A Cure For The Sofa Saga

I know that the first step is admitting you have a problem. OK. I admitted it years ago. But that didn’t help much. No, it’s not a problem with alcohol or drugs. It’s a problem with…well, sofas. Bear with me. I am a sofa person. Well, a sweater, shoes, coats, and sofa person. You don’t want to know how many sweaters, shoes, and coats I own. But sofas are also a problem. And it didn’t end when we moved to Spain.

People online talk about moving to Spain and perhaps shipping some items. Fine. I did this. Boxes of shoes and clothes. Some kitchen stuff I wish I hadn’t. Family heirlooms and momentos. But, unlike most people, I shipped a couch. What I didn’t think about at the time is that I would need something to sit on while I waited for my sofa to sail the high seas, slowly, ever so slowly, making its way to me in Valencia. There are a few early adopters of this blog who remember The Great Sofa Saga of 2018. And it was a saga.

While we waited for our stuff to arrive I had to purchase a filler couch. We needed something to sit on during that five month wait. It was probably my least favorite couch I have ever owned or sat upon. But, no matter. I only needed it for five months. I could deal. This sofa would eventually end up in the Espacio Creativo, anyway.

When the illustrious day of the American sofa’s arrival finally came, I learned that it was 1/2 inch short of fitting through the front door of el Compartimento. There was not enough pushing that would overcome the shortfall in the width of the door. No matter, we would crane it into the house, as so many people do. But it was 1/4 inch too wide. I called the landlord and asked if we might pay for the removal of the window but he wasn’t keen. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. That sofa had everything going for it. Down-filled cushions. A wide seat. The fabric was dog-proof. The perfect couch for us. But it was not to be. We moved it into our parking space in the garage below, as we had no car and nowhere else to store it. Did this mark us out as strange? Stranger than our neighbors already thought we were? Of course. Finally, some Americans took it. To be fair, they couldn’t get it through their front door, either, and had to have it craned up 10 floors. Quite a spectacle.

So I had to move the filler couch out and purchase a new couch, which I did. This couch became known as the slouch couch. Jeff dubbed it thus during the pandemic when we spent way too much time sitting on the sofa and it didn’t hold up well. Soon, we both avoided it. It looked good but was a back killer. Ugh. So when we moved to Galicia, the slouch couch did not join us. Neither did the filler couch. Wallapop (the Craigslist of Spain) ensured it. And when we got to the farm there was already a sofa, but it was not to my taste. Marie Carmen made quick work of carting it away. Again, heavy sigh. I had no couch.

Let’s take a moment and count. One American sofa moved to Valencia by container ship. Two sofas purchased in Valencia. Another one as gift with purchase of our house in Galicia. And yet, still I had nothing to sit on.

So, I began a search for a sofa in Galicia. Most sofas are made when you order them. You can’t just point to one and have it delivered, unless it’s IKEA or a similar place. I did not want an IKEA couch. We toured many a showroom across the region and found one that allowed me to customize a couch.

‘I want it to have the frame of this one,’ I said, ‘but the back of that one, with the fabric of the other one. And the cushion style of the one over there. But different feet in a different wood and color.’

The shop owner’s eyes spun as he took notes, and three and half months later they delivered the sofa. Well, a sofa. Not really the one I wanted nor custom ordered. I wasn’t trying to be difficult as I sat on my new sofa with my feet not touching the floor and my legs going numb. And, I was pissed-off. They had constructed it with ‘upgrades’. Things I never asked for nor would have wanted in a thousand years. The delivery men tried to convince me this was better. I was having none of it. It looked like a giant upholstered marshmallow. I find sofas in Spain are gigantic. So many apartments are rather small. How they build sofas that take up the entire living space and think this is a good thing is beyond me. If I had people over we would all be sitting or lounging on this giant marshmallow, unable to look at each other.

The owner of the shop came out to the house to see if he could make adjustments. When he walked in the door I could see the surprise on his face. Even he wouldn’t own this thing. He offered to let us keep it until we found another sofa, but I declined. I wanted it gone. But now, we were yet again without places to sit.

I bought some chairs to fill the gap, but we needed a sofa. The search continued and it was starting to become almost comical. But I wasn’t laughing. Finally, in September, I took a day off and Jeff and I went into Santiago to have lunch and pick something up from El Corte Ingles on our way home. We cut through the furniture department, as celestial choirs began to sing. I wondered if it was just musak playing over head, because it was Santiago, but no. Just then, a beam from heaven shone upon The Sofa. The one I have been searching for lo these many years. Well, more than four years, anyway. After five misfires, there she was. I almost cried.

I sat down and petted her. Then I looked up at Jeff and smiled. He just shook his head, but got out his wallet. Anything to stop this ongoing Sofa Saga. We were told it would be here by December 24th. But, as El Corte Ingles is known for, they surprised and delighted us today and delivered it nearly six weeks early. And it’s perfect. Just the right dove-gray color. I like a grey-scale, and then pops of color in the soft furnishings like pillows, rugs, draperies, and throws. Then you can refresh as trends and color palettes change. Plus, it’s a classic. And it comes complete with no slouch. Even Jeff, who had no opinion about anything related to fashion or furnishings, likes it.

I am happily sat here on the new sofa, recovering from the flu with my waffle throw that I brought from America nearly five years ago in one of my four precious suitcases. I love it that much. And I am smiling. Cured of my Sofa addiction after 6 couches in less than five years. My living room is complete. Just in time for winter, and in the midst of a terrible storm blowing outside. There is a fire in the grate and my chai tea candles are burning. Hmmm. Now, all I need is a dog at my feet. Don’t tell Jeff, but I’ve been looking for one of those, too. Let The Dog Saga commence!

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