My life with furniture
These days, I find the lines are blurred between school and
Real Life. Student life often means spending a cozy evening
with your computer or heading to the boardroom for an on-site
Even traditional campus life has been redesigned for grown-ups.
On September 5, 1999, the New York Times Magazine carried
a story about life in the New Dorms that look like yuppie
condominiums, complete with carpeting and what the Times calls
Meanwhile, a lot of grown-ups who are old enough to remember
typing their term papers are still living like students. Books,
magazines and loose stacks of paper are strewn everywhere.
A Real Student secretly misses bricks and boards, although
today they cost more than particle board shelves and are impossible
When I lived in Alaska, I realized there was no point in
buying Real Furniture. You could equip a ten-room house for
the cost of shipping the contents of a studio apartment to
the Lower 48.
I ended up buying a couch from a graduating student and adding
an extra futon to the Bedroom Set. In my next job, I fully
intended to do the same until a colleague observed, "Isn't
there a time in your life when you stop buying used couches
A friend had a similar experience when she visited a Real
Furniture Store seeking bookshelves. The salesperson showed
her a nice unit for $450. Seeing that my friend was about
to pass out, the salesperson explained, "This is a piece
of furniture that you will be proud to display in your home."
My friend left the store in a daze. Somehow, she explained
later, she had never thought of bookshelves as furniture.
Still, I see progress. A friend called to say he bought a
house because he was tired of living like a student and was
ready to grow up. He was forty-five at the time.
I myself have acquired some Real Furniture, including the
Beautiful New Couch I bought ten years ago. Thanks to my lawn
service person, who is a student, I have a real, grown-up
We will never succeed completely. My friend with the house
just called to say that his two cats have shredded most of
the trappings of his adult life.
I understand perfectly. My Beautiful New Couch has served
as a place for me, my house-sitters and my guests to take
naps, and the cats have carried out extensive performance
tests on each cushion.
I haven't been a student but the couch has gone through a
reverse graduation: it looks far more exhausted than its predecessor
-- the couch I bought, twelve years ago, from a student.
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.