The ways in which couch shopping is basically dating (or so I thought)

When I decided it was time for me to buy a couch, I was prepared for all kinds of disaster.

One thing I learned about shopping from my mom is if I hum and haw over an item, I have to ask myself if it says yes. If it doesn’t, then it’s not worth my time. And so I was ready to apply the same attitude to couch shopping, knowing full well I would not find the one right away – especially because the one would have to be a chaise/loveseat sectional, or so I decided after scrolling through as many furniture sites as I could and looking around my tiny cozy living room.

So when I started my search, I was prepared for a lot of humming and hawing. Basically, I was prepared to go out into the couch world as (I assume) other people go out into the dating world. And I was not looking forward to it.

Here were some of my concerns:

  • I wanted to make sure I found the right one because I did not want to settle.
  • I didn’t want anything too fun that I would resent in a few years.
  • I was looking for the right long-term investment; something that would hold up over time.
  • I was worried about how many subpar options I’d have to look through to find the right one.
  • Would there be a moment when I would be tempted to settle? Would I settle? How many couches do you look at and try out and talk up until you just pick the next available one?
  • What if I got something that looked great on display but just didn’t work in my life?
  • What were the chances that I would just end up with something cheap and Swedish?
  • Would I have what it takes make a real committed investment?

And then I went out looking at furniture stores. As I was driving, I told myself that I was not wanting to buy a couch. I was just looking. I did not want to put any money down on anything. I just wanted to look at my options.

And then I stepped into Urban Barn Outlet. A store that I have loved for years. Ever since high school, I would wander around Urban Barn and plan out my future urban loft (because every teenager wanted a loft, obviously).

I walked past couches, a blue one, a black one, a yellow one, none of them chaise/loveseats. None of them caught my eye.

And then I saw it.

It was grey (my favourite colour even though it’s not a colour, as my family has told me before). It was a chaise/loveseat. It was different enough than most that I’d seen that it wasn’t classified as too trendy. It had the tapered hardwood legs that I liked in too-fancy-for-me couches. And it was nearly 50 per cent off.

The first couch I saw? Really? That wasn’t possible.

I measured, and it was definitely possible. But not wanting to lose my chance, I put a hold on it until the next day. None of the couches we looked in other stores even came close. Ikea, too, was a huge let-down compared to the one I had already found.

The one.

The next day, the store called to tell me someone had put a second hold on it and, if I wanted it, I would have to get there before my hold expired.

And so it was decided. The couch I couldn’t stop thinking about. The one that had been love at first sight. The couch of my dreams was purchased that day, brought home the next and enjoyed ever since.

Movies that make me cry: The Light Between Oceans

Not all movies make me cry. I’m not necessarily a major weeper, but if a movie or a TV show strikes just the right chord, then my tears are a melody of all my feels.

That being said, there are some movies that make me cry more than most – and make me cry every time I watch them. This is one of those movies. (Beware: there are obviously spoilers.)

I realized now that I forgot to write about this particularly heart-rending film.

If you’ve read the book, I applaud you. My friend read it and then warned me that I may not be able to get through it in one piece. So instead I just watched the movie and honestly, I barely got through that. But reading and spending so much more time in the grief and sorrow of these characters would have been too much to handle.

I once saw the book in a bookstore after I’d seen the movie and decided to flip to the last chapter, where all the grief and sorrow of the story culminates into one moment, and I had to hold back tears in the bookstore aisle.

If you’ve never read the book, never watched the movie and never even seen the trailer, I assume your heart is still in one piece.

The Reader’s Digest version is as such: Tom is a WWI veteran who decides to live in an isolated lighthouse far off the coast of Australia in order to deal with his demons. The few times he does visit the mainland, he meets and falls in love with Isabel. The two move to the lighthouse together to start their adorable life and adorable family.

Except they don’t.

She miscarries, twice, and shortly after the second loss, a rowboat washes ashore with a crying baby and a dead man. In her grief, she sees it as fate giving them the baby they lost, and to please his grieving wife, Tom agrees.

