6 lessons I learned from couch surfing

couch swatches

I have no couch.

I haven’t had one since back in December when I still lived in a 3br house in the Arkansas ‘burbs.

I miss having a couch. I miss stretching out to watch TV or snuggle with my dog, or catch a nap in the sunshine on a weekend, after which I wake up and wonder why I didn’t just walk 10 feet and nap on the bed, after which I probably wouldn’t be feeling my age in my crinked up neck and shoulders. I am fully aware this is a first world problem, thank you.

Finding a couch for my new apartment has proven to be a challenge. Wanting a sleeper, as I do, limits the choices. First, I went to Room & Board and thought I’d found it, but then I realized that couch would have made it tough for guests to be able to get out of the bed without stepping on the person sleeping next to them, so, nix. Crate & Barrel looked promising, but a 4 month waiting period seemed excessive to me. My latest find is at Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams; I sure hope I don’t jinx it by saying it. Huh – check that out – furniture stores must have some form of the “and” sign in their names, apparently.

Anyway, surfing for a couch (online and in person) has made me realize some life lessons:

1. Patience is a virtue, except when it’s not, like when the idea of waiting 4 months for a damn couch makes you really damn pissed. Patience has limits – this is good to remember in all things, not just surfing for couches.

2. Expectations are key; if you website says “add extra time” for a custom order, find a way to state what “extra time” means. Don’t allow me to order my couch, send me swatch so I fall in love with it, and then ask some hapless, friendly sales rep to tell me I won’t get the couch for 9-11 weeks if I’m lucky. This is one of the most common and most frustrating things that bosses do in the workplace; expect something that wasn’t communicated up front.

3. If you make me sign up for an email list before letting me into your website, I will not shop with you. I’m not sure the life lesson here, but as a marketer, this makes me INSANE.

4. Things can look very different after a night’s sleep. Last night, the swatch of blue/green fabric pictured above looked blue. In the morning light, it looked sea-foamish. I love both looks, which seems like a very apt way to think about relationships. If I ever find someone who still wants to look at me and my crazy hair in the morning, I will know I struck gold.

5. You’ve gotta sit on it before you buy it. This one is self-explanatory and fun to apply to many of life’s potential choices. Especially the non-couch related ones.

6. Scroll down on Google results. I ultimately found my couch that I (fingers crossed) will receive in 6-8 weeks (for some reason that’s more acceptable than 9-11) after typing something like “Best Sleepers sofas” or “Just find me a damn couch, would you?” into Google, seeing the same links I’d seen for weeks, and idly deciding to scroll down a little. There, I found a fun article in the NY Times that was both well-written and not a paid ad result. I wonder how things would be different if we did more of looking beyond what comes up right away.

So there you have it. Do you feel wiser? I sure do.

And someday, maybe, someday soon, I’ll have a couch to write these blogs posts from.

Fingers crossed. Because I should have added a #7 – you just never know what roadblock life is gonna throw at you.

4 thoughts on “6 lessons I learned from couch surfing

  1. Pingback: Keep scrolling…

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