HARMON: This old house

July 10, 2013 

I usually don’t watch infomercials, but the Debbie Boone Lifestyle Lift has definitely gotten my attention. If I thought we could do to the inside of this house what she does to the outside of peoples’ faces, I’d try it.

The reality is we are now living in either a used furniture store or a pawn shop, as the years have taken their toll and the place is sagging like a rapper’s drawers. The furniture, which used to be very comfortable, now sits so low to the floor I can barely get off the couch. I need a couch like that new commode we bought -- easy on, meditate, easy off. Also, time has either slowed down or come to a screeching halt. The four clocks, visible from the couch, are showing most of the time zones (think Greenwich) at any given time with the exception of the grandfather clock, a Register, bought a mere 33 years ago, which has hit nary a chime in so long I’ve forgotten what it sounds like.

We’ve had several “experts” come look at the old boy’s chimes but they all “struck” out. I found this “jewel” of a clock at a paint store when I was painting houses for love money, not the love of money. The guy at Sherwin Williams said it was a bargain at $300 but he failed to mention it would only run for one year. After that, it was designed to take up wall space and collect dust.

I wonder if that store is still in business. Love money is money you give your wife when young and in love instead of hiding it like I do now. I wonder if people in “relationships” paint for love. But I digress.

Here I sit, in the middle of the furniture store watching infomercials telling me I’m falling apart and I see my stuff falling about all around me. We have one leather chair one could mistake for an elephant from a Tarzan movie, a stereo so old it only plays Sinatra or disco (not a bad thing) and drapes that came with the house -- a house designed by two of the most frugal individuals to ever have a job. Married they were, divorced I’m told now, finding out if perhaps one can live cheaper than two.

When they built this place they must have had as a goal, seeing how few electrical outlets they could install and still run appliances or televisions. Then we come along and set furniture in front of what few plugs there are. Not small tables or chairs mind you, but bureaus, silver cabinets and bookcases. We’ve got more extension cords around here than the White House, which is not good when you can no longer find your feet.

The good news is we’ve discovered Goodwill and pawn shops. What was usually a boring Saturday morning watching healing services and Rifleman on television has now become the great shoe search. This is where we enter a closet that has no light and try to match pairs of her shoes to take to Goodwill -- a process that could be considered infinite and which entertains us until we get hungry.

She owns more shoes than Imelda Marcos with more arriving nearly every day via UPS (what a wonderful company). Am I grateful for all this stuff? Of course I am. It took 30 years to make money and be able to afford this junk. Like ol’ Steve Martin said a few years ago, “Having stuff doesn’t make one any happier, it just takes away the worry of not having stuff.” Well, gotta go, time to dust some furniture.

Sonny Harmon is an educator at Georgia Military College. Visit his blog at http://sharmon09.blogspot.com.

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