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God Help Us: We Need Throw Pillows

by Jason Edwards

I used to live by myself, which was an accident. I had a roommate, but then she decided she wanted to “be independent.” She seemed to think that living by herself would reduce the chances of someone “accidentally” walking into the bathroom while she showered. Fine. Then I got another roommate, but she left too—even though the rent was cheap, she claimed she was losing money on mysteriously disappearing underwear. I have no idea how that was happening and I categorically deny even knowing what underwear is. So I was eventually living alone, and like a good bachelor with a good job, I went to Ikea. And all was well. I used primary colors as my color scheme, thinking that if it worked for kindergartens, it would work for me. Decorating was a simple matter of making sure I never had anything pastel, any color that had more than two syllables, came from a foreign language, or also described soup.

Years went by in mass-produced Scandinavian-inspired bliss. It was me and the blue couch and the red chair and the yellow dinner plates. A timeless aesthetic, like Mondrian on quaaludes. You know what’s great about the basics, the colors you get from the smallest box of Crayolas? Wiping Cheetos on the couch cushions doesn’t really look so bad.

But then, I screwed it all up. I met a girl. I tried really hard to “just be friends,” but she ended up being “smart” and “funny” and “sexy enough to bone all night long, or daytimes on Sundays.” (Father-in-law, if you’re reading this, please note that no boning happened before May 19th, 2007. Yes, that’s two days after our wedding- you were there, getting married in front of 400 people is exhausting).

But worse than discovering she was my “soulmate” was discovering that she had “taste.” This was a foreign concept to me—yes, my old roommates had had taste, decorating their bedrooms (which I never entered without permission or unless I was vacuuming or looking for a pencil or to make sure no one’s underwear drawer was on fire). But the rest of the house had been neutral territory. So I was a bit taken aback when my future-wife said ,“when we get married, the blue couch has got to go.”

Go where? Into the man cave? Fellas, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The man cave is a myth. Oh sure, some guys have rooms they call their own, maybe it has a pool table in it, maybe they have a big screen TV in there, maybe they even have a cute little shelf for storing bottles of fine Whiskey. But each of those guys has been presented with a basket of laundry to fold, “since you’re not doing anything else right now except watching a bunch of grown men in tights chase each other over a stupid leather ball.” And that’s when the dream dies.

No, she said, about the blue couch. It has to go away. Put it on Craigslist or something. It won’t fit with our décor.

If you don’t know, “décor” is something people with “taste” create in their homes, by selecting a ménage of complimentary colors, patterns, and textures. Notice the accent above the e in “décor.” And the one above the e in “ménage.” There’s one above the e in “cliché” too. Those French people, they’ve got word for everything.

They don’t play football in France, by the way. Just saying.

So I got rid of Blue, my trusty couch, sweat-stained and Cheeto-stained. It was sort of like losing an old dog. You remember that scene in Old Yeller? You know the one I’m talking about. If you didn’t cry when you saw that, you have no soul. You probably mix stripes with polka dots. Same with my couch. And the red chair. And the yellow plates. By the way, if you are going to shoot your rabid yellow dinnerware with a shotgun, don’t do it in your front yard. Turns out the police get nervous when they see a grown man holding a shotgun, crying, standing over a pile of broken crockery. It’s a funny world.

Me and the wife got hitched, and I moved into her place, and sure, it would have solved more problems than just keeping all my stuff if we had continued to live apart. But she had “ideas” about that too (see above, re: folding clothes while watching football). And that’s when my “education” started.

I learned that the curtains have to match the bedspread.
I learned that the towels in the bathroom have to match each other.
I learned that velvet doesn’t match anything, even if it’s the canvas for a freaking awesome painting of dogs playing poker.
But I also learned that throw pillows can coordinate the colors in any room.

So here we are today, a few years later, in a brand new house, with some new furniture, and old curtains, and you know what means: throw pillows. We need throw pillows. I just now Googled “throw pillows” and I am not making this up: there’s cheap ones, but some of these bad boys are priced at over $150 dollars. Yes, you heard me right. That’s half a Playstation3. And we need more than one. We need, like, 10. And even I can tell, thanks to my “education,” that the ones going for less than 20 bucks just won’t cut it. We’re about to spend more for pillows than I did for my old Ikea couch. What? No, I’m not crying, this computer screen has a bad glare on it, leave me alone.

Oh, and before I go, let me just warn some of you pending-husbands out there. I don’t care what kind of self-defense training you’ve taken. I don’t care if you’re a Navy SEAL, a hybrid ninja-samurai-sumo wrestler. If you get Cheetos on your wife’s new throw pillows, you are a dead man.

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