) and told the stylist I wanted the back to look like that, I brought an old photo and said "sort of like this with the bangs, but not so shaggy," and then I threw in a little AB Chao as well, describing her (perfect perfect) hair from my own imagination. My stylist took one look at me, listened to all of this, and then said "can I get you something to drink? A glass of wine?"

(A glass of wine while you're getting your hair cut, by the way, is an excellent idea. It will keep you from picking up random pieces of hair while the stylist is cutting away and saying "is this supposed to be this short?" and "are these even?" and "we can do a little more layering here, right? We can't? What do you mean, we can't?" Actually, I think my stylist may even have slipped me a Xanax as well. Which would explain why I merely laughed when seeing a liquor store get robbed right in front of me while I was walking home from my appointment, the culprit sprinting out with a 12-pack of Corona and darting across the street into incoming traffic. To be fair, the owner merely came outside, shrugged, and said "So stupid! Why he hef to do that? Now he get his ess in a car eccident!" The whole thing was like a damn Mentos commercial.)

So, you know, here's to new beginnings and all that---sleeker sofas, shorter hair, and whatever else you might be celebrating in your own lives as spring turns into summer. Change is good, I suppose. Hair grows back, new couches start feeling like old couches, unfamiliar rooms look familiar again. And if all else fails, you can always just buy new throw pillows. Or a hat.

New Hair!

1
theotherbear
May 10, 2007

Love the new couch. You'll get used to it and learn to love it. If not, can you send it to me? Please?
Hair looks great too.

2

You make me miss my couch. In what is supposed to one day be our living room there's no couch - instead there's an awful lot of tools and paint and - well - mess. I say the couch is a couple of months away. Sometimes I'm afraid I won't recognise it once we're ready for it.

What's not months away is a haircut. I'm getting that later today (and as always I'm nervous about it). I'm always served coffee, so maybe I should bring my own wine...

3
sgazzetti
May 10, 2007

"I never like anything at first..." I love this.

On a related note, the more you hate "The Bachelor", the better your recaps become. Hate away!

The new couch is sure to grow on you -- L-shaped is the future of couches. As you say, the POSSIBILITIES. You'll never go back to I-shaped after an L-shaped couch.

4
Alice
May 10, 2007

I wish I could say I loved our couch -- and yet I don't even think it's paid off yet! It was sort of a spur-of-the-moment sort of purchase, instead of a wander-around-the-store-and-trying-every-couch sort of thing. We both knew we wanted a leather one, this one was on sale, it seemed good, so we just went for it... And after the fact realized that it's just a BIT too stiff! And not squishy at all... Bummer. But oh well, that's life! Maybe there will be another couch down the road for us sometime in this lifetime, who knows? In the meantime, we deal. And I veg out on our bed! Ha ha...

Great haircut, btw! I love new haircuts, they (almost) always make me feel great, especially if I know I can trust the stylist. So even though my current stylist costs a fortune, I don't think I'll be going anywhere else anytime soon!

Enjoy the changes.

5
Kate
May 10, 2007

While I'm excited about the couch and new haircut, I'm really waiting for the Bachelor update. I don't mean to sound so snippy.

6
Erica
May 10, 2007

V. cute hair. My boy awaits a new couch at his apt. We look at the picture of it on the internet and wait....

7
ali
May 10, 2007

i'm loving the new couch. and the new hair. ;)

8
barbie2be
May 10, 2007

cute, cute, cute hair! love the couch too. :)

9
Sheila
May 10, 2007

Second babies, second couches... there's always love enough to go around. Just don't go comparing the second couch to the first, or it'll get a complex. Wouldn't it be funny if nosy people everywhere asked you about couches instead of children? "And how many couches do you have? When are you going to have another? It's it time to think about getting married, now that you have two couches? Do you see a loveseat in your future? Our couch has Scotchguard. Does yours?"

Love the hair. Am I creepy or smart if I now take your picture to my stylist?

10
rosie
May 10, 2007

I purposely schedule all my hair appointments around happy hour time - just for the wine my stylist serves me :)

Hair looks awesome - couch too. I'm quite jealous of the new couch, actually - we have the same one as your old one, except it's olive green...wine stains, cat scratches, dog fur...yep yep yep. We're moving soon and will be GIVING that thing away.

11
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May 10, 2007

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12
Nothing But Bonfires
May 10, 2007

Wow, that Xanax commenter above knows me too well! Perhaps my hair stylist sent him after me...

13
Gretchen
May 10, 2007

Love the hair! However, you are going to need to serve nothing but white wine to your drunken guests on that new couch. Ben and I have always favored red wine, and the place is covered in it; now our floors are Pergo and our couch is a dark green leather that wipes miraculously clean. We also need to repaint, partly because of the bit where Ben sloshed zinfandel port over the half-wall at the top of our stairs.

14
Gretchen
May 10, 2007

Oh, and yay for Xanax. THAT won't stain your couch, either.

15
Ashley
May 10, 2007

just found your site - REALLY glad i did :) your writing is great.

also, i really like your haircut!

16
patches
May 10, 2007

With a small drop of red wine and a cat hair the new couch will become as beloved as its predecessor. Your hair looks great!

