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Chevy Chaise

I roasted a leg of lamb on Saturday, one that I started marinating in garlic and crushed rosemary (which, try as I might to like it, still tastes stuff that I found lying around the forest) and a metric ton of lemon zest. This was an unusual recipe for me, not only in the fact that it was lamb and not, say, ex-cow, but also in that it required so much forethought. I began Project: Baa Baa Tasty Sheep a full thirty-six hours before I even put the damned thing into the oven. That’s commitment, right there, because my god, how would I even know that we’d be home in thirty-six hours, much less hungry and feeling like eating meat? But we were home and damn it, after all that foreplay, we were going to eat some fucking lamb. I also made mashed potatoes and carrots (half of which were summarily ignored by Esteban) and then when my beloved sniffed and opined that we did not have gravy, I ordered him to the pantry to fetch some corn starch and broth and then I deglazed the roasting pan and made gravy. I know! I am rather impressed myself. I felt like MacGyver or something. Or maybe Jesus. You know, if the pan drippings and brown stuck-on bits were water and if a perfect, tasty brown puddles in mashed potatoes were a heady pinot noir.

One of these days, I’m going to get over myself.

Anyway, we were both rather impressed that the whole meal came together quite nicely. And as it had been a snow-filled day, we slumped onto our sofa and watched a movie and considered it a Saturday well spent.

Speaking of sofas, I found a new sofa. I’ve been searching for awhile and pretty much expected to buy a leather one, as there was only one non-leather sofa I liked, but it was a sectional and thus, right out. We have a sectional now and I hate it. There’s only two ways to position the couch, so our living room has had the same configuration for five years.

I wasn’t against a non-leather sofa, quite honestly, but all of the non-leather sofas I saw were either too patterny or had that extra cushion thing flipping over the arm that looks like it belonged on the set of Growing Pains or it had those big brass tack things that Esteban loathes or it had a skirt instead of plain wooden leg things or it had only loose cushions for the back, which I suspect are always in need of straightening and honestly, I already can’t relax in the living room if the floor needs to be Swiffered, so do I need frumpy uneven cushions staring at me too? No, I don’t need that kind of stress.

I was in a weird situation in that I had money saved up to buy a new sofa, but no sofa to buy. And I was pretty much expecting to wait until I went to Chicago and fell in absolute love with one in either Crate and Barrel or Restoration Hardware and then had to mortgage the house to pay for it.

But, on a whim, I wandered into a furniture store here in town and within two seconds, spotted what was possibly the perfect sofa. It was a non-leather, somewhat retro but also somewhat contemporary, simple sofa. The floor sample was red with some atrocious geometric-printed pillows, but it was cute. Because I don’t trust my impulsive nature, I noted the location of the sofa and then walked around the store, faced with more fugly pillow-armed, brass tacky, Brady Bunch print sofas. Then I returned to the red sofa grouping again and once more admired the simple styling. In fact, it was everything I wanted. No tacks, no pattern (except for the pillows, which would be pitched anyway), wooden legs, everything I had in mind when I envisioned a perfect fabric-covered sofa. Then I noticed that it was on sale. For about half the price that I would have expected to pay. I decided that it wouldn’t hurt to check into different fabric choices, since while I had toyed with the idea of having a really bold color in the living room and I did really like the particular shade of red, it was a little too much and I decided that it didn’t go with my idea of living room zen (which involves variations of black, muted white, grey and wood tones and perhaps a butler bringing me a spot of tea while classical music plays lightly in the background). I found a salesman and asked what the fabric options were for that particular sofa. He basically gestured at the fabric wall and told me to find something I liked. I dug through a bunch of patterns (florals! Gah!) and then found the same red that was currently on the floor sample, along with the variations of that particular sans pattern fabric. They were all fug, with the exception of the black (which would be too severe for such a large thing in our tiny 50’s-era living room) and the charcoal (a smoky grey). I pulled the charcoal off the hanger and then draped it over the floor sample.


Also, the price was so low that I could buy the chaise as well. I’ve always wanted a chaise. Ever since I was a kid and saw one on The Addam’s Family. Then in junior high I actually saw one in my friend Erika’s house and realized that they weren’t just television props. Yes. And since I’d be losing my corner spot in the L-shaped sectional, it would be my spot for watching movies. Yes. A sofa and a chaise. Lovely.

I told Esteban that I thought I found a sofa and we made plans to check it out, but first I wanted to check out the quirky furniture store down on Broadway. Esteban mentioned that we also hadn’t looked at the stodgy fine furniture place too, so we planned to check them both out before we made any decisions about the cute sofa (and chaise!). We went to the quirky store and while everything was very quirky and very cool, it was almost like it was trying too hard. I remembered the hotel in DC and decided that there was such a thing as funk overboard, so we drove to the stodgy classic furniture place. There, we were smacked in the face with Stuff Country Club Members Would Buy If They Were Trying To Escape The Whole Country Club Image. Lots of French colonial with a country flare, lots of autumn leaf prints and moose tramping across the cushions. We fled before we accidentally got some Republican on us.

Then we went to the cute sofa place. Esteban agreed that the sofa was perfect, but disliked the patterned pillow fabric I had matched to the charcoal fabric. Honestly, I had just picked the least fugly of the accent patterns that the salesman had shown me, but then we learned that we could pick regular sofa fabric for the cushions as well. Ah ha! Well then, that solves it. We ended up with the red pillows, because it did throw a splash of color into the room while still maintaining my living room zen, and besides, if I get sick of them, I can pitch them. Then Esteban said ‘Do you want to get the matching love seat too?’

‘I don’t think it would fit with the sofa and the chaise.’

‘Chaise? We didn’t talk about getting a chaise.’

‘Oh. I want to get the chaise too.’

‘What use is that? It’s pointless. Who sits like that?’

‘I do. That’s how I watch TV now in the corner. I want the chaise. I like the chaise a lot.’

‘I don’t want the chaise,’ Esteban replied. ‘It’s stupid. No chaise.’

I looked at him, thinking of a rebuttal.

‘Fine, get the chaise.’ He shrugged.

Well, that was easy.

So yay, new furniture coming at some point in the nebulous future, and we can get rid of the big giant 80’s sectional we inherited from Ward and June and we will have purchased our very first pieces of real furniture (excluding our mattress and box spring, I guess, which we did actually buy). It’s not like we didn’t want to buy new furniture, it’s just that the stuff we were given secondhand was in decent shape so it didn’t seem that urgent to replace it. And in the interim, there was fugly carpeting to replace and computer stuff to buy. But now, all of this adultness. I hardly recognize us any more. Next thing you know, we’ll be setting up IRAs or, I don’t know, having bunion surgery or something. It’s a brave new world.

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