Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Don't Sit on Our Couch

We bought a couch a few weeks ago, but you aren’t allowed to sit on it, so don’t ask.

When I say, “We bought a couch,” I really mean my wife told me we needed a new couch, which I disagreed with. Then she took me to Macy’s Gold-Plated Furniture Palace, which I protested. Then she told me which couch we were buying, which I balked at. Then she told me to pay the guy at the register, which I did, because I don’t want to sleep on the old couch, and $58,000 seemed like a very reasonable price.

When we arrived at Macy’s Fine and Extravagant Furnishings, Ann, our well-dressed furniture sales professional, gave us her card. She’s in the Macy’s Million Dollar Club. I’m guessing if she was a millionaire she wouldn’t be selling furniture on Saturdays, so I have to assume that means she has sold over a million dollars’ worth of furniture. At these prices, that was probably accomplished on a three-day weekend.

Ann was really big on selling us a protection plan to go with our new couch. They had structure protection plans, accident protection plans, and of course, the all-encompassing premium protection plan. I inquired about the accident protection plans, but it turns out they only cover the couch, not the kids jumping off the couch. They were, however, perfectly willing to insure my couch against all manner of stains* and breakage** for a full seven years.

* Excludes general soiling, perspiration, body oils, accumulated stains, or any stain caused by a human, animal, mineral, vegetable, sports drink, child, blood, blood relative, houseguest, or in-law.

** Excludes breakage.

The cost for this wonderful, all-encompassing insurance? A mere quarter of the price of the couch itself.

The glossy insurance brochure was very compelling. The picture on the front suggested that if I purchased the premium protection plan, I would be able to wear a tuxedo and relax at a jaunty angle on my new couch, while sipping a martini with a devil-may-care grin and perfect hair, staring into the eyes of my smokin’ hot wife/girlfriend/date/neighbor/nanny/au pair, who would perch herself shoeless, in her designer dress and diamond necklaces, on my luxurious new piece of furniture, right next to a sterling silver tray holding a shaker full of more martinis and a decorative glass bowl full of garnish olives.

I resisted that clever piece of marketing. My wife is smokin’ hot, but the only time we are on our couch is when we’re in our pajamas, I only drink beer, I don’t relax at jaunty angles, I don’t have any hair, and we don’t have a sterling silver tray, diamond necklaces, designer dresses, a tuxedo, an au pair, or large martini olives.

Be that all as it may, my wife actually wanted to buy the protection plan. That was where I put my foot down.

Seven-year couch insurance is worthless to me. I can personally attest to the fact that my wife will want to buy a new couch within a maximum of four to five years, and she will start to disparage the current couch as being “old” within three years. Why would I want to insure it four years longer than she’s going to care about it? Right around the time I’m just getting comfortable with a piece of furniture, she’s already wanted to throw it out for two years. Long-term furniture insurance just makes no financial sense for us.

“But if you don’t use the protection plan in the seven-year coverage period, the money you paid for it will become a credit at our store.”

What the hell kind of sense does that make? I’m hoping that I don’t need to use it, so you’re asking me to hope that I just parked a bunch of money with you interest-free for seven years that I only get to use to buy a replacement couch? And I don’t want to give my wife a reason to come back here! This place is expensive! Also, in order to think that was a good deal, I’d have to believe that you’ll be around in seven years. Every time I drive by this building it has a new name on it. In fact, I’m pretty sure we purchased our last couch here three years ago when this was Bob’s Furniture Barn.

Well, the couch arrived a few days ago, and it looks great in our family room. We might have to rename that room, however, since the family is no longer allowed in there.

The kids have yet to sit on it, and have been threatened with their very lives if they ever so much as look in the general direction of the new couch while holding food or drink. I am not allowed to drop onto it from a height greater than eight inches above the cushions, for fear of unwarranted structural damage, seam splittage, or cushion warpage.

My wife is usually as logical as a woman with new furniture can be, yet in this case, the existence and availability of a seven-year warranty has completely warped her mind. The fact that we didn’t buy it now means that immediate harm will come to our poor, unprotected new piece of furniture.

I have reminded her several times that we have owned approximately fifteen other couches over the last twelve years, and not one of them was ever structurally damaged or stained in any way. In fact, we would still have the first one if it was up to me, and it would still be in perfect condition, and we would be able to send the kids to college.

She just tells me to shut up and get off the new couch.

I think I’ll go have a beer on the old couch in my pajamas.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2015 Marc Schmatjen

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