Rock and a Hard Place

I’ve mentioned many times already that we’re moving soon. Our lease is up in mid-April, and we’re determined to find something bigger, with fewer annoying neighbors. I’ve got some money saved for the move, and we’d planned to spend some on new furniture also. Which sucks, because our current furniture isn’t that old. It’s just bad.

When we were living in small-town hell, we had a cheap Big Lots sofa that we’d bought when we first moved in together. It was cracking, and uncomfortable as hell to sit on after the first few months, and when we moved here, we left that behind in the dumpster. But neither of us had had any kind of substantial income for a very long time, so our budget for new furniture was limited. I moved up here a few weeks ahead of B, who was working out his 2-weeks’ notice, so it was up to me to find new living room seating. The best I could find that we could afford was from a store with “Discount Furniture” in the name, so you can guess it was not much of an improvement over Big Lots. Still, I’d hoped it would last longer than this.

It hasn’t even been 2 years.

I’d gotten us a loveseat, storage ottoman, and a reading chair. I was happy with them when I bought them. They looked good. They were “real” furniture, a matching set, rather than plastic. Once we were both up here and working full time, they fit our needs just fine. Then covid happened, and we were home all day, every day. It wasn’t long before we realized that our furniture sucked. The cushions didn’t hold up well under the constant use. Memory foam, of course, so easily crushed and not so supportive. The reading chair wasn’t nearly as comfortable for reading as I’d hoped. Same problem—no support. I like the ottoman, but that’s about it. The whole set still looks brand new, and maybe this wouldn’t be such an issue if covid had never happened and we had only used it to watch TV after work for an hour or two a night.

On top of this, our bed, which is a supposedly high-quality bed made by a supposedly high-quality manufacturer, also sucks. In fact, it isn’t even the actual bed we originally bought back in 2014 with the settlement check from my first accident; it’s a warranty replacement that we got in 2018 because the first one had worn out so quickly. Again—memory foam. The padded top of the first mattress had gotten so crushed and distorted that if you put a bar across the bed from side to side, there was space to slide your hand under the bar without touching the bed. So we’d had it replaced with another bed from the same brand, one without the “pillow top,” and after several months we couldn’t stand it because it was too hard. For several years now we’ve been spending money on mattress toppers to soften it a little. Memory foam mattress toppers, because that’s all you can get, and of course they wear out. Quickly. We average about 6 months with them before we have to buy a new one.

So now we have shitty, uncomfortable furniture and a shitty, uncomfortable bed. I bought myself a desk at the beginning of quarantine, since I was going to be working at home so much more than I’d expected, and that’s not holding up well either. Our desk chairs are also suffering under the constant use. Basically, we need almost an entire household of new furniture, and preferably good furniture that will hold up. I thought we’d be okay with our savings to cover some or all of these costs in addition to our moving costs; I’ve been saving frantically for a while now. But then I did our 2020 taxes and realized that we made a lot more last year than we had the year before, and a fairly large chunk of our available funds will now be going to the IRS instead.

Throw in that we’re moving soon, but don’t know yet where or how much space we’ll have. We don’t want to take the shitty furniture with us and have to carry, load, and unload it all when we don’t want to keep it anyway. We could donate it or junk it or whatever, but if we do that, we won’t have anything to sit or sleep on at the new place until we buy new stuff. We can’t really go out and do a lot of in-person furniture shopping right now. We don’t know what kind of bed we want. To sum up, we are stuck between the rock hard horrible stuff we have and don’t want and the impossible task of resolving the problem for some time to come.

I’m afraid we’re going to end up spending the first year in our new place sitting on our (not especially comfortable) dining room chairs and sleeping on our table. But given how awful the rest of the furniture is, that may be a step up.

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