Couches.

I consider anything over $100 out of my mental capacity to purchase alone.

Computers, cars, houses, couches.

There is this man in a short sleeved buttoned up shirt, the kind of shirt guys wear who never have to wear button up shirts, until they are suddenly faced with the need to buy something to wear to a funeral.

His name was Howard.  His sole responsibility for his entire shift was to sell me something to sit on.

I have a wonderful couch and chair at home.  Leather.  It’s the number one tip I give to all new parents, buy leather.  You can wipe it, it doesn’t stain, it deflects body fluid.  Too well, it seems, as Jude’s last bout with stomach flu sent puke beyond the wipable leather seat to the fabric backing below.

To say the couch smells like vomit would be an understatement.

It’s kind of like being on some sort of flamboyant Swedish game show, where people throw up on your face and you win, like, money and salty meat product.

I’ve scrubbed and squirted and sucked, but the smell goes nowhere…except in my nose holes. Which is problematic, because I was just recently puking my guts out also, and the memories are still too fresh to relive them on a daily basis in my living room watching Richard Dawson on Match Game.

So with no further options, and the cost of cleaning a leather couch being as much as, well, a leather couch, we decided to cut our losses and buy a new set.

Enter Howard.

Admittedly, the day after Christmas is not the best day to go anywhere…aside from the bar.

So we started there.

It took three margaritas, a plate of huevos rancheros and 75 minutes of me explaining Hunger Games to Andy, to psych me up for the purchase.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but the part that enjoys shopping is broken. It’s awkward for me to stand there wanting to buy things from people who want to charge me lots of money for those things, when I would much rather not pay them that money, and be at home explaining Goonies to my kids.

But the thing is, if I left furniture shopping up to my husband, we’d have a room full of those massaging leather chairs from Sharper Image.  And sure, they’re fun for like, 30 minutes, but then it just gets annoying.  I can’t climax and watch Wolf Blitzer at the same time.  It’s against nature.

So, we show up at the furniture store, and it was packed, mostly with those annoying couples who spent the holidays deciding to move in together and wandered around the store saying things like…does this couch look like us?  I mean, does it capture the essence of what we emit, like, as a couple? Would you be friends with us if we had this couch, or would you, like, be nice to us when we’re with mutual friends, but then not show up to our dinner parties because the couch makes you uncomfortable inside?

Howard met us at the glass doors, and I am not sure if it was the tequila Andy force fed me, or some residual Christmas spirit, but I felt super confident.  We’d been browsing furniture stores for a week, and we had all kinds of sale people try and help us, some of them really pushy, others acting like they totally didn’t even care if they sold us anything, because they already have a whole building of couches, and none of them smell like stomach bile. I always left the same way, pretending to like something, making them write it down on a card so I totally would remember the name, and then make up some excuse to leave but promise to be back.

But not this time.  Howard looked like my mom’s friend’s boyfriend Tony who secretly sold pot.  Kinda old, not super bright, and a look of desperation that said, I am one failed couch sale away from moving back in with my sick mother and her medical alert bracelet.

I liked Howard, but I couldn’t let him know that, so in my head I decided I had to role play with him like maybe I was the furniture salesman, and he was the scared shopper, I don’t know, it’s confusing to write out…it was a much more solid plan in my head at the time.

It got off to a rough start.

Hi folks, my name is Howard. Anything in particular you are looking for today?

Anything in particular YOU are looking for today, How-ARD?

Immediately, Andy pulls me aside, realizing his plan to relax me with booze is backfiring.

Stop.  You have to be normal here.

I am being normal, Andy. This is how you play hard ball, throw them off guard, take control of the situation.

Really? Because it sounds like you are trying to solicit sex from him right now.

Ok, new tactic.

Listen Howard, we’re going to buy a couch from you today, and we want to spend only this many dollars. (I hold up 8 fingers.)

Eight dollars?

No Howard, pretend each of these fingers is a hundred dollar bill, except don’t get your hopes up, because I don’t have hundred dollar bills on me, I’m not a rapper, Howard, I’m a person.  A person who will be paying you with her Visa Debit Card.

Andy pulls me aside again.

What the hell, Andy, do you not want to buy a couch today?

No, I don’t actually. I thought giving you a couple drinks would make you less awkward, but you’re acting really weird, you can’t control the volume of your voice, and frankly, I think you’re making Howard uncomfortable.

