I don't want to say my husband, The Vulcan, is cheap. I want to say he's a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner, but Charles Dickens might get pissed.
Usually I get around my husband's frequent cry of "stop spending money!" by simply not telling him I spent it, one of the benefits of being the person in charge of household finance. I also tend to hide my purchases in plain sight and it usually takes a good year for him to notice the new purse on my shoulder or the earrings dangling from my lobes. My latest purchase, however, wasn't likely to go unseen. Our 16th wedding anniversary is in a couple weeks and I learned about 12 years ago not to depend on him to pick an appropriate gift. I've been much happier since I started simply buying a gift for myself and informing him afterwards. I had every intention of picking myself up a Dooney & Bourke purse this year, but, alas, fear for my children's safety led me to a different gift.
We have a finished basement and on the weekends the kids sleep on the sofa beds down there and watch Netflix until the wee hours. The Professor sleeps on a fold-out love seat my sister passed on to us when she moved. Unfortunately the bed part is not functioning properly anymore and both he and the dog have to sleep on a mattress that slopes down at a 45 degree angle. And that's the good sofa bed. The other was purchased from the seller of our first home 15 years ago and it was gently used then. It has since been through two kids, three dogs, and two cats, all of whom like to sleep on it or scratch it or bounce on it. When unfolded, the mattress sagged in the middle, several springs were missing near the foot causing the mattress to dangle and scrape the floor, and stuffing was starting to come out of the back. The arms had already been patched and the cushions recovered twice. I feared some day a piece of metal was going to snap and one or both of my children (or my dogs) would be trapped and turn up on "News of the Weird" due to the freakish cause of death.
On Sunday I wandered into the local Furniture Fair and twenty minutes later left with an order for a new futon. The Inmates tested it in the store and as long as they're willing to sleep next to each other it will accommodate them both. Chester's old sofa will stay, since it's totally functional as a couch, just not as a bed given its resemblance to a ski slope. I thought I was being very mature about this. I wasn't whining about not getting a purse (well, just a little) and I didn't insist this purchase should come out of general house maintenance money, even though I've always viewed being given a practical gift as only one step above being given the clap.
I informed The Vulcan that I bought a futon. His reaction? I quote: "You better not have!" Huh? Apparently he thought there was nothing wrong with our old couch, that it was perfectly functional and not unattractive if I put the slipcover back on. Plus, he insisted, this futon was expensive. Why, he asked, couldn't I have gotten one for under $200? I informed him that not only hadn't he bought a couch in decades, but apparently he'd never even been in a store with one since Pope John Paul died.
I give you my photographic evidence of my old couch. You decide.
Personally I think Child Protective Services might have had something to say if they showed up...not to mention PETA and the SPCA. The deliverymen were apparently so horrified by the old couch that they took it away, but left the crappy cushions behind on the floor.
On the other hand, the kids keep talking about how comfortable the new one is, I keep looking at the fresh unblemished fabric, and Frank immediately curled up and took a long nap. Yep, The Vulcan is outnumbered as usual.
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