A couple years later, they go back to the mainland and Tom finds another grieving woman who lost her husband and baby in a freak boating accident. No bodies were ever found. No closure ever had for her. Tom tries to comfort her by sending a note that her baby is taken care of and her husband is gone, but that stirs up more problems and through a series of truly heartbreaking events, the child is eventually forced out of the arms of the only parents she’s known and into the arms of her birth mother. Tom and Isabel grow old and childless, and a week after Isabel dies, a young woman shows up at Tom’s house. It’s the daughter that was taken from them. After all those years, she remembered the few years of happiness and love she had with them when she was a child.

*cue the kind of ugly crying where tears stream down your face and make your hair stick to your neck*

It’s beautiful, but heartbreaking. Everything about it is beautiful, if you can call sorrow beautiful.

And stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are too good to leave you unaffected. The story is tragic enough, but their acting makes it so personal and real.

Basically, if you want to be broken by a tragically beautiful story, watch or read The Light Between Oceans.

But only if you think you can handle it.

Confession: I feel the need to constantly cite my sources

It’s a problem. And it’s a problem I don’t know how to fix.

I blame a guy named Ken.

I told a Demetri Martin joke in high school and he laughed so hard, I thought he was going to pass out. As the laughter died down, I mentioned that it wasn’t my joke. The look on his face was one of betrayal.

Ever since then, I’ve cited my sources. When I make a joke that is someone else’s, I preface it with, “There’s this hilarious comedian John Mulaney – you should watch both his Netflix specials – who has a joke about shushing animals.”

Sometimes it’s even worse. Like when I make a reference to a TV show and immediately have to explain the premise of the show and characters’ backgrounds. What follows is often an awkward period of time in which I quote the scene verbatim to fully explain the reference.

Even though I know no one cares.

*Why am I like this meme*

Movies that make me cry: Arrival

Not all movies make me cry. I’m not necessarily a major weeper, but if a movie or a TV show strikes just the right chord, then my tears are a melody of all my feels.

That being said, there are some movies that make me cry more than most – and make me cry every time I watch them. This is one of those movies. (Beware: there are obviously spoilers.)

If you haven’t watched this movie and you haven’t heeded my warning above, I beg you, please stop reading and go watch it.

No, seriously.

If you’re still reading, what is wrong with you? This movie is one that needs to be seen and experienced so that you too can sit in a movie theatre with your jaw hanging open in a state of shock.

Just, go away.

For those who have seen it and agree that it’s tear-worthy, I welcome you.

Remember that moment? That moment you realize? That moment when she says “I don’t have a child” and then your brain explodes?

And then when you realize she kept going in life. She married him. She had a baby with him. She raised that daughter of hers knowing, completely knowing, what would happen.

She agreed to fall in love with a man knowing her marriage would fall apart. She agreed to fall in love with this child knowing she’d be taken away from her too soon.

It’s tear-worthy because it shows that knowing how something will end doesn’t negate everything that happens until then. If anything, it can make you love more deeply and enjoy every moment so much more.

She knew her daughter would die, but she also knew her daughter would live. She’d get to play with her and tickle her and make her laugh and fight with her and hug her and put her to bed and watch her sleep. She knew her daughter would have a life, however short, and she’d be part of every moment of it.

A lot of this is what I processed after the movie ended. As I sat in my car and then sat on my couch in silence, going over what I had just watched and trying to come to grips with the profundity of it.

Because this little blog post doesn’t even begin to mention the whole other side of that movie, with language and humanity and what it means and how poignant it all is.

If you did continue reading when I told you not to, now it’s time for you to watch the movie so you actually know what I’m talking about.

The suspension of disbelief in period shows

I love a good period era drama, and with the latest that Netflix has to offer, I don’t have to go very far to find a new one. But I do have to say, there’s one thing that still bothers me: the accents.

In BBC’s The Musketeers, for example, we’re to believe the French heroes speak like classic Brits, the French peasantry sound like Hagrid, the French bad guys could be from the streets of London and the French bad guys’ dispensable henchmen are French.

I know that’s just the way things are, but you’d think since the days of Kevin Costner as Robin Hood, we’d have evolved a bit more to accept accents in characters that actually suit the character.

I just wish we could have a few more Young Victoriaout in the world. Brits who are British. Germans who are German. Belgians who are Belgian.

I wouldn’t mind just once finding a TV series worth bingewatching where the main actor’s accent is the main character’s accent. The novelty of a French Aramis, a French Athos, a French Porthos and a French D’Artagnan.

But perchance that’s just me.

