Smartmom’s couch saga entered the inertia phase last week. As reported in this paper, Smartmom and Hepcat went to Room & Board in the city earlier this month and looked at a plethora of couches. They both liked one called the Townsend and vowed to go back to take another look.
But that hasn’t happened yet. Last week, when Smartmom and Hepcat were in Manhattan on other business, Smartmom suggested that they go look at the couch at the shop in SoHo.
Hepcat declined her divan offer because he had work to do back in Brooklyn. Smartmom was smarting. Didn’t he understand how much she enjoyed their last trip to Room & Board? Didn’t he understand how important it is to resolve their couch issues?
“It’ll just be a quick trip,” she pleaded.
But Hepcat was in no mood for couch shopping and he was anxious to get back to the living/room office to do his work.
So now a week later, they still haven’t made a trip to Room & Board and Smartmom can barely remember why she liked the Townsend so much.
In the meantime, Hepcat took a photo of the green leather couch for The Brooklyn Paper. It wasn’t really a fair photo; when Smartmom wasn’t home, Hepcat carefully “styled” the couch by putting red pillows on it and a small Ugly Doll.
Still, when Smartmom saw the picture in The Paper, she felt vindicated. The couch looked so awful, so saggy, so worn out that she was sure that everyone would agree that her family was in need of a new one. Not surprisingly, Hepcat saw things differently. He was convinced that the comment section would be filled with posts saying that the couple should stop whining and just keep the couch.
Smartmom couldn’t have disagreed more. Wasn’t it obvious that after 18 years of good service, that couch was ready to hit the streets? But just in case he was right, Smartmom checked the comments section in The Brooklyn Paper, and was relieved to see that there were none. Phew.
But then Smartmom got the surprise of her life. Brooke Dramer, a writer and friend since she and Smartmom had babies at the Montessori nursery school, e-mailed her with “a serious offer.”
“I would like to buy your green leather couch,” she wrote. “Our green leather couch died, and we have been searching for a replacement on Craig’s List. Very few companies are still manufacturing green leather couches (I guess they think it’s so last century).
“My boyfriend Dave brought the green couch with him when he moved in with us in 2001. He brought only one other piece of furniture — a green chair — plus four guitars, a bass, a banjo, and three amps. We agreed to throw out my blue velveteen convertible couch. No arguments at all; my couch had no history whatsoever — until we put it out on the street for garbage collection. Friday morning, we found that two people had opened up the convertible across the sidewalk and were sleeping on it. They’d unzipped the velveteen covers from the cushions and slipped them over their heads. Dozens of children were walking to school with their parents and thought it was really funny to have to walk around two people sleeping on a pull-out couch. The two sleepers just wouldn’t wake up. We had to call the cops, who drove by with a policewoman yelling through a bullhorn, ‘Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!’
“The sleepers stirred a bit. They turned out to be a short, skinny man and a tall, stocky woman — not two men, as we’d originally thought when their heads were covered. But the police drove on, and the people went back to sleep. Dave finally got rid of them by placing our stereo speakers in the window and playing Black 47, full volume. That woke the sleepers up, and they finally left. Dave and I ran out and folded up the couch. Dave’s (now our) green couch suffered some splits in the leather after being sat on, jumped on, and slept on by kids for more than 18 years. Finally, just a few months ago, the slits opened up, and large scraps of leather pulled away.
“We’ve got to get rid of this thing (which I’m sitting on now as I type this). But we’re very busy. If we buy your couch, we could just pay for it and lug it three blocks. You could film us carrying it away and post the video on your blog. That’s closure.”
So Hepcat was right. There are people — OK, at least one person — who think it’s a perfectly good couch. Some would even spend money on it.
But how much? Brooke didn’t say, and now Smartmom and Hepcat should probably set a price. But doing so requires a knowledge of one thing: what’s that damn couch worth to them?
Talk about closure!