Thanksgiving is almost here. And with it, the familiar traditions. Turkey dinners, family visits and shopping for a loveseat, at least for us. A few weeks before Thanksgiving last year, we donated two couches that had served our family well for 15+ years and shopped for a new loveseat. We had two club chairs and thought a loveseat would round out the room. We spent an entire Saturday going to every furniture store in town looking for something that would match our low-profile, leather chairs. We walked into stores and asked to see something modern. Smooth leather, contemporary lines, we’d say. And something that reclines. (We wanted a space saving loveseat, with the ability to stretch out, how hard could that be?)
After the second or third store, we recognized a familiar flinch from the salespeople when we added “reclines” to “contemporary.” Turns out reclining furniture, meant to be really comfortable, is puffy. Super padded. Not really what you’d call contemporary in design. We laughed at one loveseat a saleswoman pointed out. “Just sit in it,” she said. “I’ll be back in a minute.” We did. It had been a long day. We reclined back and then looked at each other. It was like resting in a bed of clouds or coming home. “It’s SO comfortable,” I said. “But it’s SO ugly,” we both responded.
A week later it was in our living room, even uglier than we remembered. It made our club chairs look like dollhouse furniture. Our son, who was studying design, came home for Thanksgiving (one of the reasons we rushed finding something) and smiled wryly. “Sit in it,” we said. We found him in the loveseat a lot that weekend, often sleeping. But after a week of walking into the living room and being startled by its…well…puffiness, we called the store and sent it back.
We didn’t find anything else before we moved this summer and by then, we were no longer motivated. After all, our two club chairs suit our daily needs as empty nesters. One for each of us, with an ottoman to really get comfortable. But not so much when we have guests. It may be a psychologist’s paradise watching people contemplate “the chair” knowing the choice will make another sit on an ottoman or the floor. But it’s not comfortable with friends and not advised with family.
Unbelievably, a year has passed, during most of which we hunted on Craigslist for a cool used loveseat to no avail. We’re looking forward to having our son, daughter and, this year, her boyfriend for the holiday. But two seats…definitely not enough. So we tried the stores again.
Rooms to Go, RoomStore, Ecko, Furniture Mart, Sofas & Seats, Expression Furniture, LazyBoy Gallery and so many more all within a several mile strip. We started at about 10 a.m. and by 11:45 I was getting a headache. We had already jumped in and out of the car multiple times, toured several showrooms and been greeted by all types of sales people.
“Hi, my name is Rick. We have a BIG sale today. 10% off anything with a green tag. Yell if you need anything. My name is Rick or you can say ‘hey you.’ Just don’t call me late for dinner,” one salesman laughed as he patted his rather large belly.
On the other end of the spectrum, a woman dressed like she was going to an awards dinner used a soft voice to tell us how they specially designed their furniture and we could choose any color and type of material we liked. “And if you see a chair, like this one, and want a loveseat in this design, we can do that too.” She was stroking a small leather wing-chair with a price tag of $2,400. Back in the car.
One store had a BOGO sign in the window. “Buy One, Get One?” I turned to Doug. “Try Buy One, Get One at 25% off” he said as he read the sign. Oooh… good deal. Hungry and now managing an even bigger headache we headed south to a neighborhood we’d read about and found a locally owned pizzeria. The day was beautiful and people were eating outside (oh yeah, in November!). Inside an eclectic mix of decorations covered the walls. A young woman with a pierced lip took our order while a man in dreadlocks delivered pizzas to tables. We sat at the bar facing the kitchen and waited. About 15 minutes in, the young woman told us they cooked the wrong pizza. “You can have it if you want it and we’ll cook the one you ordered to go,” she offered. “Sure,” we said. Then Doug looked at me and smiled. “Now that’s what I call BOGO!” The pizza was great. “Maybe our luck is changing,” I said.
By about 3:30 we were circling a loveseat for about the fourth time at the place we first began shopping. We sat on it. Reclined on it. Pictured it with our club chairs. Looked at the price tag for about the fifth time. Not Craigslist prices but not Craigslist design either. “I think we should do it,” one of us said, although I won’t permanently document who boldly put the “buy” card on the table. “Let’s walk around the showroom one more time,” said the other. We did. And then we bought it.
It’ll be here in a few days. It’s our second new loveseat in 25 years (not counting the puffy chair) and I’m more than a little excited about it. I’m picturing myself laying on it with a really good book or sitting next to my kids catching up with their lives or snuggling in with my husband for a good movie. And next year, just turkey dinner for Thanksgiving!