Travel tales: When you hate travel

Do not judge a blog post by its title, because I love travelling. I love seeing new places and eating new foods and pushing past my anxiety of new things to realize that life on the other side of uncertainty is pretty dang great.

I do, however, hate the travel part of travelling.

Planes suck. Buses suck. Carting a suitcase that feels like you’ve packed bricks sucks.

And when you add an overnight flight into the mix, combined with turbulence that gives you the-worst-turbulence-you’ve-experienced flashbacks, is a great recipe for learning your priorities.

The flight usually starts with, “Please just take off and don’t crash on the runway.” Tina Fey in Bossypants explained that her husband’s fear of flying is the worst at take-off and landing because that’s when the most crashes happen or something. So obviously when I’m in a plane that takes off and lands, that little tidbit jumps to the forefront of my mind.

And then the plane continues and you remember that you’re flying for six hours over a vast ocean in the middle of the night. And your brain’s desire to work through worst-case scenarios is, in reality, less than helpful. So instead of worrying about crashing on the runway, you worry about crashing mid-flight:

  • What if we crash into the ocean and water bursts through the windows and I forget how to unbuckle the seat belt?
  • What if we make an okay landing but then we have to go down those inflatable slides into ice-cold water and it’s a Titanic situation where everyone freezes?
  • What if the pilot isn’t able to send an SOS signal? Should I turn on my data for that as we go down? Who would I email? My mom? What’s the coast guard’s email?
  • What if we do make it off the plane and instead of freezing, a group of sharks find their dream buffet dinner? Who would they eat first? Would people be pulled under around me? Would a fin brush my leg? What if I’m too cold to defend myself? How does one defend oneself against a shark?
  • If we do magically make it off the plane and into the water and onto rafts or something, how long do we float? Is it like in Richie Rich when Richard Gilmore and his wife float around and make a phone out of her earrings? I’m not that crafty. I don’t even know how my phone works and I’m still astounded by basic technology like calculators.

And then the turbulence starts and the no-sleep nausea starts and instead of worrying about dying on the runway or dying at sea, your number one concern is not throwing up in your seat. So you take multiple trips to the bathroom by breaking the law (a.k.a. getting up when the seat belt sign is on), hoarding barf bags in your sweater pockets and returning to your seat to lamaze-breathe your way through the rest of your flight. And you start to think crashing at sea isn’t so bad. People survive that. But do people survive public humiliation? What happens if as I’m running toward the bathroom I throw up on another passenger? What happens if I can’t reach the barf bag and I throw up all over myself? Do they have a quarantine area for disgusting people?

The other fear that is at the back of your mind through all of this, too, is that great fear of DVT.

And then you land, or rather close your eyes and wait for the wheels to touch the tarmac and for the plane to slow down without crashing, and you know it’s not over. Because first you have to wait for the bottleneck of people standing to wait for their bags and duck into the aisle as quickly as possible so as not to inconvenience other passengers. But there’s always at least one person who has no bothers about inconveniencing other people. And then you really have to pee, but you also have to go through customs and get your luggage. So instead of worrying about throwing up on people, you worry about wetting yourself like an incontinent child.

And then you have to drive home.

And then you fall into bed and try to nap and correct your sleep schedule and remember how great your trip was. And hope the next time you travel, you’ll have forgotten all of this.

Except you just put it into writing that you can reread before your next trip.

Future me, don’t read this.

Movies that make me cry: Me Before You

Not all movies make me cry. I’m not necessarily a major weeper, but if a movie or a TV show strikes just the right chord, then my tears are a melody of all my feels.

That being said, there are some movies that make me cry more than most – and make me cry every time I watch them. This is one of those movies. (Beware: there are obviously spoilers.)

Duh.

Because you’d have to be a heartless, robotic monster not to.

I don’t need to explain why this movie made me cry because if you’ve read the book, you know. If you’ve seen the movie trailer, you know. If someone has explained the plot to you, you know. If you just listen to that one Ed Sheeran song that plays in the trailer, or that new Imagine Dragons song, you know.

I will say this, never before have I been in a movie theatre when, during quiet parts, I could hear muffled sobbing from every filled seat. It was quite a unifying experience. Just a bunch of women and a few men giving into all the feels.

Excuse me while I reach for a tissue… I just remembered it again.