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Opinion: I’ll Know I’ve Made It When I Can Finally Afford Much Less Comfortable Furniture

Every night I sink into the familiar arms of the couch that has sat in my living room for the last decade. The way the pleather perfectly hugs my body serves as a tangible reminder that I still can’t afford that absurdly chic concrete chair from Design Within Reach. They say “dress for the job you want” but I’m desperately trying to decorate for the lifestyle I want. Clearly, I’m not there yet and this couch won’t let me forget it.

Don’t get me wrong, I really am trying. I just got these metal bar stools to replace my dining room set. They’re wildly uncomfortable, but at a mere $300 apiece, I’m not even in the ballpark of sophistication. It’s not as tragic as a Wayfair deal, but it’s basically the bottom of the Crate and Barrel.

What’s really missing from my open-plan kitchen/office/living room is a stiff, primary-colored geometric chair. Imagine reclining for a few fleeting moments in a piece more concerned with resembling a Mondrian than accommodating the human form.

Or picture a glass-top dining table set with four untouched cardboard Wiggle chairs. Not that I’m anywhere near affording that. I learned this the hard way after sneaking into a swanky hotel lobby and daring to lounge in one. Imagine my horror as I spilled my coffee and watched the chair slowly melt into nothing. I’m still chipping away at that $1,500 invoice.

But alas, here I am, stuck looking at this used La-Z-Boy I snagged off Craigslist during my college years. Worn perfectly to the shape of my frog-like butt, angled just right for binge-watching TV. Oh, how I’d love to replace it with an Eames chair so deep I have to strain my neck to see a screen.

Perhaps one day I’ll ascend to the pinnacle of high-end discomfort. Until then, I remain nestled in the embrace of my pedestrian furniture, comfortably numb. Longing for the day when that concrete chair will make my ass just regular numb. Plus, it’ll look fucking fantastic on Instagram.