Fine, you handle this.

We turn around to Howard, but before Andy can diffuse the situation with his boringness, I’m all, show me the couches, Howard.  Show ME the couches!

What the hell is wrong with you?

I Jerry Maguire’d him, Andy.  It totally worked in that movie.

He’s created a monster.

We looked at a lot of living room sets, and I remember saying things like…

I know we said we’d get something practical, but these giant hand shaped chairs are conversation pieces.

There is no way I can tell if this couch is going to work out with my pants zipped.

Do you make rubber sectionals?

Why don’t we just get a bunch of really interesting coffee tables, and when people come over and are like, WHERE’S THE FURNITURE, we can be like, THERE ARE PEOPLE IN AFRICA THAT DON’T HAVE COUCHES, ASSHOLE. So it’d be like a political statement.

I have absolutely no clear memory of what we ordered, and Andy is still  not speaking to me.

I am honestly afraid the furniture store is going to pull up to my house today and deliver a set of bunk beds and the giant acorn painting I told Howard I needed when Andy was in the bathroom, because I said I didn’t want to live in a house that doesn’t have nuts on the wall.

If that happens…I call top.

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  1. says

    *SNORT* I have nothing creative to add to that… just that itself… *snort*

    totally cracked me up :) can’t wait to see pics of the giant acorn painting ;)

  2. Kassia says

    I save your posts for when I’m at work and I have 94 emails from customers that need help with their kids diapers…it’s this kind of post that makes me so glad I didn’t read it on my phone when I had the door locked to the bathroom so I can have one damn moment to my self in a house filled with tiny children…who also happen to need help with their diapers…actually it seems like no matter where I read your posts I’m getting a break from diapers. So I thank you for the much needed break from diaper. And I thank Andy. For keeping you alive so I have something to read.

    • MJ says

      OMG…I am totally reading this RIGHT NOW on my iPhone in the bathroom trying to get the first quiet moments of the day. My mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister and brother-in-law, niece, nephew, husband and kids are all in the living room talking (yelling) over each other and the chaos was just too much so here I am on the potty laughing like a hyena over Brittany’s blog. Glad to know I’m not the only one who does this. And now I must flush and pretend to not know what they are talking about when they say they heard hysterical laughter over the sound of the fart fan.

  3. says

    I wish with all my little heart I could have been there to witness this. Did he actually think that plying you…YOU…with liquor would make you more NORMAL?! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  4. says

    If Andy was really smart he would have ordered you one more Margarita and a shot. Then take you the furniture store…mak a bee line for the bedroom sets…tucked you into some nice comfy king size demo…then shopped in peace. Maybe stuck his cell phone number on your forehead with a stick note just in case

  5. kathleen says

    Got a silver walnut necklace for my anniversary two weeks ago, doesn’t everyone need to wear nuts around their neck! It’s cracked too…..I love it!

  6. Melissa says

    Baking soda works to get the vomit smell out.. My mother swears by it because when we were little my younger sister would get very carsick a lot- and that was the only thing that worked 100% of the time!

  7. Kristin says

    I was choking with laughter and my husband, Andy, said, “What?” I read him the blog and he was crying by the end. He doesn’t show much emotion so kudos to you Brittany for making my Andy laugh. You’re fucking hysterical.

    **And I want to know, do these stories really happen verbatim?

  8. says

    Hilarious as usual. We have dogs, not kids but same concept. Only leather couches although now we have decided to crack down and not let the dogs on them. Dogs are totally confused and I’m tired of saying off a hundred times a day. Lesson: Train right the first time. This is so much easier said than done especially when you are lazy like myself.

  9. says

    Oh, I am so glad I saved this for last tonight.

    Now, I can go to bed, relaxed and happy from laughing, b/c I saw this entire scene in my head.

    The couch sex come on and all to poor Howard. Even though you say nay, your hubs and Howard say oh…but yes.

    Amazing.

  10. Lisa says

    I recently purchased a very high end mattress set after much shopping and lying down in public. I wish you had been with me. It would have been much more fun than shopping with the criminal/man I chose all by myself!/jerkoff who absconded with the excess cash (bc MY debit card will only let me spend 500$ a day thanks Wells Fargo!), laptop, debit card and car (which I got back DAMNIT bc I HATE that car) the next day….

    Hope you love your new couch as much as I love your stories

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