Phoenix Rising Series

Phoenix Rising III: Farewell, Ye Old Inflatable Mattress

Our apartment, pre-stuff
Who knew furniture was so important, right? I mean, sure the whole not sitting on the floor thing is cool. Inflatable mattresses do tend to make the back ache, and there are only so many movies that translate well on a laptop computer screen. But furniture? We don’t really need it. Do we?

For the past month, Jake and I have been camping in our own home, and it was fine with us. After every meal, we washed the two plates we owned and set them in our drying rack to be used again four hours later. We ate romantic dinners on folding TV tables and plastic chairs from Walmart. On St. Patty’s Day, we watched Boondock Saints on my laptop, and yes, we are connoisseurs of the air-filled mattress.  

My father shudders at the thought of having so few toys in the house. “There’s only so much you can have to say to each other,” he says, and there were mutterings of night terrors back in Ohio—my parents, waking up and finding their TV  gone. Cable gone. It’s all GONE! AHHHHHHHHHHHH! … Okay, not really, but you get the idea.

People like creature comforts. They like couches, reclining chairs, and beds that you can’t pick up and toss around like bouncy balls at the beach. But Jake and me? We’re above all that. We don’t mind camping in our own home. Picnics on the hard wood floor. Sure. Cable? Overrated. Well, I was above all this. Until it was announced that we finally, truly, were getting furniture.

Jake owns a house in New York. When he took the job in AZ, he started the paperwork that would have his belongings shipped here. Let’s just say … the people processing the paperwork were a little slow. They finally picked up his stuff on March 15. Then, it was made official: it would hit our doorstep March 31. All of a sudden, we couldn’t fall asleep on our inflatable mattress. Scrabble, Indian-style, on hardwood, lost its luster. The two spoons in our kitchen? I wanted more SPOONS!

It became a sort of Christmas morning countdown. Like a little kid sneaking a look under the tree before Mom and Dad got up, I kept sneaking looks out the front window. Then, time started moving slower, and I felt like the furniture would never arrive. It was all a big joke. Jake didn’t actually own a house in New York. He was really an international spy, living out of a suitcase, and I was his cover, like some sick True Lies-Bill Paxton-Jamie Lee Curtis debacle.

Truthfully, what I realized was that Jake and me didn’t feel settled without furniture, because our home didn’t feel like it was OURS. Like I mentioned in Phoenix Rising II, our move to AZ didn’t feel real. It felt like someone else’s movie; we were the spectators, and our tickets were expensive!  We needed THINGS to realize “Hey, look, we own that. That is a couch. That is tangible. It exists. Therefore, our home, as a physical entity, exists.”

Our apartment, post-stuff
And our home DOES exist! It does! We have furniture. It arrived Wednesday, and the moving dudes musta thought I was nutzo, because I kept giggling and dancing around with each new end table, kitchen chair, box of Tupperware! (We have Tupeprware!) Wednesday night, Jake and I sat on our couch. We watched a movie on an actual television. We snuggled up in an actual BED. And Thursday morning, instead of just the plastic shower liner, I got to have a stylish shower curtain. What bliss.

Yes, it’s nice having furniture. Little things. Make me happy. Oh, so happy. It’s starting to feel real, this life in the Wild West. I’m really here. We’re really HERE. And it feels really good.

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