If you've ever done "the Cure," you know the benefit of the Outbox, that in-between place to accumulate the stuff you're considering getting rid of while you emotionally detach from it. But what if your stuff is bigger than your box? That's the challenge I encountered recently when I said "good-bye" to the second of the two couches from the previous incarnation of my living room.
Though I felt excited about my new couch and the new look of my living room, getting rid of those couches felt a lot harder than I'd imagined. I loved my "old" couches and, just like a real break-up, there was a lot of history there. I had visited them for months before I actually saved up enough to buy them. I'd scrimped and saved, forgoing lunches out. I'd spent weeks debating the benefits of the brown versus the grey. I'd even pretended I was married so I could qualify for a discount. It was that story, of how we finally got together, that I reminisced about the night before we finally parted for good:
When my cousin got married she'd gotten a new bed. Whoa, extravagant, I responded when she told me, Who sprung for that one? . Turns out, no one had. She and her fiancee had registered, optimistically putting the bed on their list. It was the only item on their registry that remained when the wedding fury died down and they'd taken some of the money they'd received as a gift and purchased the bed with it, taking advantage of the discount offered to couples so they might purchase the remaining items on their list. Well, I wasn't getting married any time soon but I did have a birthday coming up. I'd register for that!
Ummm, not so much. Turns out that registering is a courtesy extended only to couples. After fuming that this was discrimination against single people, I hung up the phone and called back. I was considering registering for my wedding. What did I need to show to prove I was getting married? Turns out, I didn't have to show anything. So, the next morning, I marched into the store and registered myself and "my fiancee." Our list was small, comprising only the couches, a couple of kitchen items and a handful of accessories. Our wedding date came and went; my mother bought me a few items off my list as did a couple of friends who were in on the joke. After the post-wedding date had passed, I returned, Gramma's ring sparkling on my left hand, and bought my discounted couches.
We'd had a good run, my couches and me. They'd held up well for napping and parties, sleepovers and make-out sessions, hen fests and brunches. And they were each going to a good home where they'd be starring in the role of first grown-up couches. it was painful but it was time. I took a last nap and then stood it on end, tucking it in the corner close to the door. I felt a pang in my chest as I watched it drive away.
Image: Abby Stone