Friday, January 6, 2012

No. 881 – Bargain

Performer: The Who
Songwriter: Pete Townshend
Original Release: Who’s Next
Year: 1971
Definitive Version: Something live but nothing in particular

After I moved back to Columbus, it took me a couple of months to accumulate enough money to be able to start buying things that cost more than a few CDs here and there, such as The Who’s 30 Years of Maximum R&B. For all that I thought I knew about The Who’s music, that box set still showed me there was more to know. This song was one that I knew but not well.

I haven’t mentioned this anywhere yet, so here’s as good a place as any. My financial sense comes from my grandfather, who was as conservative as it comes financially. When you grow up poor on a farm during the Depression, that’ll happen. But after I paid off debt I had piled up when I was making $15K a year, I NEVER bought a thing on credit unless I could pay the bill on time in full each month. (I still don’t.)

That’s partly why I didn’t have my first Mac any sooner than I did and why it took me a while to begin to furnish my German Village apartment the way that I wanted. But when I was ready, so was my list, and the first thing I bought was a bedroom suite—bed, dresser and table.

Except for Grand Blanc, where I had a furnished apartment, I had used my great-grandfather’s old bed since my senior year in college. My bedside table was a wooden beer crate set on its end. My dresser was nonexistent. If I were going to have women—Debbie or otherwise—back to my place, I had to have grown-up stuff. I was 30, after all.

I went to what I thought was the coolest furniture store in the city—Functional Furnishings (now gone), right at the mouth of the Short North, which sits about as far from downtown to the north as German Village does to the south. I wanted something similar to the futon that I slept on when I visited Jin in Chicago, so I found this low-to-the-ground, wood-slat, single-queen-size-mattress bed that was part of a three-piece set with table and chest of drawers. It was black mahogany and the drawers were dyed burgundy. It cost $1,800, and I snapped it up without a second thought.

I remember being really excited the day the movers showed up with my new furniture. They brought everything in, set up the frame and screwed down the slats that made up the foundation or bed floor. When they were done, one handed me the special wrench that I’ve used several times since to take apart the bed when moving, which you have to do, because it be impossible to maneuver and weigh a ton otherwise. I felt as though I really was on my way.

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