LAURA SNYDER: My Caribbean Trip Became A Sofa and TV
My husband and I have been saving money to go on a trip to the Caribbean in a year or two. But I don't think that will be happening now.
The trouble started because I needed to get a new sofa. The old one was fine for a while, but as time and body weight overburdened the cushions, they sagged like an 80-year-old woman. When I sat on this sofa, my butt would sink down about a foot, my back would bow back into it, and the headrest would push my head forward so that the only possible way to watch television was to look out the top of my eyes as if I were wearing bifocals -- which I'm not.
I knew it was time for a new one and so did my husband.
However, he wanted a new television first. We've had our current television for only 10 years, and in my mind it was just fine. I don't have a lot of time to watch television, so as long as it didn't spit fire or turn off randomly, I was a happy camper. My husband, however, imagines himself as some sort of TV connoisseur and he dubbed our TV "old technology," and as such it was just not watchable any longer.
I knew that if I didn't want to look like that saggy 80-year-old woman, I needed a new sofa. After visiting dozens of furniture outlets, I finally found one that I could live with. In fact, was so comfortable that the salesman had to wake me up because the store was closing.
The only color you could get this sofa in was "cream." I imagined my children with their colored markers, dirty fingers, dirty feet, and dirty well, everything, and I thought, "Well, I could always rent an apartment and keep the sofa there." However, the salesman assured me that the sofa was made of a washable material, and that you could even get pen marks out of it. I believed him because I wanted to. I wanted that sofa.
I told my husband about it, but, of course, he wanted a new TV. I asked, "What good is a new TV when I can't watch it comfortably?"
Just as illogically, he responded, "What good is a new sofa when I can't watch a decent TV while sitting on it?"
We both knew that in order to get what we each wanted, we would have to get them both. So after discussing a strategy for paying for these hugely expensive items, realizing that we'll have to be on a macaroni and cheese diet for at least two years, we went shopping for a new TV.
I can't believe how many stores we had to schlep through to find "the one." For me, it would have been easy to pick a TV: Pick the size we want and buy the cheapest one. Done!
But no, we had to look at resolution, projection, LCD, plasma, high definition, blue ray, and a bunch of other strange-sounding words that I can't even spell. He finally decided on a high definition model, but when we got it home, we found that it didn't fit in the entertainment unit we had. Did he return it and buy a different one? No! He relegated the entertainment unit to the basement and decided to mount his technological wonder on the wall; high enough that there would be no miniature fingers messing with it.
There it was, hanging like some kind of teleporting black hole in the middle of the living room wall. Indeed, it was so big that there were some scenes that you felt like you could just leap right into. It looked stupid, but my husband was annoyed only because there was nowhere to put the speakers for the home theater system he was already trying to talk me into getting.
I figured that the only thing that would make it look good up there is to put one of those portable fireplaces below it. My husband thought it was a brilliant idea, but to be honest, I saw a picture of that set-up on one of the hundreds of TVs I was forced to look at.
So basically, our trip to the Caribbean will be spent sitting comfortably on our new sofa, in front of a fireplace that we can't use because it sets off the smoke alarms, watching other people cavorting in high definition on white sand beaches seen in exacting detail getting the beautiful tan that should've been mine. If only that TV were a teleporter.
Laura Snyder is a Whispering Pines writer. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her Web site is www.lauraonlife.com.
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