How Living Minimally Is Helping Me Live Minimally

couch free


I have been back in my hometown for twelve days now.

Normally, this would have given me ample time to do lots of nesting-like activities; such as buying dozens and dozens of throw pillows and creating some sort of indian summer garden out on my patio, such as picking up a sweet little “vintage” hand me down couch from a couple old people on Craigslist, such as tracking down antique travelling trunks to use as bookshelves… that sort of thing.

I’ll tell you what I have done: unpacked.

I’ll tell you what I haven’t done: anything else.

Let me tell you why: THE BUS.

You see, I was spoiled through my teenage years with my own set of mint-green wheels and yet still chose to steal my parents car when I snuck out at night because it provided more room for backseat “activities”, so this is totally karma.  But still.

Do you know how hard it is to carry a stand up lamp on the bus?  How about a 27×40 picture frame.  Or a 6×8 rug.  Or a vacuum.  Or a TV.

It’s hard.

In fact, it’s damn near impossible.

I went grocery shopping and struggled so badly carrying all of my bags off the bus that some [nice, cute, French] guy actually got off, with his bicycle, three stops before his stop, to offer to carry one for me.  Of course, I was all “no, thanks though!  This is my work out for the day!” and so, after the appropriate amount of small talk, he cycled off into the sunset and I dropped every single one of my bags on the pavement and just stood there, panting for 5 minutes.  I totally should have said yes.  But naturally, I couldn’t, because one of the bags had toilet paper in it and that is just not OK for a [nice, cute, French] guy to carry for me.  We just met.  Plus, I’m sure French women would never buy toilet paper so it would probably shock him into an early grave.

I’ve had to go to Target five times in one day just so that I could manage the necessities.  I was so tired by the end of it that I fell asleep on the $40 decorative floor pillow I decided to buy instead of a couch.  I nearly missed my stop.

So I came to the conclusion that what Ikea can’t mail me for the Canada Post standard expedited shipping fees (which is basically nothing more than a new duvet set and chair slipcover), I’m just not going to bother buying at all.

“You need a couch” has been a recurring statement in my life lately, whenever I tell people my plan to just stick with the floor pillow and squishy chair.  But why? Why do I need a couch?  For entertaining?  First of all, my intentions in this town for the next ten months are to dig my heels in and bury myself in Shakespeare and Bettlheim, not to host endless game nights, and second, we all know that people just like to hang out in the kitchen anyway (and I do having a dining room table, so there.)  I’ve started to think that people are just really uptight about what a “home” should look like.

Did you know Steve Jobs took 8 years to buy a couch?  Granted, this is because he was a perfectionist, not because he was a poor University student with a bus pass, but still.  And my internet auto-immune disorder guru, Sarah Wilson, she doesn’t have a couch either, although her reasons are more where I’m going with this.  Furniature is such a … commitment.

Maybe for most people commiting themselves to a couch isn’t as difficult as saying “I do”, but here’s the thing… I know I’m not staying here.  So what’s the point?  If I buy a couch, I’m going to be dumping it come June (because the amount I could afford to spend on a couch right now would not be worth the shipping fees to move it) so really, again, what’s the point?  The fact that we have some silent living room rule that states “one must have a couch to fill up the room?” I disagree.  I can get one in eight years.

Besides, even if I did want a couch… it would take like, 6 [nice, cute, French] boys to help me carry that thing off the bus.  And Jim (my bus driver who I know by name because he sees me 8 times a day) probably wouldn’t let me on with it anyway.

xo & yw


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