22 February 2011

On giving up on dreams

"I would rather let my house sit empty and slowly fill it with only things I love rather than hurrying to furnish it with cheap stuff or okay stuff."

I say to N8tr0n emphatically one night.

Because how else can one make a statement like that other than emphatically? And if you should be curious, yes, I am prone to making emphatic statements that I may or may not be able to back up as the months pass and there continues to be nowhere to sit in my living room.

Nevertheless, I reminded myself of my home resolve as we made a pilgrimage to the mega store of N8tr0n's ancestry. Or rather, the mega store where his family bought the meatballs for the New Year's smorgasbord that one year. Having learned my lesson from previous Ikea trips in which I was wooed by the cheap and okay things, I had a list. A very detailed list that I clung to and did not sway from. Miranda: 1, Ikea: 3. You know, from the times before.

But this post isn't even about our trip to Ikea! Rather, it is about how we accidentally found the couch of our dreams. And how it resides in West Jordan, Utah. And how it will probably never reside in my house. And how that's so sad, don't you think?

It all started with a trip to Gardener Village. I was meeting my friend Rachel there for some much needed catching up and frantic flapping/pointing "oh my gosh I love that chaise!" sort of stuff.

(And while we're on the subject of that kind of stuff, you know what must be annoying? Being N8tr0n when I am talking about decorating. Bless his heart but I am relentless. He actually answers most of my "what do you think of this dresser?," "how much do you hate this pattern?," "tell me your thoughts on sheepskin," could you please love this rug, for me?" queries that I throw at him while he is trying to get his Call of Duty on. This husband of mine, I think I'll keep him.)

N8tr0n spotted the couch of our dreams first and knowing I would love it, pointed it out to me. And the fact that N8tr0n actually liked the couch in the first place is big. As it turns out my taste in couches tends to be a bit dated for him. He can't seem to get images from That 70's Show out of his head when I'm showing him potential candidates no matter how adamant I am that it will not be paired with an orange saucer chair.

Anyway, about the dream couch.

I admired it the way one would admire Oprah's closet, knowing that it is beautiful, luxurious, and screaming your name but not gonna happen. I ran my hand over the fabric and imagined it making somebody else very happy. And if I hadn't gone back to that store for one more look—Oh but how I wish I hadn't gone back!—I wouldn't be whining to you about that damn couch right now. But then, what on Earth would I have posted about today?

The first mistake, as I mentioned previously, was returning to the couch to look at it just one more time. The second mistake was sitting on it for 15 minutes while we talked to a very nice employee who filled us in on the couch brand and how it had down in the cushions. She also mentioned that the style of the back is perfect for kids and pets and that the fabric could be cleaned with either soap and water or solvent. Usually it is one or the other! And suddenly I am an expert on couches when about an hour ago the only thing I knew was that futons are always a bad decision! The third mistake was me actually starting to consider buying the couch. I allowed myself to think that maybe the price wasn't so bad? Maybe we would just splurge on this one thing? And the store is having a sale?

Of course we left without the couch. Duh. And of course that didn't stop me from thinking about it constantly. Double duh. And now? Now nothing. I have no moral to this story. No great anecdote about how we left the store and decided to stop at a hidden thrift shop only to find an even better couch for ten dollars! Nope. Nothing like that. Just the fact that I still really want that couch and I've measured my living room and it would fit perfectly. Also, the gorgeous gray fabric that is reminiscent of a men's suit (not the white that is shown in the link because white couch = no thank you) would look amazing with the paint color I have picked out for the walls. Just stuff like that.

And here's the thing. There are approximately eleventy billion couches that would be just fine in our house for a fraction of the price. Even more that would be okay. We wouldn't even have to leave the state to find them! So that is probably what I should do? Find a couch that is fine, maybe even pretty good, and learn to love it? And possibly, quit making emphatic statements all of the freaking time?

So now I have something new to ponder which is this: Should I try to save money and pinch pennies and wait for years so that I can buy the couch that will bring me happiness? Or should I try to do something about the fact that I am deeply and profoundly shallow? Hmm...conundrum.

I can't provide you with an uplifting ending that inspires you and fills you with resolve of some type or another. Would you like to do it for me? Tell me that I should settle for something more affordable and focus on things that really matter. That I should never let go of my dreams! Tell me what you had for breakfast. What kinds of things you pine after that make you feel a bit shallow.

Pretty please?




Laurel said...

I ate a granola bar. And now I pine after the Nadine couch on the link you shared. It would be perfect with the red chair in our living room, wouldn't it? Never you mind that we just got a new couch last year. But mainly I am pining over going on that trip to Ireland with Lorne, because I don't think we're going to be able to afford it, and I'm feeling like such a loser for being so angsty about not going. I've already been to Ireland, and I realize I've been very lucky to have traveled a lot in my life. There will be plenty of trips in the future. But I want to go NOW. Pity me.

Staci said...

OK here's the deal - I've loved Gardner Village since it opened, and now that I live in West Jordan I don't go there for anything excetp the lemon chicken cutlets at Archibalds. It's too rich for my blood and it just makes me unhappy to know all of the beatific wares are there to taunt me. They have a kitchen island that I'd give my eye tooth to have, and I haven't gone back because it would break my heart to know that someone else was able to take it home.

BTW - did you happen to stop at Home Again? It's a consignment place that's right around the corner from Gardner Village and up the street from Black Goose (also a no-no shop for me). It's divine. You should go there next time you're down this way.

