A Place to Park
My first two apartments after college had sofas. The first belonged to my then-roommate, and the second belonged to the landlord. I sat on those sofas all the time, never appreciating the glory of having a comfortable place to rest that was not my bed.
In my third apartment, in Manhattan, there was no room for a couch.
In the fourth, there was theoretically space, but it never came together. I had two roommates and pretty soon they were both engaged, and the sofa never happened.
In the fifth, there was no room.
In the sixth, the person who owned the apartment had a couch, but it was covered in 50's-style plastic sheeting and not comfortable AT ALL.
Then I made aliyah, to a studio, where there was no room for a couch.
And now here I am, in my eighth apartment after college, with a roommate who's been insisting she does not want one, for various reasons: we couldn't agree on a color palette (she likes earth tones, I like bright colors), I like plush sofas and she's a minimalist, she doesn't want me falling asleep in the living room all the time (which would certainly happen, natch), she thinks the salon is too small for a couch and our table-for-6-to-8 (I disagree). Even if I paid for the whole thing, she still didn't want it.
This was upsetting because, to me, the couch had become a symbol of adulthood. As long as I did not have a sofa in the living area, I was still living in a pseudo-dorm.
It is for that very reason that many Orthodox single people put off buying a couch, or other nice things. They do not want to admit that they are settling down somewhere without a spouse.
I'm 36 and that ship has sailed. If I wait for a husband before I buy a couch, I might be sitting on hard chairs for the rest of my life. I deserve better.
Still, time passed and I didn't buy a couch, because couches cost a lot of money (especially plush ones, which are not really available in Israel) and I had other things on my mind, and there was my roommate to consider.
The other day I was browsing around Janglo, an online bulletin board for English-speakers in Jerusalem, and came across an ad for a used sofa-bed at a great price, in a color my roommate likes and that I don't mind. I knew this was as good a deal as I'd ever find. I showed her the picture, and, inexplicably, she told me to go for it.
I still do not understand what happened there. Had I worn down her resistance? Catch her in a generous moment? Does she love maroon that much?
No matter. I went over to see it, determined it's in good-enough condition, hired a mover (which cost almost as much as the sofa), and now here we are (sorry about the glare. Sunlight!):
A place for me to sit! A place for guests to sit! And sleep!
Adulthood, at last.