You better shop around

Monday, August 27, 2012

Once L and I decided we were going to buy our new place, we started discussing which furniture would make the cut and move with us and which pieces would be put out to pasture.  I was prepared for this; I knew he had strong feelings about the fact that mostly we only used my stuff from my single days or bought brand new stuff for our current place.  (In my defense, I had a full apartment of furniture that coordinated because I lived by myself for so long.  I didn't have anyone to contribute to the furniture.  On the other hand, L always had roommates and really only ever had to contribute his bedroom furniture and a sofa, and he sold the sofa before he moved up to VA, although he did replace it.  But why break up the matching stuff to use some random pieces of his when what he had was left over from college?  Do you want to use boy furniture from college in your home?  No matter how clean your boyfriend or husband is, the answer is probably not.  Especially when college ended more than a decade ago for your boyfriend or husband.)

We both agreed that it's time for new living room sofas and that we probably would like a sectional.  The first day we shopped for ideas, we went through Bassett, La-Z-Boy, and Havertys.  Y'all, La-Z-Boy is pretty much my own personal hell.  Why?  Because in a perfect world, I'd be able to convince L that we should get a sofa that would be a genre that would include something like this:

It's hard to see it, but there's a nailhead trim around the arms. But while I love the nailhead trim, I realize it won't be in for forever, so this sofa won't be invited into our home.

And yet, we spent an hour and a half in La-Z-Boy looking at sofas that look like this:

Champagne and Sprinkles and I call these sofas Muppet sofas (just throw some googlie eyes on the back part of it and you'll see what we mean) or marshmallow sofas.  Not only are they unattractive, but they are huge and very expensive.  What I learned about La-Z-Boy is that EVERYTHING must recline (NO) and not only that, but Americans are now too lazy and fat to pull the reclining lever with their hand; everything must be power-operated.  You know what we do NOT need?  A COUCH THAT REQUIRES A POWER OUTLET.  I was so over the store the second we walked in.  And we weren't even done for the day!  We still had Havertys left to go through. 

The second day we shopped, we went to stores that I selected.  This entailed spins through Arhaus (who makes a line of sofas that are classified as apartment sofas, which made me think of the episode of Friends where Rachel's sister buys pants and calls them apartment pants), Z Gallerie, West Elm, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn, and Crate and Barrel.  What I'm looking for: something attractive, not too modern, not overstuffed, and something that is not so deep that when you sit down your feet don't touch the floor.  When you're an adult, it feels really stupid to sit on a couch and not have the ability to put your feet on the floor.  This is proving to be incredibly difficult and I honestly do not understand why.  A few ideas of what I have in mind:

Pottery Barn's Comfort Square

Custom sofa from Bassett

Pottery Barn's Turner Collection

Do we see a general theme going here?  And yet, we walked out of La-Z-Boy with a price estimate for this:

Horrible.  It's huge, it reclines, it looks marshmallow-y... it was just bad.  To be fair, I think L was trying to be kind to the sales guy who had latched on to us (he tried so hard), but there's no way that sofa will be purchased and in our home.  Also, L didn't share my strong feelings about massive, over-sized sofas.  He told me at one point on the first day that he didn't really care what the sofa looks like, which made me laugh and ask him if that was why we were looking at a sectional that would require extra space to recline and that has the option of having a console wedge (complete with a cup holder, which is EXACTLY what I've felt every sofa I've ever had in any housing I've ever lived in was missing) thrown somewhere in the middle. 

We will not be purchasing a sofa that has designated receptacles for beverages. 

As it turns out, L does actually have an opinion about furniture, but he just doesn't know it until I point things out to him that I like.  Anyway, after all that, we decide to just live with what we currently have for the time being and upgrade once we get a better idea for how furniture fits in the new living room.

Also nominated by L for replacement/eventual upgrade: the coffee table, the dining room table and chairs, and the guest bed and bedding.  I agree with l about the coffee table FO SHO.  It's totes time.  I also agree with the bedding for the guest room.  I've secretly wanted to upgrade for a while but didn't think he'd understand why.  This is what we currently have:

It's fine.  The entire bed is what I used prior to marriage.  But I'm over it.  It's very 2004 and bland.  Plus, dupioni silk is not the best fabric for bedding.  My recommendation: never get bedding that you can't just throw in the washing machine.  Anyway, I pointed out this set at Z Gallerie and to my complete and utter surprise, L liked it:

He still does not understand Euro shams or their purpose, nor does he understand needing or wanting more than one, single accent pillow.  But I think the answer to that is that he doesn't have to understand it and he doesn't have to go with me on hunts to find accent pillows.  We went back and purchased it last weekend and the whole experience was a complete 180 from the first weekend we went shopping.  He wanted to show me cool light fixtures he'd seen previously and art work for the living room.  It was amazing!  I also realize that perhaps the difference is that we weren't looking at sofas.  Time will tell.