17
Lacey
May 10, 2007

There is always enough love to go around. Love the old couch, new couch & hair. What about the bachelor post?

18
Nothing But Bonfires
May 10, 2007

Ah, the damn Bachelor post. It's coming.

19
Jessalyn Cherry
May 10, 2007

Im not sure how I came across your website, im sure it was through dooce. Which I came across on bethcherry.com... but either way I check back everyday to see if you wrote anything! I love it!

20
Laiane
May 10, 2007

My husband goes to the bar before every one of his haircuts for a beer and a shot of Jaegermeister. He says he can't face getting his hair cut without some "liquid courage."

21
Stella
May 10, 2007

Wow! Such timing with this post.

My boyfriend (of about 18 months) and I just went out last weekend and bought a living room set. It was the first big purchasing decision we've made as a couple.

So, in that way it was a beginning for us. And we bought all really beautiful custom made pieces to last to the end. So it's kind of like a statement of intent without all that uncomfortable 'M work' part.

Anyway, thanks for the timely post.

22
janet
May 11, 2007

I am quite ready for a new couch as well, but like you, it would mean getting rid of our first purchase as a couple. Le sigh.

On the Charleston note, I'm headed there in 2.5 weeks...anything I shouldn't miss? I ask you because my unofficial tour guides are 60-somethings and I'm worried we're just not looking for the same things...ya know?

23
Anna
May 11, 2007

Like all things once you wear the couch in - cat hair, spilt dinner, feet up it will begin to feel like home. I like hair too - it looks like one of those styles that you can actually do at home. Consider yourself lucky that you have a hairdresser that actually listen to what you say. My hairdresser will nod and smile when I tell her what I want and then do the exact opposite. Luckily she knows better and I always end up in with a great 'do.

24
A'Dell
May 11, 2007

Love the hair!

I visited a sofa for almost a year before taking the plunge and purchasing. I lived in a living room WITH NO OTHER FURNITURE for nine months before I bought the damn thing.

It made for great parties...lots of room to mingle. But I bought it. And I love it. I sort of live on it. And the husband tolerates it, but he loves HIS sofa more that is in the other room.

It's a good compromise. But, I still sleep on my sofa when I'm sick because it is that damn comfortable.

I'm glad you got something you like, it will make all the difference in the world!

25
Jenny
May 11, 2007

i'm just wondering.......do you live inside the pottery barn catalog or the store?

26
Diane
May 11, 2007

Love the hair cut and don't worry, once you have the cushions broken in, you will love this couch too.

Have a great weekend with your mom!

27
Tilly
May 11, 2007

I'm going to take that picture of your living room and get me one of them. You mind?

28
smoness
May 11, 2007

I hear you on getting rid of the couch. I made sure that my Great Grandmother's recliner stayed in the family after she passed away. I practically grew up in that hideous chair. And no matter how worn or ugly it is, I could never give it to some random person.

And I love the hair! I think you got exactly what you asked for, and you're rockin' it.

29
Kristi
May 11, 2007

I love your new couch, I've tested it out at the store. Your hair looks great too, it's very flattering to your shape face.

30
Angela
May 12, 2007

That is the most uninspired spam I have ever seen in my entire internet exposed lifetime. Pathetic!

Anyway, I adore your hair--I'm going for color change next week at a brand new salon and can assure you I'll be sucking down as much wine as they'll pass my way!

31
Saucepan Man
May 12, 2007

Where's the remains of the Thai fold-out bed? It was under the coffee table when I left! (Or perhaps this is an old picture...)

32
Nothing But Bonfires
May 12, 2007

It's an old picture! Taken right after we moved in, back when we used to keep the apartment neat and clean....

33
Thespian Libby
May 12, 2007

How's Mom? (Mum?)

34
J
May 13, 2007

I haven't watched T.V. in years, and I am totally content to never seeing a single episode of any reality show... but I'm so glad I didn't miss your blog! I have just laughed my ass off for the last twenty minutes over any number of your posts! Loved it... I'll be back. :)

35
Em
May 13, 2007

Love the hair!!

36
Chrissy
May 14, 2007

Just found your blog and I feel in love with it. Perhaps it's because I LOVE My So Called Life and Caramello, and despise seafood and Ben Affleck.

Thank you for making me smile!

37
geepeemum
May 14, 2007

Actually, um, yes on the 2nd child thing. Well, for about 6 weeks anyway. So maybe it takes the same length of time for a new couch?

38
Grandma Chic
May 14, 2007

Hey Holly! Just a thought about your Bachelor Posts: I think it would be hilarious if you live-blogged one episode. It might keep you from vomiting at the thought of reliving the experience later in the week.

Discovered you late last year and have been coming back for more ever since. Love it!

39
Terri B.
May 16, 2007

I was just linking around from blog to blog and found your site. First of all, the hair is CUTE! Love it. And I don't even know you or what it looked like before!

I clicked over to your pics of "the new place" in Charleston and fell in love with the kitchen windows -- lots of windows. How did you ever manage to part with those windows? ;o)

Hope you are enjoying SF. I travel up there for business quarterly and also have a son who lives there and enjoy it whenever I get the chance. Much better than So Cal.

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