Beware of the Couch – Part 2

Yesterday I began telling the history of couches in our family which leads up to an incident that I didn’t want to tell you about my husband.  As a reminder, he has insisted that I should tell this story in the hopes that it will help even one person.  Today I resume with our need to purchase yet another new couch.

We waited until the furniture was pretty worn out before we decided to replace it.  We had turned our living room and family room into one big room and we thought a sectional would be great.  The kids were older and the pets were no longer abusing our belongings.

I scoured furniture stores looking for the right piece.  After narrowing it down, Bob and I took all four kids, who by then had grown quite a bit, to try our sectional choices on for size.  We found the perfect one.  It fit all six of us with plenty of elbow room and it was comfortable.  Still, I was hesitant to finalize the purchase.  I will blame this on my friend, Moggie.  Moggie is adventurous in her decor and thinks out of the box.  She is one of the most creative people I know and it seems whatever idea she has works for her.  I began to ponder – What would Moggie do?  Would Moggie settle for a standard issue albeit perfectly sized couch?  No, she would make a statement.  I decided I would, too.

My statement came in the form of a blue denim couch and oversized chair that I found at a store that was more upscale than I would typically shop.  I had the salesman move the items around the store so I could see them next to each other.  I labored over the decision while poor Bob just wanted to get on with life and have a sofa he could sit on.  Finally, we made the purchase.  I was so proud of myself.  I made this decision without even asking Moggie to come down to the store to critique it.  This represented real growth for me.  I had finally arrived – I was thinking out of the box.

The furniture was delivered and I have to say, I hated it.  I don’t know what I was thinking.  There was seating only for five.  The proportion of the furniture was not right for our room.  And, the denim look was not for me.  To say that I was upset with myself is a gross understatement.  I couldn’t sleep.  I repeatedly burst into tears.  I was a mess.  The really sad part was when we went to bed that night – I  tossed and turned and lamented this stupid purchase, and I was disturbing Bob; and he had to go to work the next day.  So, I left our bedroom to try to let Bob rest, but there was no place to go.  All the bedrooms were full of sleeping children and the only place for me was the couch, and it made me cry.  How can you rest on something that upsets you so much?  The answer is – you cannot.  If I remember correctly I found refuge on the floor of our small office with a pillow and a blanket.  I felt banned from my own living room.

By the next morning I knew I had to do something.  Bob was feeling the same way, only his main concern was for my sanity and the peace of our household.  I told him that I wanted to take it back.  He left for work and said I could do whatever made me happy, but I should remember we bought it on clearance with no returns allowed and I shouldn’t get my hopes up.

I got in my car and headed for the furniture store only to be assured that the no return policy really does mean just that.  Finally I talked to the manager who must have seen my bloodshot eyes and believed that I really was losing sleep over this purchase (or perhaps had other issues he didn’t want to deal with) and he had pity on me and let me make an exchange.  I didn’t plan this and was not trying to manipulate the man, but I burst into tears.  I told him how grateful I was but there was really no other item in his store that I could picture in my house which I could afford.  This kind and I’m sure frustrated man broke the store policy and gave me a full refund.  When I got home I called Bob who to this day is still amazed at the success of this feat of desperate determination.

Before I had any more time to think about it, Bob grabbed me by the hand and drove me to the store with the standard issue sectional.  We made the purchase and lived happily with it for well over a decade.  I decided right there and then that decorating “out of the box” is not a place I should ever consider going.  It works for Moggie, but it surely would produce an ulcer in me.

Eventually our perfect sectional wore it out which meant that it was time to shop again.  I can assure you that Bob was nervous.

We decided to go leather this time.  We quickly found the couch and loveseat that we liked and bought it.  It was delivered and everybody was happy.  It looked great and was comfortable.  We all fit on it.  It was perfect and so easy this time.  Or so it seemed.

Join me tomorrow as I conclude this story and reveal the “incident” regarding our current couch which my husband has so humbly insisted I share.

Leave a comment


  1. Ah, yes, the sofa purchase. I knew to never go leather (I stick and sweat to it… never a valid choice for a sofa in this house). And, we (ok, three of us) went and sampled the sofas. We even measured them to insure they would fit through the house…(You can read my blog to find out how I learned this key factor, decades ago.) And, then when it was delivered, the lazy folks they used wouldn’t get it to the room- since there was only 1/4 inch clearance on each side. So, we demanded a discount (which we got) and brought the three pieces downstairs ourselves. We were happy- and less poor, as a result.
    Glad you got your sleep- and sofa- where you wanted them, too!

  2. toninelsonmeansbusiness

     /  April 4, 2013

    That’s real customer service. There are times when rules need to be broken and how wonderful that this store took care of you like that. No doubt he really had empathy for you.

    • Yes, I was amazed. I still am not sure why I fell apart over this one, but it was an emotional time. At least now it’s funny looking back on it. Thanks for commenting.

  3. I just love the story. Yes, the customer service was great but it’s such a personal story and there is so much of you in it. It made me smile, it made me sad. Interesting how something that is functional can have such an impact.

    • Thank you for your understanding! You have to know that it was a rough time and I’m not even sure why. I’m thankful for the outcome and for an understanding husband to see me through it.

  4. I’m all in and can’t wait to read the conclusion now!

  5. Way ta go, Bonnie! I think the moral of this tale should be heeded (hed?) by all retailers: BEWARE THE SLEEP-DEPRIVED HOUSEWIFE! I really enjoyed this story, and your dry humor as you tell it. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story!

  6. I can’t believe you are going to make me wait another day to hear the end of this story. I may not be able to sleep. I have had many incidents where I made “the bad decision”. I bought a car and cried over it. They took it back and gave me the color I wanted. I wish I could say it was long ago, unfortunately it was only a year or two ago. I don’t know if I will ever grow out of “the bad decision”! I think it explains why I am so indecisive, because I’m afraid I will make the wrong decision. Can’t wait for the rest of the story!

    • Yes, fear of the wrong decision is crippling. I fight that a lot. I just posted the rest of the story. Hope you enjoy it.

  7. moggie

     /  April 6, 2013

    Oh my good friend Bonnie,
    I am waiting to read part 3 and maybe I will comment again?
    I am glad you did not blame me for this bad decision, without asking my opinion at the time. Hopefully I would have cautioned you there was barely enough seating for my family not to mention your crew, thankfully all is well with our relationship. I want you to know I can decide on a couch easier than an article to wear. Recently I purchased something with immediate buyers remorse, I mentioned to Michael how I was afraid to take it back and his reply was ask Bonnie to take it for you. So the moral of my story is, we should team up and become world renowned personal shoppers. On to part 3.


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