I’m drinking warm tea from the very first mug I bought myself. I got it from a dollar store and it has a photo of a Golden Retriever wearing glasses. I remember feeling that the mug represented adulthood. I was finally living in an apartment, not my parents’ home that was already stocked with drinking ware or a dorm room where there was no room for dishes. It has survived over 10 moves and now resides in the community cabinet at my workplace. I share it with my coworkers and today it sits on my desk and it makes me smile that it has been a companion to me as I wade deeper into the trenches of adulthood for over a decade. The CEO has told me it’s one of his favorite mugs.
The first couch I owned was originally my parents’. My boyfriend in college tackled me onto the couch and broke one of the legs. It survived two years in my living room with a stack of textbooks as stand-in for the missing leg. It was my couch the first time I lived on my own sans roommates. It was the place I moped and watched a ton of movies. It was the couch I had when I experienced my first heartbreak by the same boyfriend who helped me break it. It was the first couch my younger brother ever experienced. I have photos of myself kissing my new baby brother on that couch. It was a piece of my childhood offering somewhere to rest when I was on my own for the first time.
Today, I’m newly moved into an apartment and we are without a couch. I had sold most of my furniture when I moved in with the ex. Cohabitation with lovers can be very bad for furniture. Living without a couch has made me wistful for that three-legged ugly couch.
I know years from now I will remember coming home to my current apartment. Seeing my friend and new roommate on the floor. Both of us laying on the hardwood floors and exhaling from a long work day. Earlier this week the pizza delivery guy knocked and she got up and I remained motionless, flat on my back in the middle of the floor. The pizza guy peered over Ashley’s shoulder and laughed. “Is she okay?” Laughter. “We just moved.” I will remember our first night together sitting on the floor and watching Youtube videos of romantic proposals. Her eating candy corn, me eating cereal. “Ready to watch other people be happy?”
When we look back at the moments we thought we were just merely making do with what we have, we’ll learn with the rosy tint of hindsight, that we were in fact very rich.