Another quiet weekend for my husband, The Gryphon, and I. We slept in late both days, and I finally feel somewhat recovered from late nights of work the week before.
On Saturday, we went couch shopping. We've been using his old couch, handed down from his grandmother, and it's fallen on hard times. The material has worn to the point of tearing, and we've been making do by using a store-bought couch cover. Now, even the couch cover is beginning to tear.
We decided to shop around and find out what was available. I'd solicited suggestions for low-cost furniture outlets from friends, and we picked a couple to try. After brunch at a local diner, we drove to the Impact! Thrift Store in East Norriton, which apparently will move soon to nearby Norristown, at least according to several signs on the door.
The thrift store was large, and the couches were arranged in rows in the middle of the room. As we looked through them, we noticed that several were in poor shape: discolored or worn. Others were extremely dated, and not in a cool way, like a couch covered in a floral/abstract pattern that reminds me of a pair of JAMs I used to wear.
We liked a blue suede couch but decided it wasn't a great choice with animals in the house. Even if we could keep Una and Luke off the couch while we were home, there were no guarantees once we left. I was worried they would tear the soft material inadvertently with their claws.
The couch we liked the best was a red, green and gold plaid couch covered with a heavy, durable fabric, which we felt would go well with the existing colors in our living room. But we weren't entirely sold on it, so we resolved to look elsewhere before buying it.
Next, we drove to the Furniture-Rama in Lansdale. On the way there, we got a little confused trying to follow directions from Google Maps, but we eventually figured it out. The store was in an unassuming warehouse-sized building tucked behind a shopping plaza.
Since the furniture was new, the price tags were bigger, but still good for new furniture. The showroom was filled with suede and leather couches, but we finally found a fabric-covered couch that we liked, the Ashley Cityscape in Taupe. It retailed for just over $400, which was more then we'd been expecting to spend that day. We sat down and talked, then agreed we'd make do with our current couch for a little longer. If anyone in our family asks for suggestions for Christmas presents, we'll ask them to contribute to our couch fund, and hopefully, we can buy it in January.
The Gryphon is current working a contract position for a Web design firm, with a signed contract running until the end of the year. His employers have told him that, if they have enough work prospects lined up and enough money in the budget, they'll hire him full-time in January. We are waiting until we have that some security before making big purchases or embarking upon other expensive endeavors.
This experience made me think of all the other American families who are tightening their belts, many of them in worse situations than we are. It's going to be a rough Christmas for retailers.
You shouldn't buy a couch on an impulse.