Copyright Linda Marcas 2002 - All Rights Reserved

Crank's Corner

                                                  Sofa, So Good

    I've been watching too much television again (nothing new there), and
I've noticed how many commercials there are for furniture and furniture
stores.  I like being a couch potato as well as the next person, but I just don't
understand.  Who's buying all this stuff, that there is so much advertising for
it?  Furniture isn't like groceries, you don't use it up in a week and need to
run out and get more, so where does the demand for this tremendous supply
come from?
    Hubby dear and I have been married for almost seven years now, and,
in all that time, we have purchased only one piece of new furniture, from a
new furniture store, and that was an inexpensive steel-framed futon sofa that
we bought for the Red Room.  Everything else (and there's quite a lot of it)
we've acquired second-hand, purchased from yard sales and thrift stores, as
hand-me-downs from relatives, and snatched from the side of the road
before the trash collectors get to it.  I'm running out of room, but I just can't
resist a bargain on 1950s end tables, or snatching up a collectible wire chair
that's worth hundreds of dollars, that someone who didn't know better just
threw away.
    We make jokes about it, "you can't have too many lamps, just too few
tables!" or "we have more chairs than friends to sit in them!"  But I know
what the "New York" prices are for tubular chrome dinette sets, and, if you
watch the set dressing on TV and in films, you know that the retro look is
still popular.  The cats can't sharpen their claws on it, either.
    Our main living room couches and chairs are another story, however;
the cats have gone to town on the upholstery, and I don't see the point in
replacing or re-upholstering the furniture until I no longer have a bunch of
needle-toed felines running around.  At that distant point, I'll probably have
this same furniture re-covered rather than buy new, because they don't make
furniture with foot-wide arms anymore, and I like being able to have my
dinner plate, cocktail, ashtray, remote control, and TV Guide all at my
    Looking back, I can't remember ever having had to buy a brand-new
mattress, either; somehow, whenever I've wanted or needed one, some friend
or relative was down-sizing their houshold or getting rid of a guest room,
and sets of barely-slept-in mattresses and box springs have come my way.
Recently, someone gave me another futon sofa, one of those wood-slat fold-
ups that usually feel like you're sleeping on cement.  I made it more
comfortable by unfolding two of those thick foam flip-chairs under it; every
year, when college students move out, I find a few flip-chairs in mint
condition that have been left at the curb, and I just can't let them go to the
    A friend in Toledo used to have bonfires in his back yard; he'd grab
furniture that people were throwing out and set it around as a "pit group" so
we could enjoy the fires in comfort.  During the course of an evening the
furniture usually ended up as part of the fire, but it didn't matter, because
there always seemed to be more where that came from.   Just how many
ratty brown plaid sofas did they make during the 70s, anyway?
    Ann Furniture, the family-owned store in Ridgeville Corners, Ohio, is
going out of business after sixty years, as several weeks of commercials
have informed us.  Maybe they got tired of selling furniture, or maybe they
couldn't compete with Banner Mattress and Furniture, Value City Furniture,
Sofa Mart, Oak Express, La-Z-Boy Showrooms, Samsen Furniture, Denver
Mattress, Bedroom Expressions, and Arhaus Furniture, just to name a few.  I
didn't help keep Ann Furniture in business, but I'm not shelling out any cash
to those other fellows, either.  I can't quite imagine who is buying enough
new furniture to keep all those heavily-advertised stores going; second hand
furniture works for me, sofa, so good.

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