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Where did the furniture go?


I attended the University of Louisville in the middle part of the 1980s, and one Christmas Break I arrived home to quite a surprise. I pulled into the drive, got out of the car and opened the front door—only to see a living room completely devoid of furniture; no couch, no recliner, not even coffee tables! A small TV sat on the floor, along with a couple of lamps.

My first thought was, “did my family move and forget to tell me?” I slowly walked through the living room to my bedroom; my stuff was there. I then checked out the rest of the house, and all the other rooms had our furniture in them, but why was the living room devoid of furniture?

My mother and sister were the first ones to come home from work, so I asked them. My mother blamed my father for the living room being devoid of furniture. I asked her what my father did, and she said he refused to buy new furniture for the house. I asked her how my father not buying new furniture for the house equated to no living room furniture, and she kept dodging the question and kept blaming my father.

A little while later my sister came into the living room, where we were sitting on the floor, and told me the rest of the story. It seems that my mother ordered my dad to buy new living room furniture, which went over about as well as lead-filled life jackets on the Titanic!

My sister said my father told my mother that if she wanted new living room furniture she could buy some, but as nothing was wrong with the current furniture, he was not going to purchase a new living room suite.

It seems my mother tried to force my father’s hand by giving away all of our living room furniture—couch, chairs, recliners and even the coffee tables. She gave away the furniture one day when my dad was at work. When he came home, she told him he had to buy a new living room suite as she had given away all of the furniture. My dad told her he was not going to spend a dime on new furniture, and if she wanted furniture in the living room she was going to be the one to purchase it.

A battle of wills then took place. It turns out my mother had given away the furniture in late September or early October of that year. I came home in mid-December! The whole of Christmas break was spent in a living room devoid of furniture. The battle of wills continued between my parents. When I came home for Spring Break that year, the living room lacked furniture.

Sometime after Spring Break, my mother blinked first because when I came home for the summer, I walked into a living room with furniture that my mother was making payments on each month. To her dying day, my mother always blamed my dad for there being no furniture in the living room for approximately six-months.

She would constantly tell people he made her buy new furniture because we had none in the house; she conveniently forgot to tell people we lacked furniture because she gave it away!

By Ralph Dickerson

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