Furniture Styles


Another excerpt from “The Miracle of Us…”

Riding a cable car seemed like the most exciting way to get to Union Square where we planned to eat at The Cheesecake Factory on the top floor above Macy’s department store. After putting our name in, we took our little pager thingy and browsed around the furniture department. It seemed like a good time to get to know more of what Brendan liked since we would eventually set up house together.

“Timber and iron,” was the unembellished comment on furniture tastes.

“Uh…together?” I asked, not quite sure what that meant. I pictured Southwestern Native American with wooden logs and heavy wrought iron adornments. Not happening.

I tried to explain the image his words produced in my head and drew a blank look from Brendan. Clearly we weren’t on the same page.

“Well, maybe you could show me something you like. Perhaps that would be easier.” I’m forever optimistic.

“I guess it depends on the house,” Brendan said.

Again, I was confused.

“What do you mean?”

He seemed confused.

“You know, you buy furniture according to the style of house you live in. Like you buy colonial furniture for a colonial style house.”

Light was dawning.

“Ok, I kind of get what you’re saying. But, what if you end up renting or buying a colonial house, but you don’t like colonial furniture? Then what? And what if each of us likes different styles and neither of them are colonial? AND how do we know what style of house we will end up buying? What furniture do we put in a rental then??”

I could feel myself become more agitated as I thought of these things and pictured an empty non-descript house with a few mattresses on the floor. Brendan just looked at me kind of blankly like he wasn’t sure which question to answer first or if he should, in fact, attempt any of them. Deep breath, Laura. This was supposed to be fun, right? I took a deep breath, waited a minute and tried a new approach.

“Do you like this one, for example?” I asked pointing to a bed frame that I felt was particularly hideous.

“Well, not really. I mean, I guess if it fit the style of house…” he trailed off. It appeared that he may not be certain of what he did like.

I tried again. Oh persevering one that I am.

“How did you and Edyta pick the furniture for your house?” I asked, realizing that I was treading in uncomfortable waters for me.

“That’s easy. She picked everything, and I had no say. That worked,” Brendan stated with seeming relief as if that would settle it all.

The situation, now fully illuminated, brought up something else in my mind. Brendan, while easy-going, certainly has very strong opinions about most things. It didn’t seem like he was the kind of person who didn’t have likes and dislikes about his surrounding world even if some guys don’t. He was much more like my dad, brother and sons who had very distinct tastes about clothes and furniture and décor. I decided to toss the idea on the table and see what he thought.

“That’s interesting to me because you seem to be someone who would have an opinion of what you like. Maybe your situation with Edyta didn’t allow that, but I would love to know what you like and plan our house together. What do you think?”

A slow smile came over Brendan’s face and then he shrugged slightly. He grabbed my hand.

“I would like that. I’m not sure how it will work, but we can give it a try. I love you.”

“I love you too. Can we start by agreeing that this piece of furniture really is hideous?”

He laughed. “Yeah, actually it is. I just thought that if you liked it…”

I hugged him. “I love you,” I said, shaking my head. Then I kissed him hard on the mouth wishing we were somewhere a bit more private.

“We’re buzzing,” Brendan whispered.

“I know, right? Pretty good kiss, huh?”

“Yeah, but no, I meant the restaurant…”

I opened my eyes and found myself looking at Brendan’s bemused expression as he held up the buzzing, blinking disk. I felt a bit foolish.

“Guess we better go find Brian and Carol, huh?”

“Yes, we should,” he chuckled.


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