Since we agreed to hold off on the sofa purchase, we went through a period where we were at odds over what to replace first.  His thought: the guest bed.  Mine: ANYTHING in the living room since we will be using that area daily.  He tried to hold out but I refuse to look at beds right now when we have one that is functional and only one confirmed guest coming in the future and he will. not. care. what kind of bed he's sleeping in.  I agree that the dining room table we currently have is not going to match well in the new place and that it would be nice to have a table with an extension leaf, but it's also hard to reconcile ditching a good, solid-wood table for perhaps something that may end up being crap (although who am I kidding?  We are not replacing our table with something that requires home assembly and a manual in a foreign language).  Also, I have a very weird, sentimental attachment to this table because it's an antique.  It was my grandmother's.  I have no reason to feel attachment to it other than that.  Part of me wonders if we should just paint it (the current stain won't match the cabinets or flooring in the new place) and get new chairs, but that doesn't solve the size problem.  As for the coffee table, I totally agree with L's request to upgrade.  The problem is that he (inexplicably) dislikes glass coffee tables and he's taking a hard stand on this, which I find terribly annoying.  I asked him for an explanation and he thinks they are hazardous.  I pointed out that no one will be dancing on our coffee table and that glass is super easy to clean, but he just ignored me.  We went through something similar when I bought night stands for our bedroom without consulting him.  He would have preferred the night stands that matched the bed or the chest of drawers we bought; I disagreed and purchased some that have a mirrored finish.  I won that one and three years later, the only time he's commented about the night stands was the night he first saw them, so I assume it's fine.  The man just really loves and prefers big, wooden furniture.  This is problematic in a confined space. 

So for now, the moral of the story is that furniture sales people are the worst (waaayyyy too aggressive and poacher-like - JUST LET US LOOK!) but maybe the next time we go looking, it won't be so bad.  Or, maybe we'll end up with a muppet sofa and a super-matchy living room.  But if that happens, it probably means I'm dead or heavily drugged.  Watch for the warning signs, people.

Hurts Like Heaven

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Growing up, I used to be really uncoordinated.  I would trip over anything and everything - if you knew me in junior high and high school, you know this is true.  The irony is that I took dance for about 15 years, but I actually blame ballet for my lack of coordination because I was taught not to look at the ground. 

Anyway, two and a half weeks ago, I left my house on a Saturday afternoon to go purchase a wedding gift for HSGL. I got home, parked my car in front of the house, and ascended the two steps to our front walkway.  Midway through the first step, I'm not sure what happened but I either rolled my right ankle and then it slipped out from under me or my right foot slipped and then my ankle rolled out from under me.  Either way, it wasn't pretty.  It was sort of slow motion but I couldn't stop myself - I had my iPhone in one hand and a huge Sprite in the other.  The Sprite was a lost cause - it went everywhere.  The phone was fine.  I, however, was not.  Seriously, this happened about 24 hours after I'd just been congratulating myself on not having tripped and fallen in long time.

Isn't it lovely?  My right ankle hurt so bad.  I had to stop and take a time out on the front lawn to breathe through the pain.  I really thought I'd broken my ankle or foot.  I realize the large, bloody scrape is probably what your eyes went to first in that pic, but if you look at the top of my right foot, you'll see another scrape with a bruise beginning to form underneath it.  When I go down, I go down hard.  Honestly, after I got over the initial shock and pain of the whole thing, my first thought was, DANG IT!  I'M SUPPOSED TO GET A SPRAY TAN ON TUESDAY.  My second thought was, This will look so good with bikinis and a cocktail dress next weekend. 

