Tuesday, August 21, 2012

TomToms are better with fun voices.

We sold all of our furniture prior to moving. Most of it had been purchased some 16 years prior when we were just starting our life together. When I would triumphantly bring home couches of gold faux velvet from the Salvation Army only to discover that the slight odor was not really all that slight and no amount of Febreeze was going to make it better. When I would find a treasure on trash day, just sitting on the side of the road as though someone thought it was trash! (Okay, I still have most of those pieces.) Nonetheless, we decided that when we lived in Rome, we were going to buy for-real grown-up furniture. In Rome! It would be all proper furniture and shit! We didn't know exactly what that meant, but we were pretty sure it wouldn't involve Swedish instructions and cursing. Except some of it.

As we are all now aware, Rome is closed in August. Today, however, today a couple of stores decided it was time to reopen. And one of those wonderful places where we could finally trade money for goods was a beautiful furniture store that our very good friend had purchased his couch. A couch that Mike and Jack both coveted for its supreme reclining comfort, but that I also loved for its pleasing aesthetic. A couch in which all family members can unite.Win win.

The store, however, was not located at the destination promised by the TomTom; and yes, I have told Mike a million times that if he would just download the voice of Snoop Dogg for his TomTom the way that I have, he can't go wrong. Isn't a roundabout much better when you have a rapper high on the wacky-tobaccy saying, "Round and round and round we go"? So we decided to try another furniture store that unfortunately was only open between the hours of 4 and 4:17. On our way home, we saw a sign for the first furniture store( yes, the one with the couch. Keep up, please.) in a completely different location than it had been listed.

We went in, we sat down on furniture to test its comfort level and I laid down on the couches since I often have insomnia and can only get back to sleep by watching old episodes of Roseanne and I rearranged things in the store to see what combinations I liked best and John didn't knock anything over or break anything.  To be fair, I did not see any other customers behaving in this fashion. They sat at computers while the salesperson showed them furniture options. But in my defense, I did put all the furniture back in its original place and I certainly can't tell if I want something to be my forever grown-up couch on a computer. I need to sit on it. We all sat on it to see how many people it could actually fit. We tried all the magic hidden reclining buttons. And we decided to buy two couches.

I am up to perhaps four and a half words of Italian (Rosetta Stone AND Michael Thomas. I know, I'm a fast learner.), and so Mike explained we wished to purchase the couches. We sat at the desk with the salesperson. She said something something something to a hatchet faced woman with flat black hair and a nose stud that was far too large for her narrow features. Remember Stella from Project Runway Season 5 who only wanted to design in black leather? She looked like a worse version of her. And the worse version of Stella from Project Runway said, "No."

She barely sniffed at us as she said, "Mi dispiace," and turned away. Knowing how important haggling is, we thought this was perhaps one of those times. Mike spoke to our saleswoman. Mike spoke to the Stella woman(who turned out to be the store manager). The saleswoman and Stella spoke together. Both shrugged and apologized to Mike.

Mike turned to me, "They won't sell us the couches." Now this is very confusing to me. It is a store. The couches are for sale. They have price tags on them. We have the money in our hand. We want to give them the money and they give us the couches. I've worked in retail. I know how these things work.

The women are not budging. They will not sell us the couches. They will not sell us the couches because then they will have an empty space in the store. It will not look nice. They will not be able to sell those couches to another customer because they will not have those couches to sell.

"But we want to buy them right now," Mike says. This farce continues until I can't take it any more and stand up and announce, "Let's go. This is ridiculous." The women shrug and go back to their computers. And then Tim Gunn appears and says sadly, "Worse version of Stella, I'm afraid it's time for you to clean up your workspace."

Back in our car, even John is  confused and indignant. We do alot of what-the...heck?(swear words muted for the sake of our child) and this is ...malarky and fudge-those-not-nice women!

As life is ever tricksie, on the way home, we see another one of the stores from which we have just been denied. We go in. And as it so happens, this store also has the couches. And one of them is discounted by 40%. Neither of the couches at the other store had been priced at a 40% discount. Mike speaks with the saleswoman who has glittery bra straps sticking out of her dress and she is willing to let us purchase them! It will, however, take two months to complete one of the couches due to the fabric we have chosen. Mike tells the saleswoman that the other store had the couch with that exact fabric in stock and asks if she could call there so that we could have it sooner.(Do you see why I love my husband?)

The woman calls the store that would not sell us the couches. When she hangs up, she tells us she will give us 40% off not just one, but both of the couches. We are happy. We buy the couches. We have no idea what the hell happened.

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