Couch shopping is surprisingly exhausting. In an effort to find an ideal piece of furniture, there are a lot of factors to consider. Are the cushions too soft? Too firm? Does the fabric have an appealing texture? Is the fabric stain resistant? Can I pour a pail of red sauce on it and wipe it away like nothing happened?

Chuck and I have visited five furniture stores in our search for a new living room set. I feel like Goldilocks each time I sit on a couch to consider. I have to sit, wiggle and make myself comfortable. I don’t care how many butts have come before me. I need to do a full inspection. I hope to find the one that is “just right.”

One salesman was impressed with my tenacity and determination to examine each couch in the store. Yes, I bring this meticulous stubbornness to this search on myself, but I haven’t been couch shopping in 20 years. Once upon a time, I spent an afternoon furniture shopping with my parents. I was a freshman in high school, and it was Valentine’s Day. I was mortified.

But I digress.

I was very straightforward with the first salesman who was tagged to dote on us. I told him this was our very first stop in our couch-shopping journey. We were here simply to collect intel. No purchases would be made. We hadn’t even measured the living room. I admired his persistence though. He checked in on us regularly to offer notes about any couch we seemed to linger on.

Little did he know, the occasional couch lingering wasn’t necessarily a sign that we’d found one we liked. Sometimes, I had to take a minute to go over my mental notes and fully absorb my options.

I had no idea couch shopping would involve soul searching. I have to really think about what I want out of a couch. It’s more than a place to sit. It’s that one piece of furniture that you sink into and know that you are home. Oddly enough, I don’t like cushions that are so soft that you sink into them.

And in the search for the perfect couch, you have to consider the color, shape, fabrics and ornamentation each couch has to offer.

Overall, I’m highly amused by the couch shopping experience. These sales people offer up very interesting details about couches you seem to be interested in.

Chuck and I were sitting on a couch going over some ideas we have for the living room when a salesman approached. He wanted to talk about the couch’s magical stain-resistant properties. To explain just how amazing the couch is, he said the following word-for-word. “You could even pour a cup of bleach on it or a pail a red sauce.”

I’m sorry, sir. You seem very nice, but who walks around their home carrying a pail of red sauce or any sauce for that matter? And how large is this pail? Do people own special pails specifically for food transportation? Did I miss this chapter in the “adulting” handbook? Or do we just give off that sauce-in-pails vibe?

The most important thing in all of this is that Chuck is incredibly patient with me and my need to consider all of my options.

Chuck is content to do only the sitting test, but if I feel good about the general “vibe” I’m getting from the couch, I will kick my feet up and get cozy. The salesman said “make yourself at home” and I fully intend to. Plus, I’ve been watching that new show “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”, and I can’t help but ask myself if a couch sparks joy.

But that’s a whole other story. To be continued.

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Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Simple & Sassy runs every other Sunday. She can be reached at shartley@napanews.com.


Online Editor/Calendar Editor

Samie Hartley is the Napa Valley Register online editor. Her column Simple & Sassy runs on alternating Sundays.