We bought each other a couch and chair for Christmas. I never bought a big joint gift like that. My colleague says, “We always do Mexico for Christmas in February.” Christmas is December. February is Valentine’s Day. I like presents below the tree.

But getting a couch seemed totally imperative–not imperative like paying the bills imperative or solving world hunger and the problems in education imperative, but important. It’s important mostly because I am such a cool mom.

It’s not that cool moms need stylish furniture. I don’t. I can be cool on milk crates. As a cool mom, not much bothers me, including the type of furniture in the house. I go with the flow. I fix PlayDoh disasters, clean paint spills, and don’t overstress about glitter.

I was cool, in this case, because I let Declan jump on furniture. Who needs a trampoline and extra insurance? We own things that go boing.

Boing, boing, boing…The boy got his athleticism from Rusty and is ADHD from me. It’s a perfectly olympic combination for sports that don’t make him cry. One of these is couch jumping. Boing, boing, boing… after a while, he gets tired. He only fell off and shattered his arm in three places once, and that was years ago–he was three. In his defense,  I interfered–I thought he was falling. I tried to catch him and ruined his perfect-ten landing.

But he got a cool purple cast and some really big shirts to fit over it. What kid doesn’t want to look gangsta for Christmas? That’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Doghair on said couch an hour post delivery

Dog hair on said couch an hour post delivery

Rusty likes things in order. Living in Germany and having been a staff sergeant does that to a person. I’d probably improve my life if I did even one of those things. Enjoying order, he was getting annoyed at the bouncy couch, which was sporting a couple holes, stains, and a divot that swallowed small people. Who knew bouncing on couches ruined springs? Maybe that’s why all the moms yelled at us about stupid things all the time. I always wished they’d lighten up and have more fun bouncing with us.

I, the cheapest person alive, agreed we needed a couch. Letting forty-pound boys jump on stuff breaks it. Two inches from my spot on the couch, a spring had sprung. It was threatening to serve as a proctology exam sans copay. I can’t put some doctor with a half-million in student loans out of work. Time for a couch.

We went to “look and plan.” That usually means we’ve both considered a purchase and something bad is going to happen. I’ve gotten a couple of cool cars that way.
Buying a couch together isn’t simple. Paying is… everyone will take money, it’s the agreeing part that’s hard. Like choosing a baby name or a restaurant…it’s never simple.
“What do you want to do?”
“I don’t know, what do you want to do?”
“Doesn’t matter, what do you want to do?”
And so it goes until both parties make a suggestion, then promptly vote each other’s suggestions off the island. We simultaneously converged on a simple brown couch we’d seen before. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember why we hadn’t bought it. It was so nice. Simple. And not made of dead things.
I picked up the price tag. Then, I remembered. I’d been too cheap, and there hadn’t been a proctology feature, hole, or dog stain on our Swamp Yankee couch to inspire me.

We hesitated. The salesman said, “This is on clearance, and I can give you the Black Friday price.” Black Friday was WEEKS ago. I’d safely avoided American commercial greed for most of the season. “And I can give you this coupon with free delivery.”

The only thing he couldn’t do was take the old couch. But he could have it carried to the curb. It looks nice there. We live in the country. I call that extra seating. Or bus stop comfort for Declan. Or maybe a medical exam station for people who haven’t chosen their Obamacare plan and need a low-cost option for proctology.
The Black Friday sale sold me. Now if I have a bad day and someone says “What’s up your butt?” I can honestly say nothing. I am sitting, writing in style.
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