My quarter-life crisis has rumbled for several years now; a slow transition, which has been met with firm resistance until recently. Small events were conspiring to lure me in. Many friends and work colleagues are marrying and bearing children, I am frequently asked when it's my turn as though I have a calender with a fat X on it I can show them: 'Here it is, right there, just turn up for the reception and buy us an electric whisk from John Lewis'
I have a strong bond now with my potential future Mother-in-law; I have broody moments around kids, imagining what my childs fat little hands would feel like to hold and picking them up from school muddy-kneed and bundling them into a Citroen Picasso to take them to Pizza Hut 'Thanks Dad, you're the best!'
These were perfectly innocuous though, merely idle flirtations with responsible adult life. Recently though my girlfriend asked me a question that shook me to my core: 'I want a new sofa, can we get one?'
I went on the defensive the only way a frightened man can 'What's wrong with the one we've got?' and 'All that money for something to sit on' then finally 'But I need a new laptop!' I was well beaten. In grown up Top Trumps furniture beats technology hands down, technology is a man's folly destined to live in spare rooms or opaque varnished cabinets. You are requested to build these cabinets, masking your once proud surround system and your sleek games console. Your film collection diluted with 3/4 of Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson.
When the sofa debate was over, I knew... Shit just got real. The Argos sale booklet constantly wafted around, on sale for a week, just a few days left, now two days left, Phil it's the last day of the sale I WANT THAT SOFA PHIL SUBMIT TO ME, YOU ARE MINE NOW BUILD ME A VARNISHED CABINET AND HIDE YOUR MOST VALUED POSSESSIONS IN IT MWAHAHAHA.
Yes dear. I wilted.
On Friday the new sofa will be delivered. It was a good price. The fact that I recognise the value and worth of said sofa illustrates the battle has been lost, if ever there was one. It will be a new chapter, relatives will ask about it as though it were a new addition to the family. We will teach it to walk and we will get up in the early hours to rub it's cushions till it burps. Maybe one of our names will be it's first word.
I'm sure I will grow to love it, maybe even find loose change down it. Furniture now will have value, it is an investment in a large expensive inaminate object with a woman. In some ways it is a bigger step than marriage or kids, the sofa cannot be separated or shared in custody (actually it can as it comes in two corner sections) and will require paying off over time. It is the sofa that binds us now; a cushioned, cornered cuff to my wrist and a reminder two years into my relationship that the clock is very much ticking.
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