As some of you may recall, C-Man and I had chanced upon a headboard we liked a few weeks back. A furniture store we’d been meaning to visit turned out to be in the same shopping center as the restaurant where we had mimosas, nachos, and key lime pie with vanilla ice cream.
I do not understand why more of my meals aren’t mimosas, nachos, and key lime pie with vanilla ice cream.
But so, yes, a headboard was liked by us. I then spent no fewer than 60 entire minutes assembling numerous pictures of bedrooms which I thought were good examples of what color headboard I would like (espresso) and how it might look with the duvet cover we currently have on the bed, the quilt I am going to finish making in the year 2026, etc. C-Man glanced across my internet and paper display for approximately 15.2 seconds and said “Sure.”
I hate “Sure.” I want “Oh my god! You are a genius! What would I do without you?” or “Woman, get back in the kitchen and stop thinking you make any of the decisions around here.” Anything in between makes me nervous that he is letting me steamroll him and will later admit that he hates whatever it is.
I blame this personality tic on my first husband, who said after our divorce “I never thought it was a good idea for us to get married anyway, but you seemed to think it was a good idea and I thought I might not have another chance to get married.”
Careful questioning of my current husband on the topic of headboard color, though, produced no similar reservations on his part about my decorating ideas (or our marriage), so we called Grandma to pinch hit for us and headed up to North Austin. We have tried to shop for furniture with the two year old before. I had never quite realized how many hundreds of dollars of fragile accessories are also for sale in furniture stores.
When we arrived at The Headboard Emporium, which is not its real name (strangely), the gentleman who visited with us last time was helping someone else. Luckily, we knew where the boards were with all the stain samples, so we pulled out all the maple samples and spread them out on a big table. Maple and oak are the cheapest, I don’t like oak, so we’re getting maple.
None of them are as dark as I want them to be. None of them have names on the back, just numbers, but I do not see anything that I would call espresso. I pick up the darkest one and walk over to the flood model, hold it up. It is much darker than the floor model. I try to make that good enough.
C-Man walks over to a dark dresser on the other side of the room. “This is maple with espresso,” he said.
We sort through the samples again. There isn’t a sample that matches the dresser. I don’t like the red streaks. I am working very hard on making myself okay with not-espresso, because for the love of all that is holy, we almost had a couch picked out and then when we went back to look at it he didn’t like it as much and liked another one that I don’t like and I AM ORDERING A HEADBOARD TODAY. I BROUGHT A CREDIT CARD!
The salesman checks in with us.
“What is the deal with this no darks?” we ask.
He points to the darkest one there. “That’s Onyx,” he says.
“What’s on that dresser?” we ask.
Onyx with a black tint added. We keep talking. He says the black tint is espresso. Rubbed in by hand. For an extra charge of at least $150.
I suddenly like Onyx just fine. Show me Onyx on something in this room!
He leads us over to an end table that is nice and dark. He lays the Onyx sample down. They do not match. The end table is WAY darker. They just switched systems, he says, it used to be called Onyx and now it’s #230.
But obviously, we point out, these two items are not stained the same. Much head scratching. Additional salesman called to consult. Agrees they do not match. Old Onyx stain sample board is located. Matches the end table. End table has a tag that says it’s Maple with a #230 stain.
“Obviously,” I say, “That new sample has the wrong sticker on it.”
For some reason, an additional 10 minutes of conversation are required before a consensus is reached that obviously, that new sample has the wrong sticker on it. I carefully restrain myself from saying something like “I’m so glad to have created a little interesting mystery in an otherwise slow retail afternoon, but since you’ve said several times that you can sell me a bed the same color as this end table, can we go ahead and do that now?” I also did not say “Is it because I’m the only woman standing here that my possible explanation for what’s happening is being completely ignored?”
Yes, thank you, I’m proud of me too.
Finally the bed was ordered, detailed notes about color were written on the order form, a fervent oath was repeated multiple times that the bed would be the right color or it would go back where it came from until it was right, a delivery date sometime in early February was estimated, and we were offered and declined some jam as a special gift to go with our purchase. We went to get beer for C-Man and white chocolate for me and celebrated the purchase of our first new-to-us furniture for our home. Which cost about 10 times what our kitchen table and chairs cost on Craigslist. And half as much as our first car.
I think I will go breathe into a paper bag. Until February.