Now let's take a moment and focus on the size of the abrasion.  We didn't have enough Neosporin on hand at the house to cover it all so I had to call L and ask him to pick up more on his way home.  We also didn't have any Band-Aids big enough to cover it because it required a bandage with a 3"x3" surface area.  That means I sported my own bandages for about a week.  That involved a rotation of gauze and non-stick bandages adhered with medical tape.  Getting my pre-Mexico spray tan with one of those bandages was awesome.  Eventually, by Friday or so, I was able to get down to a 2"x3" bandage and then to the largest patch-style Band-Aids I could find.  My foot was definitely swollen for a solid two weeks.  Not hugely swollen so that I looked like a major gimp, but enough to where I had no ankle definition.  My first cankle:

So gross, right?  It looks like a man leg, except less hairy.  I see that pic and I just think porky.  I'm so glad I was born with a defined ankle.  (I know, my life would be so hard if I didn't have defined ankle bones.  Cankles are the worst.)  L will confirm for you that I was incredibly distressed each night in Mexico about the state of my ever-worsening cankle situation.  In retrospect, I wish I had taken a picture of my cankle ankle and my regular ankle side by side so that you could see how ridiculous the cankle looked, but at the time, I was so distraught by the difference that I couldn't do it.  Clearly something is wrong with my ankle, but at this point, I don't know that it's really worth it to go see a doctor.  If something is broken, well, I've gone two weeks and walked roughly half a mile (twice) through thick sand in Mexico on the foot (although I might add that those treks were not easily made) and I've lived through it.  I'm not sure that anything can really be done at this point. 

The stupidest part of this whole thing is that I had to go buy my first two pairs of flats (because I don't have any - not a flattering shoe for a large-footed lady) because of this. I tried wearing my normal heels to work the following Monday after the fall (which was on a Saturday), but the pain in my ankle was excruciating so I left at lunch to go limp around and find something easier to walk in.  Thank goodness DSW is a block away from my office.  Consensus: the flats were absolutely necessary but I still feel like a 10 year old wearing them and I also don't think that they're very flattering on my feet.  Maybe I would feel more like an adult if they were Tory Burch, but $200 shoes that I don't want all that much in the first place are not in the budget at the moment.  If I was sure I'd broken my ankle, then maybe I could have convinced myself that it would be worth it, but in the moment, I just figured my ankle would go back to normal in a few days and then I'd be left with expensive shoes that I probably wouldn't wear again.

As it stands, I tried wearing heels on Monday for the first time since the accident and I couldn't make it through the day.   So now I'm revamping my wardrobe because all but about one pair of my pants are too long for flats.  Fun stuff, right? 


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

 One of these days I promise to try and start posting regularly again.  It's been a busy spring and beginning of summer for me and L.  Lots of stuff happening in these parts.  Since I was last posting on a frequent basis, I went to Miami for Nolly's bachelorette party (POST RING PASS!!!  Yes, we are awesome and we did a ring pass for her since all the attendees were Pi Phis),

L and I spent his birthday weekend in NYC (I'm horrible and didn't take any pics), Nolly and Flad got married in Houston,

my sister and brother-in-law came and visited us for a long weekend (there are no post-worthy pics), L and I went to Austin for the 4th of July (if I can muster it, I'll recap the travel misadventures in a post... it was unbelievably ridiculous... but of course I have zero pics from any of it - do we see a recurring theme here?), and we just got back from HSG's wedding in Mexico.

We're quite the globetrotters this year!

With the decision to stay here and take the new job in place, L and I both agreed in the end that a move is in order.  We've spent a lot of time trying to decide whether or not it would be better to continue renting or to buy... the idea of owning is both appealing and daunting.  Part of the agreement to stay included negotiating a dog clause.  We are now in agreement that we WILL be getting a dog soon, although probably not until after we move. Once that decision was made, we started pondering where exactly we might want to live.  The same weekend we had to decide whether to stay in VA or go back to Texas, we had breakfast on Sunday morning and run some errands.  On the way home, we randomly popped into a condo building we've seen many times while eating at a place that occupies space in the first floor of one of the buildings.  The building is new construction and we knew they were selling different floor plans, so we went in to get more information.  As it turned out, they had an open house going on that day so we were able to walk through the building and see all the different floor plans that were still available.  We immediately were drawn to three of them, but at the time, we still didn't know if we were going to stay in Virginia or move back to Texas.  Long story short, we did research on previous units sold in the building, went to some open houses for other properties, checked into some apartment buildings, and ultimately we decided we think we're ready to buy.  Then we had to figure out what we could afford to buy, so once we knew that, we decided which place we wanted and got the ball rolling.  We submitted our offer about two weeks ago and it was accepted (woo hoo!!!).  We close on September 14 and move the following day.

After living in our current house with its very small one bathroom and very small galley kitchen, I cannot say it enough how excited I am about our new place!  You better believe it has an open floor plan with a kitchen that's about twice the size of our current one and TWO full bathrooms (the master bathroom is big enough to have a small party in and we'll have our own sinks.  You have no idea how amazing this is since we can't both look in the mirror at the same time in our current place).  I'll post pictures at some point, but for the moment, I don't want to jinx anything.
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