Femme Facetious said...

That couch is gorgeous.

I had a similar issue with a coffee table at Ethan Allan. I was searching for the perfect coffee table and went in there on a whim (because I don't regularly shop there, because...I like my food. And my house)...and there it was. Beautiful. Also about 4 times more than I was willing to pay :P I ended up getting one from IKEA, actually :D

michelle said...

Sigh. I totally get wanting to wait and get the pieces you really want, not just things that are okay. That said, a lot of our home is filled with the okay things. My very favorite things are pieces that Marc picked up at the BYU surplus sale and then refinished, or the dresser that I got at D.I. and painted.

So what am I saying? Sometimes you find something that you just want so much, nothing else will satisfy. Other times you settle because it doesn't matter that much, and eventually you will get around to replacing it. But I suppose I do a lot of pining.

I think the couch is just lovely, btw. And I loved the narration of you trying to get your man interested in decorating while he's gaming. Classic.

Rachel said...

I totally went back too, on Monday. And the sales lady recognized me and said she knew I would be back. And I looked at your couch, and my heart ached for you.....And for me too, cause I knew deep in my heart the impossibleness of it all. But I will keep hoping and dreaming, and maybe someday it will happen for you and me! I want to go to that Home Again shop that Staci was talking about, I see it everytime I go, but I never stop. But I did eat at Archibald's for lunch, and the fried green tomatoes made me feel a little bit better about everything :)

Rebekah said...

Wait... You got to hang out with Rachel... Rachel got to hang out with YOU! I am pining after the fact that I wish I was in Utah with the two of you pining after that couch!! I was "blessed" with the inability to decorate... hence the reason that we have lived in our house for 2 1/2 years the only things on our walls are things my husband has picked out (e.g. the red/white/blue stars & picture of the American Flag... what so we're patriotic big deal!). I am pining after my dear friend Mwanda to live closer to me and help me in my own personal decorating crisis!!

marta said...

i am so with you, miss miranda. i've had those exact feelings. except it was because my hubby didn't think we needed a couch (chairs aren't so bad..) after much deliberation, i finally talked him into getting a $500 dollar pottery barn couch. we now sit / sleep / play on it every day. the moral of this story is to go to DOWNEAST in idaho falls, it is bursting with cute wonderful things. however, sadly not that gorgeous couch you are pining over. am mourning your losses. hope you will find something you love equally. gardner village is dangerous.

laurie said...

we bought the cheap couch. and it is ok but i still find myself wishing for a different one. i know what a dilemma you are in and wish you the best as you make these oh-so-tough decisions.

Katharina said...

Breakfast: egg whites & V-8. (Virtuous, but gross.)

This, dear girl, is a conundrum. I feel where you are coming from, and it tugs the heartstrings a touch. Because you want home to be a haven and a place filled with lovely, beloved things. But sometimes it's a choice between those blasted things or having a house in which to place them.

I say, save up for the doggone couch. Dream big and budget for it, bit by bit. Realize that this process takes a while...that particular couch may have moved on by the time your pennies are saved, but there will still a Someday Couch Fund. (Or an alternate Cool Piece of Furniture Fund, should your needs and tastes shift.) The point is, there should be room for a few fabulous things in amongst all the other "okay" things.

Hannah said...

Oh that couch! I love it!!! I can understand your feelings, though. But, with three tornados running around, I'm glad we opted for the cheaper version. Toddlers + Super nice couches = disaster. I love that I don't have to guard a couch. Mine are disposable.

Rendy Tucker said...

Miranda, I saw this http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S09840535 in Ikea yesterday in the isunda gray color and it's quite adorable. The gray is actually pretty fantastic. Nothing like the couch of your dreams though.

This is my thought. There's a time and a season. Toddlerhood is not the time to purchase a piece of furniture that you adore. Because when z-cakes barfs on it you will hate her for barfing and worry more about your couch than your sick baby. My suggestion would be to purchase something that is less fantastic, lesser-quality, but fits your aesthetic (and your budget). Nobody wants an ugly couch! That's not shallow- that's just the truth. Then you could save your dream-couch for a time when there is less barf-booger-chewing gum in your life. My two cents. :)

jt said...

I think I agree wholeheartedly with Rendy's sentiments. I fidn myself reminding myself constantly about a time and a season for everything- My mom has given me some nice things, or recovered some things for us, and we are all frustrated when inevitably things get stained, scratched, clawed or destroyed by kids or cats. The good new is, and I tell myself this often, you can 'settle' for something less that is still cute, and if you have a good aesthetic and style, you can pull it off and even make it into something beautiful and hip. I definitely don't have all the furnishings I wish I did, and a good third to half of them aren't even my style- but with color, paint, placement and accessories (cheap ones, too)you can make it your own and a place where you want to be. You can do it. just be glad you don't have bad taste, although grandma always said that good taste was a curse. I *so* know what she meant, if I do say so myself.

Emmylou said...

I feel I can ditto Becky's comments. The End.

Emmylou said...

btw. I ate granola and yogurt for breakfast.

Sarah Stamps said...

I say save your pennies and buy the couch.There is honor in saving for your dreams. By that time the kids will have grown out of the booger and puke stage, just in time for a brand new gorgeous couch. You deserve it! or you will by then.

Anonymous said...

Just buy the damn couch!

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