Well here it is . . . my first official blog post. Let me begin by saying that I have no clue what I am doing. So I will have a glass of wine and make my way through the story that started it all. Please excuse the inevitable decline in proper grammar.
Clueless would be the understatement of the century when speaking to the beginning stages of (wait, who am I kidding, the entire process of) the consistently eventful custom-building endeavor of our new home, where I now lay comfortably on a badass couch watching E! News cover the best and worst dressed of this week’s homage to famous people – the 2016 VMAs. Dang, Britney! Looking good, Beyoncé. Have mercy, Rihanna…I need to go for a run.
JK. More wine.
Okay, back to the couch. I mean the house.
Our journey home began in February 2015 when my husband, Thomas, decided to put the house we were living in on the market with no plan whatsoever. Just to “see what would happen.” The real estate market was pretty crappy at that time, and I was in a surprisingly optimistic mood when he approached me with it. Optimistic meaning I did not think it would sell very quickly, giving us plenty of time to figure out what our next address might be. So I obliged.
Ummmm, WTH do we do now?
Enter stress. And what do I do to deal with stress? Like the women in my family have done for generations, I bargain shop. So I immediately hit up the bargain mecca of Gulfport, MS – Treasure Hunt. Formerly known as Hudson’s, Treasure Hunt is where I’ve snagged designer dresses for 50 cents, a Christmas tree for 20 bucks, and countless other random treasures I did not really need at the time but simply could not pass up. I come by it honestly. More on that later.
This time it wasn’t a Michael Kors dress for two quarters or anything else I could throw in a shopping bag and skip joyfully to my car with. It was a sofa, affectionately known in the south as a couch. And not just any old couch. On this fateful day, I would test a lifetime worth of bargaining skills to make this Rolls Royce of couches mine.
The Bernhardt sectional had me at hello. And when I tell you this thing is massive, it is the equivalent of four twin beds masterfully combined and covered in buttery camel-colored pebble leather. Not to mention a divine matching ottoman and fifteen beautifully upholstered goose down throw pillows (which happen to be the bane of my husband’s existence.)
I would have my work cut out for me making Thomas understand the significance of this bargain beauty, and that even though we were homeless, this couch was our destiny. Like most men, Thomas does not understand the golden rule of bargain hunting: here today, gone tomorrow. We had to act with a sense of urgency, or one of my equally skilled and savvy shopping opponents would come in for the kill. Like my other favorite therapeutic outlets (think TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Nordstrom Rack), Treasure Hunt does not hold items or place custom orders. Duh.
Long story short, it would be a game time decision. And as the veteran quarterback of Team Lyons, I called an audible. I had to have it.
Where the hell were we going to put this monstrosity, you ask? So did my sweet hubby. I didn’t care! We could put it on the roof if we had to, at least while we still had one. But more importantly was how were we (meaning my aforementioned sweet hubby) going to get it out of there?
Enter my mother. When TJ Maxx coined the term “Maxxinista,” they defined Susan Baker Langlois. She is hands down the bargain queen of the south (which I guess would make me the princess. Heehee.) I am 98% sure she has been to every TJ Maxx from Virginia to Louisiana. She can tell you which stores excel in which departments, and takes strange pride in systematically rating the cleanliness of their restrooms (a whole ‘nother story.)
My mother is quite the character, and I could pretty much write an endlessly entertaining blog on her alone. She will likely be a subject in my drop-down menu one day soon. Get your popcorn ready for all that!
Her royal highness understood the urgency of the matter and offered immediate support. My dad is retired from the Air Force and enjoys the benefit of a military discount. Queen Mom asks everyone if they honor the discount. He never does. This drives her nuts.
Every Monday is military appreciation day at Treasure Hunt, and active duty and retired service members get an extra 10% off. On a $2600+ item, that is a pretty big chunk of change. So Susan planned to pay for the couch on Monday. Since I initially found my dream couch on Friday, I would be sweating it out for a very long weekend. But we bargain junkies know to focus on what’s meant to be, and more importantly that the risk of waiting it out a little often brings an even greater discount. This is how the game is played. So I prayed.
On Monday, Mom arrives at the checkout counter to complete the transaction. For whatever reason, the obviously confused young worker rings up the sale for $700. Now, there is a difference between a heartless bargainer and a Good Samaritan bargainer, and Susan is the latter. I fall somewhere in between, and my husband is on the heartless end of the spectrum (the cheaper the better, no matter what).
Simple math tells you that 70% off a retail price of nearly $9000, plus an additional 10% off with our military discount does not equal $700, although I wish it did. So of course, the Good Samaritan pointed out the mistake and the cashier even argued with her on it! Mom asked the manager to come out, and he thanked her for being so honest. Once the cashier figured it all out, she couldn’t believe it and was nearly crying since she would have lost her job over such a large mistake.
Kuddos to Mom, but Thomas was a pretty upset. “That’s ok though.” Mom said, “When the Lord comes calling, I will be strolling right through those pearly gates, no doubt”.
The three of us — Good Samaritan, Between, and Heartless – were now charged with transporting our new couch. My husband, the heartless bargainer, who also happens to be a big guy with lots of strapping friends, would be the lucky winner of the transportation job.
Open-air trailer from 1980? Yes.
As luck would have it, the wind was blowing with gusts at about 40mph that day. And my beloved Bernhardt sectional was in the hands of four high school football coaches. Yikes! But to my pleasant surprise, it made it. It was only later that I found out how it really went down. My uncovered couch was placed on the trailer hitched to a truck. One guy drove while the other three sat on the couch and took turns getting off to chase the buttery pebble leather cushions that were flying off.
And yes, the trip involved some interstate travel! You can’t make this stuff up.
The great room in our new house plan was designed around that couch. There isn’t one person that visits that doesn’t comment on how awesome it is. And I just look at Thomas and say, “See?”.
I was right.