The other day, meeting up with my mom, I texted her to bring the camera I’d lent her, since she wasn’t using it. Later that day, coming home, I set the camera down on the table in my entryway… and realized, Wait, that makes three.
Why had I felt I needed it? I HAVE OTHER CAMERAS.
I also have two TVs and two DVD players, a tablet, of course my smartphone, a turntable and receiver, various speakers, the laptop I’m typing this on, a printer, hard drives…
But I’m sitting on a couch that is more a futon. It cost about $250, is incredibly uncomfortable, and is barely big enough for two polite people to sit on at the same time.
I have a double bed because I used to have a tiny bedroom, and even though my last three abodes have had larger bedrooms, I am still too cheap to buy another one.
Why do I spend moolah on technology I only use intermittently, but not furniture on which I sit my shapely bum every day? Because shit happens, yo. You move. Someone dies, there’s an earthquake, you get laid off, Godzilla invades Seattle.
Whatever the case is, I’m so used to change, and so fucking poised for it, that I can justify buying a camera to document fleeing my homeland. But don’t ask me to buy a couch. You can’t carry a couch with you when you’re escaping a Nazi invasion.
I mean, C’mon.
I know this is an unhealthy attitude, and that it falls neatly into the psychological bucket labeled, “Commitment Issues.” I know this so well that I am blogging about it, not out of surprise, but because I THOUGHT I WAS BETTER.
I really seriously thought I had learned to put down roots, settle down, make myself at home. Buy a couch.
When I came home from work today it was gorgeous out. Spring in Seattle is a total cocktease, delighting you with blue skies and balmy breezes, only to run off giggling the minute June strikes. This March day was no exception. I opened the sliding door and the cats and I stepped onto my spacious patio. Get this, it has room for three planter boxes. Woo! Don’t be jealous now y’all.
I weeded the aforementioned boxes, yelled at Pickles a lot since she seems to have only a tenuous respect for gravity, brought the jasmine and gardenia outside to get more real sun and less drying baseboard heat. I fondled my seed packets.
I remembered the fantastic back yard of the house I lived in last year, and the vintage rose bushes, and the chard my friend had planted that was still growing when I moved in, and their crazy clay creations strewn around the garden beds.
It made me miss life.
The funny thing is that life is in both the adventure and the settling. There are memories between the cushions of my old couches, because I lived somewhere and had the couch. Friends came over and we laughed. A lover came over and we fucked. Relatives came over and we talked. Hopefully, not all in the same day, because that would be gross. But you get my point. A couch is a place where things of life occur and it can only be there if you’re around long enough to buy it, haul it in, figure out where it should go in your living room, and strew a couple pillows on it so you can say you’ve decorated.
On the other hand, being free enough to grab your camera, your cat, say, “Fuck you, couch!” and head to the airport? That feels just as incredible.
So there you go. At 35 years old I’ve learned this: Be a gypsy or a homebody. Plant the seeds or pack the cameras. Whatever you do, do it with style, do it because you want to, and for gawd’s sake, do it like you mean it.