Monday, February 7, 2011

They seen you comin', Norma Jo

When I was growing up my mom got a new couch for our Living Room.  I don't remember how much it cost, but I remember that it was really expensive and that we really couldn't afford it.  It was this impossibly itchy, hard, light-colored fabric and I was informed it was of the "Queen Anne" variety.  It was more like a love seat because it only really sat two people comfortably.  This was a huge event to my mother and her friends.  They came over one by one like it was a wake and my mother sat on her new couch smoking cigarettes while she and her friends pondered the upcoming Spring line at Ethan Allen.  Looking back, it was clearly such a proud moment for my mother - making her itchy, uncomfortable dream couch a reality.

At the end of the parade of admirers was my Papaw, my mother's father.  He was just a practical, dry, sweet southern man with a penchant for cafeterias and auto racing.  But the best thing about him was that he had my mother's number and as a teenager I adored him for this.  He came into our living room in his worn-in jeans, Dale Ernhardt baseball cap and sensible shoes and proceeded to sit on my mom's new couch.  She stood across from him nervously and the first thing he asked her was how much she paid for it.  She went through this whole process of where she came up with the money and the special financing she got and the fabulous sale Ethan Allen was having that enabled her to afford it and a bunch of other bullshit that was all a complete fabrication.  She had purchased (or committed to purchase) a couch she could not afford and they both knew it.  Hell, everybody knew it.  He shook his head and looked at his feet and still chewing on his toothpick he picked up at the register at the Golden Corral, said with a sigh, "They seen you comin' Norma Jo." 

This has become a mantra in my family to describe a situation in which a person was "taken" by a salesperson.  It implies that the said person is a sucker.  My husband uses it all the time when I go into some litany about how much money I saved him on some item  I just had to have.  They "seen me comin'" at Arhaus Furniture when we were renovating our basement.  I special ordered a be-u-ti-ful sectional that when the basement was finished did not fit down the stairwell.  Because it was a special order and had been delivered, Arhaus refused to take it back so I had some "splainin'" to do to my husband.  He was SO pissed.  My razor sharp spatial ability fooled me into believing that if the couch was curved it would turn the corner nicely.  Ironically, the thing that angered my husband the most was that I refused to admit that I had made a mistake.  Yes, I had committed to purchase a piece of furniture without taking ONE measurement.  I was completely enamored with it's soft fabric and the way that my ass felt when I sank into it in the showroom.  But I would not accept defeat and I would not cop to my error no matter how crystal clear it was to everyone else in the room.  I couldn't.  The screw up was too big.  I was Donald Rumsfeld.  Anyway, we ended up getting the couch down the stairs by chipping away at the load bearing wall that supported the stairs above (are you getting the picture, here?  Not pretty."

So,  the moral of this story is that I LOVE Arhaus Furniture and their products.  They have an awesome sale every March and their financing plans enable you to purchase things that you cannot afford.  The apple does not fall far from the tree people.  I have also been to their outlet warehouse in Cleveland and I was positively giddy.  It houses defects, floor samples and returns - all at a HUGE discount.  They told me at the warehouse that they honor the March sale AND their credit card and that people line up around the block and bring UHauls and stuff.  Google arhaus and click on Ohio stores and it comes right up.  It has moved and is called The Loft now.

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