From Maggie Barron. You can reach her at maggie[AT]borderstan.com and follow her on Twitter @rookerysf.
This morning, we said goodbye to our old faithful Ikea sofa, Ektorp. It was the first major piece of furniture that Jesse and I bought together ($200 on Craigslist). It carried us through countless dinner parties, overnight guests, episodes of “30 Rock,” and, yes, a few nights of comfort after some big arguments.
In its place, we have a beautiful Room & Board York sofa bed. It’s the first piece of new, non-Ikea furniture that we’ve ever owned. It’s also the first time I’ve been able to choose the fabric! How far we’ve come!
I posted Ektorp on Craigslist yesterday, after trying to get it to stand up straight for a couple of photos (its slipcover never wanted to fit quite right). I wrote the standard pitch (no cats, no smoking, clean…) but what I wanted to say was, “This couch is awesome and it will be your friend.”
I feared that might drive away the more normal inquiries, though. The photo didn’t quite do it justice. Or maybe it did, which made me feel worse. Had my couch always been so… schlumpy?
Responses came immediately, several from young women who had just moved in with their boyfriends. Ektorp would be their first joint couch, too. It seemed fitting.
Sarah and John ended up buying it — I think I was touched by how excited they were to get their first big piece of furniture, how they thoughtfully tested the cushions, how they tried to make the “big” decision together in a serious way. Jesse and I probably looked exactly the same to the Craigslist people who sold us the couch more than three years ago.
“This couch is really nice,” Sarah said, which made me feel sorry for the times I’d made fun of Ektorp for being old and outdated.
I am not a sentimental person. I can be ruthless about culling and getting rid of items that have outlived their usefulness. They are just things, I say. And yet, I have to admit that I am sad to say goodbye to our Ikea couch.
Maybe that’s because it feels like I’ve returned Ektorp to some sort of cosmic communal pool of furniture that city residents share. The one that’s part of the cycle of 20-something life, love, and real estate that makes our cities hum. The one that I (thankfully) don’t need to be a part of anymore.
I just got an email from Sarah, with a tiny picture of Ektorp settled in its new digs:
We got the couch in! Thanks for all your help, and hope you are enjoying the new one. This post appeared first at Barron’s blog, Rookery.