The Basement Files: A needlessly complicated couch conundrum


Ah, heat, how we have missed ye! With spring now within reach two things are for certain, I’ll be breaking out my shorts and sharing my pasty-white calves with the world, and the inevitable restructuring of furniture items in the house due to “spring cleaning.” This year however was different. Instead of merely moving items around, we were removing them and replacing them as well. That was the plan at least. I do suggest that before we get started you grab yourself a pen and paper, because it is going to get complicated, and please note that the names have been changed to protect the innocent, and frustrated.

Buying furniture should not be a hassle. You see, I, and by that I mean “we,” had two couches, A and B, and they had seen better days. They currently occupy two separate rooms on two separate floors. For the sake of making it complicated let’s call them Rooms B and C, with C being the basement of “Basement Files” fame.

That is when we received a phone call. “We have a couch we are getting rid of — do you want it?” Of course the answer was yes, but this couch was a leather sectional, much larger than the two that are broken. But that sectional, Couch D, could replace the other sectional we have that is in dire need of re-upholstering. We will call that Couch C, which is upstairs in Room A. Seeing an opportunity, I said I would take the disintegrating Couch C to replace fully broken couch B in the basement.

Should be simple enough, but in comes Woman A. I love Woman A. She is awesome, but can sometimes be a bit indecisive and … demanding, just like the rest of us. Woman A says, “It won’t fit,” so Man A comes along with a tape measure and finds that indeed, Couch C will fit, with just a little rearranging. This was not happening, apparently, because even though the measurements synced up, it still “wouldn’t fit.” Fine.

Enter the clearance sale. Well, I may not need couch C after all. A clearance sale has cropped up, and Man A and Woman A found a couch they liked, Couch E. I liked it too, and the price was right, and they said they had six in stock, so I ordered one as well, Couch E2. At this time, we have Couch D already in Room A, rearranged into place, with Couch C now occupying the rest of the room, waiting to be trashed. So far, so good. That is, come the day before delivery.

You see, when the store said Couch E2 was “available,” the salespeople really meant to say, “Nope, we’re stupid and by ‘six available’ we only meant one.” My hopes and dreams dashed, again, not even 24-hours after purchase. Okay, I’ll make another push for Couch C, considering we have already scheduled Couch A and Couch B for pickup.

However, Couch C was disassembled, and Woman A was having second thoughts.

“Maybe I don’t want to get rid of Couch C. It’s a good couch still.” I know, that’s why I want it in Room C. “But it won’t fit in Room-C!” Yes, it will, so she suggested: “How about Couch D?”

This angered Man-A: “The good couch?”

I’m okay with it, but that hope is dashed fast. “How about once we get Couch E, the one that you bought also but doesn’t exist, you get broken down Couch A?” Man A suggested.

It would work. It wasn’t as broken as Couch B was, but it didn’t have long left. But this didn’t address the fate of Couch C, which Woman A has now firmly decided she wanted to keep … and put back in its original position, that is currently occupied by my awesome Couch D.

This did not go over well with Man A, as he moved the extremely heavy Couch C out of the way and Couch D into position to surprise Woman A. Okay, so how about another suggestion?

“How about we put Couch E in Room C, Couch C in Room A, and Couch D in Room B?” Woman A suggested.

“Wait, so the couch I buy is going to him, but I like that couch!” Man A said.

Knowing better than to get into the argument, I simply backed away slowly … until I saw Man A with the tape measure again.

“Couch C will fit down here, we just have to do it like this,” said Man A.

“But Couch D is a tad bit smaller and would fit better, and I don’t really like Couch D in Room A anymore anyway and I want Couch C back,” countered Woman-A.

“Who’s on first?” I added, brinbing nothing to the conversation.

Time was running short, deliveries and pickups were coming, and it was time to a make a decision that will keep everyone happy. So Couch C remained in Room A, keeping Woman-A happy. Couches A and B were carted away, making me happy, Couch E went to Room B, making Man A happy, and that leaves good old Couch D, the leather sectional, the awesome couch, well, that ultimately got moved, out of sheer necessity, to Room C, the basement, keeping my butt happy and allowing my mind to roam free without the fear of a catastrophic couch failure, and for this, I think we all win.

Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.