This is my new sofa. C and I shopped for a sofa for 8 months before buying this one. There are a lot of furniture stores in this city, and I mean A LOT. There are many furniture factories in nearby cities -- cheap furniture -- so there are many small cheap stores here. Then there are slightly better stores, and then there are super high end stores. I am going to guess that we entered at least 25 stores, some more than once and sat on at least 100 sofas. I hated all of them except this one. Which I love. More than love, I can't get off of it. Picture me ensconced in the far corner right now (because I am) with my laptop, under the Ikea lamp (shipped in our container all the way from Elizabeth, NJ). All the other sofas we looked at were those overstuffed types, or super boxy and heavy looking with too many pillows or weird fake pillows that were stitched onto the back, all with terrible scratchy upholstery and all looked tacky, and cluttered and overwrought.
I learned some important lessons about shopping in Brazil, especially with C. Here, you don't just breeze into a store give it a once over and walk out if you don't see anything you like. The sales person (usually the owner in a small store) comes right over to you and escorts you around the store talking up the finer points of each and every sofa, inviting you to sit and lounge whether or not you have explicitly expressed that you do not like it. And you have to smile and be patient and nod and take it all in before finally extracting yourself from the clutches of the sales person with a business card and maybe even some written quotes on sofas you know you will never buy. It's an excruciating fake game of politeness -- like a terrible sitcom that you already know the ending to, but are still forced to watch. And C (so easily forgetting that he has lived half of his life outside of Brazil) slips right into role -- this Brazilian way of acting like you have all the time in the world to blah blah blah for an hour, like you have absolutely nothing better to do than sit on a bunch of sofas you know clear well you wouldn't put in your house if they were free (well maybe free, but you know what I mean.) It's one of those cultural things I guess. C and I exchanged a number of tense words about this on several occasions before entering stores -- something like:
Me: Okay, a quick look and if we don't like anything, we're out of there, right?!
C: Don't start that again, you're getting all huffy before we've even started, we can't just be rude.
Me: Rude is dragging me around to sit on a bunch of sofas I know from first glance I don't like.
C: You need to just relax.
Me: Don't tell me to relax while you're letting this guy lead you around by the nose and waste our time.
C: ( angry silence...)
And so on...
For a while I seriously thought we were never ever going to buy a sofa... And as you can sort of see from the picture, we don't have any other furniture yet. It's an empty living room, with just a sofa. No wonder.
But then this beauty came along unexpectedly when we by chance entered a very expensive looking store that mostly sold knickknacks and small accent furniture. This sofa was buried under a pile of pillows and had a tiny 50% off tag on one side. It has, although you can't see it, a tiny booboo on the front, about the size of a nickel. I fell in love right away. But the best part of it is not the baby soft sage green chenille upholstery, or the fact that I can lay down and stretch out completely on it, but the fact that even though it looks all sleek and modern, it is so cushy that you sink into it - soft like a cloud without feeling like you're getting swallowed up into a mushy mess.
So there you go. Wow, I've dedicated an entire post to my sofa. Clearly I need to find something to do.