After 4 years of complaining about the leopard print couch the ex and I decided we needed a more comfortable, more neutral and less offensively patterned couch.
No lounging fat Bollywood ex-starlet, draped in pink satin, eating rasgullas on our couch! She’d be getting the pointy end of my boot right on her plump backside out the door.
Now it would be a tall Scandinavian, all bony legs and elbows, wearing various shades of soft pastel, sitting compactly and making up an excel spread sheet.
The ex said authoritatively,
“I’m going to hire an interior designer for the living room because I’m too busy and have too many important things to do, to waste time finding a couch.”
The ex doesn’t do things by halves, I have learned.
So we went couch browsing.
There were many catalogs of minimal sleek modernist furniture, in blacks, creams and various infinitesimally different shades of beige.
You know, people disparage beige so violently. The colour of boredom, symbolic of blandness, of tedium. Such a bad rap.
After 4 years of leopard living I really want some beige. I’m sick of that attention-seeking whore of a fat starlet lounging on my couch.
Naturally, and predictably, the search for the right furnishings began a serious of various heated debates. Heated debates that escalated into
“Well this is MY House! I’ll do what I like! If you don’t like it then you can fucking leave!”
“Fine! Then I’ll leave! If that’s what you want!
“YES!! I’ve told you that’s what I want!!”
“FINE!! But let me just tell you now – I”M NEVER COMING BACK!!”
Cue dramatic and cryptic email to our relationship counsellor at hand, Monty, asking if he knew anyone renting a room.
More tears, more threats, more couches.
It turns out the ‘I have no time to search for couches’ was a blatant misrepresentation. The ex then spent hours and hours debating (with me, who really didn’t want to spend this much thought on a couch) various couches, their merits, the space, the colour, measuring, re measuring and re-measuring the re-measuring.
There was a lot of re-measuring because I have a natural talent for getting numbers wrong and had read out the meters instead of the centimeters. (These things happen. What are you going to do?)
There were lists and more lists, and a list I had to re-write because of aforesaid talent.
Some more shouting, more tears. Even more couches.
We kissed and made up in the show-room of a terribly expensive furnishing place.
The lady selling the couch seemed a little thrown by my arrival and all the dramatic tension.
Luckily the ex loves sellers, and talks for hours to people selling. They get along famously. It’s a match made in heaven. A person willing and eager to shop, the ultimate consumer and a seller who knows her job.
Being a shop with real couches somehow dissipated all the tension. Well partly anyway. There were still whispered “If you want me to leave I’ll go!” statements made over various modernist coffee tables.
We eventually both agreed on a couch and an amazing fold out table that can be levered up and down to a range of heights.
Now the problem of getting rid of our leopard print couches.
After an first failed eBay listing, I had a crisis of confidence. Who in their right mind would buy a leopard print couch?
Let me tell you if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament - People from Essex.
The re-listing went off like a shot. The ex even sold the second couch privately. The Essex people came to pick up the couches. They sang its praises.
“My daughter saw the couch on eBay, and she said to me, I just have to have them Dad, she said. They are just lovely!”
They seemed surprised that we’d get rid of such quality seating.
I suddenly had this strange rush of pride on behalf of the couches. The couches I’d despised for so long would now be loved in their new home.
A single tear rolled down my cheek.
A belated sense of pride made me tell the man the ex’s mother made the couches in India.
He seemed only nominally interested.
They hoisted the couches into their van.
While I was getting sentimental over the couches and the lovely Essex people who were taking them into their home, the ex was eyeing them suspiciously (I could tell by the narrowed eyes), watching the street from behind the living room net curtains, twitching them back and forth, like some Punjabi Auntie spying on her neighbours children.
“Look at that girl! Haan haan… New boyfriend.”
She will fail exams.
I should not be doing my duty madam, if I do not tell you – Your child is a shameless.
I saw her wearing short skirt,
And talking to boys.”
The ex then started checking the money they paid us, note by note to see if they were fakes.
On behalf of these nice people carting our couches off to Essex, I was offended.
The new couch didn’t arrive for a few days and I rather missed those ol’ couches. I felt sudden twinges of guilt now, that I had disparaged them so.
Finally the new couch arrived. Massive, a Goliath. Taking up nearly a quarter of the room. Phenomenally beige.
Ah beige! How you have been missed!
The ex used to sit on one leopard print couch, I on the other.
Now there is no delineation. We loll around on the couch freely, the wind in our hair, not a care in the world.
Goodbye old couches! May you enjoy your Essex home in the country.
Now the ex and I just need to agree on couch cushions.