When we had company, we couldn't all lie down, but there was a problem with sitting up. Over the decades (yes, decades), our Muppets had broken down. If you sat on the same cushion as someone else, you were in trouble—you needed a third person to give you an assist to get up. And it didn't work to put one butt cheek on one cushion and the other cheek on another. That created a crevasse—you might never be heard from again.
Then one day, I stop in at a local modern furniture store. Having just jumped on the Mad Men bandwagon (as the seventh and last season is ending, we start watching), I fall in love with an expensive MAD MEN-type sectional. In fact, it's love at first sit. There are only a couple of snags. 1) It's leather—Mike's nemesis 2) It's deep—Mike's legs are on the short side 3) It has to be ordered—given my OCD-ishness, that's sure to be a problem and 4) Oh, yeah, the price tag.
I persevere, and after seeing a photo of the sectional with fabric seats and leather back (a scathingly brilliant idea—glad I thought of it), drag Mike and Drew to the store while I pore over fabric samples. I know I want brown, but which brown? Tan, chocolate, sepia, copper, chestnut, camel, sienna—while the choices are endless, I can't seem to find the brown I envision.
Measure our family room a ridiculous number of times and order the sectional. Toss and turn all night. Call the store as soon as it opens the next day. "Umm ... not sure about the color. Can you stop the order?" "Sure, we've got your money, take your time." Email the manufacturer again. Finally, "Okay, looks like leather is taupe and the fabric is branch. A warning: The fabric is a representation of what your fabric will look like on your furniture. Color shade may not be exact and may vary." Obsess some more. Order it. Go on a much-needed vacation.
As soon as our company leaves, I grab my swatch and study it in every possible light. It doesn't look pinkish-brown. OR DOES IT? It's the light coming in from all those windows. Sister drops by. "Oh, it's nice. Looks kind of mauve." Silent scream. Call a trusted friend. "Is the swatch the same color as the couch?" "I'm afraid so. You can't return a custom sectional—you're gonna have to change the rug." Search for new rug begins. And a new table and chairs. And a new TV. And new art. But that's another post.