|My first "single girl with her own apartment" purchase|
Dave and I are getting our kitchen/family room renovated and this week we had to do some purging and cleaning and this included getting rid of some furniture. This was all furniture from our old apartment that made the move with us to where we live now. Stuff that I had bought many years ago when my roommate moved out, all the furniture was hers and I was left with an empty apartment to fill.
It was an exciting time in my life. I was single, living in the city, I had just started my dream job and had my own apartment for the first time in my life. Kind of like Sex in the City, minus the sex and all the fabulous clothes and shoes.
The couch above was my first major purchase as an adult on my own. At $800 was the most expensive thing I had ever bought up to that point in my life (if only that were still true!). I spent evenings and weekends hunting for the "perfect couch". It was like a real quest, my co-workers got involved, giving me advice on what to look for and where to go. "So did you get a couch yet?" was the first thing I was asked every Monday morning. It took me so long at one point someone commented "Holy shit, just buy a fucking couch already." I should mention that I worked on a trading floor, where a) people bought their kids ponies for Christmas, so watching someone drag their heels on a $800 purchase was probably a bit irritating for them and b) people used very bad language but not always in a mean way. Anyway, when I finally bought that couch it was more like a collective triumph than a personal one.
My one regret about that couch was that for an extra $100 they would have converted it into a fold out bed, but I didn't have an extra $100 at the time. Over the years many many friends have spent the night on that couch, that $100 really would have been well spent, probably like $1 per stay. But I was always a responsible spender and I felt like I couldn't afford it. If I knew at the time that one day I would be dropping $100 on vitamins at the naturopath on almost a weekly basis, or on a single trip to Whole Foods to buy some gluten free bread and dairy free cheese, I think it would have put it all in perspective, but sorry friends, I had no such foresight.
Yes, it is just a couch. Just a piece of furniture. But in a way, getting rid of that couch kind of symbolizes a tangible good bye to that time in my life when I made decisions on my own, scrimped and saved for the things I needed (actually needed not wanted), when every purchase felt "major". It's not that I don't love the life I have now. It's recognizing that I had to go through all that, to get to this, and that all that is a time you can never go back to.
Where did the couch go you might ask. Thank you for asking. We found a wonderful organization in Toronto called the Furniture Bank. They collect gently used furniture and household items and transfer them to women escaping violence, refugees, new immigrants, and people transitioning out of homelessness. These individuals or families are referred to the Furniture Bank by registered agencies and shelters and they can go in and "shop" for furnishings for their homes. Everything is given to them at no charge.
So the couch that symbolized a big transition in my life, now will do the same for someone else.