Wednesday, December 15, 2010

We'll Be Sitting Pretty

The first year Barry and I were together we bought each other the traditional "surprise" gifts.  This bombed big time.  For instance, on one occasion, knowing how much Barry admires Fred Astaire, I gave him the DVDs for Broadway Melody of 1940 (ending in the amazing "Begin the Beguine" number with Eleanor Powell) and You Were Never Lovelier (with Rita Hayworth, Adolphe Menjou, and Xavier Cugat).  His reaction?  "We could have ordered them from Netflix."  Never mind that we've watched them about a thousand times since - in his mind that money would have been better spent on something useful, like maybe pool toys.  Even worse was the time he gave me a heart-shaped box of candy the week before Valentine's Day.  I decided to wait until the actual holiday to open it; he thought this meant I didn't want it and gave it to someone else.  After a few such misfires we agreed to buy each other only items the recipient explicitly asks for, and if a gift is a consumable, warn the giver if it won't be used immediately.

This year we've decided to buy a reasonably attractive and well-sprung futon as our joint Christmas present.  If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that this summer we disposed of the bed in our spare bedroom and turned it into a combination exercise and TV room.  Unfortunately, we've been without seating in there ever since (at least, I don't consider a pile of spare cushions and the orphaned pillows from the vanished bed to constitute seating for anyone over the age of 16), and our tailbones are starting to feel the strain.  In addition, we no longer have anywhere for guests to sleep.  Barry rather churlishly suggested that anyone who wants to visit us can bed down in a nearby hotel, but I don't think this is a practical solution when our most frequent visitors are his daughters, neither of whom is independently wealthy.  We had looked at a few sofa sleepers and talked about a wall bed, but the futon is both easier to convert into a bed and more convenient to reposition if we are seized by the desire to play tennis or bowl a few games with our WII.

We ordered the futon online this weekend and received an e-mail saying that it's been shipped and will be delivered some time between tomorrow and Christmas.  I'm glad that we bought it when we did, and not just because it will be here for the holiday.  When we were placing the order the retailer's website said  "Limited Quantities Available,"  and when I went back there just now to get the link so you could view it yourself, all mention of the futon had vanished.  We may be getting the very last one they had in stock.

I'm not sure I'm going to mention this to Barry.  If I do, he'll immediately start worrying about what will happen if it's damaged in shipment.  Or maybe not.  When he insisted that we have it shipped rather than pick it up at the store, he apparently didn't realize that this means we'll have to assemble the frame ourselves.  Oh, well - as I've said before, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.  At least I'm pretty sure this is one present he won't give away for lack of use.

"The perfect date for me would be staying at home, making a big picnic in bed, eating Wotsits and cookies while watching cable TV."  ~Kim Kardashian

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