The first year and a half I lived away from home I had a roommate. It was the first time for both of us to be on our own. Each of us had a bed, a small TV, a chest of drawers, and that was pretty much it. We basically had nothing.
People don't really throw formal housewarmings where they shower you with gifts from the Martha Stewart home collection for single heterosexual guys. At least no one did for us. Then again, we didn't register anywhere, so maybe it was our fault.
My parents gave me their kitchen table and bought me a small microwave. I also received a plaque from my girlfriend's sister which read: "If you sprinkle when you tinkle, be a sweetie and wipe the seatie." I proudly hung it over the toilet, though I still sprinkled occasionally. I think it was the only thing hanging on the walls in the apartment for, um, a lengthy and indefinite period of time.
Since we now had at least one piece of furniture in the kitchen and both bedrooms, that left only the living room remaining to be furnished. I put my 13-inch-TV and small TV stand in there. But still, the room seemed empty somehow, like something was missing.
Ah, yes. A place to sit. A couch, love seat, lawn chair, milk crate, something in that vein.
My favorite aunt happened to have an old couch in her basement which she gave to us. The edges of the cushions had begun to tear, but we didn't really care. Oh, and did I mention it was not exactly the manliest of colors?
The fabric consisted of a floral pattern largely made up of pastel pinks and greens. So there we were, two young, strapping, virile, well-dressed bachelors, welcoming guests into our home to sit on our pink and green couch. Look out, ladies.
Still, we were in no position to be picky. It was something to sit on, and we were thankful to have it. Thrilled, actually. At that time in my life, free used furniture seemed like about the best thing in the world.
I happened to have an old red bean bag which had seen it's better days that I placed in the living room as well. Now you might think that a bright red bean bag would clash with the soft pastels of the couch. And you would not be incorrect. But when you're first moving out, things like that really do not matter so much.
That feeling of being on your own, learning to make ends meet, discovering the culinary and financial advantages of Chef Boyardee and Ramen, running out of clean underwear for the first time in your life, those are priceless life lessons.
Priceless, not unlike a free pink and green couch.
"I hate coming home to this old broken down apartment. I wish I had a dime for every hole that's in the carpet..."