Crow’s Feet
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Crow’s Feet

Conversation with My Wife (222)

Looking ahead. Maybe more like glancing ahead…

ME: We’re going to need new bedroom furniture.

DEB: Because…?

ME: Not right now! But before we go to [retirement home]. So maybe we should start thinking about it?

We like our main bedroom. We’ve lived in the MBR for almost 21 years now, and the only major change (after a series of unfortunate events) has been to the sink area and the shower. We even kept the same drapes and wallpaper accents because they’re pretty and they still work. The furniture is stuff from the bachelor pads we owned when we met; the king-size waterbed (now on its third set of mattresses) [yes, somebody still makes those!] I bought in 1982, the plant stand that used to be the TV stand (when we had a TV) was bought as a microwave stand in 1983; those are the newer pieces. The two dressers were ones I brought from my childhood home when I set up housekeeping as an ensign in 1980; one I had as a child in 1966, and shows all the dings, gouges, and wear of heavy wood lugged from assignment to assignment for ten years by the lowest-bidding contractor¹. The other dresser we got from my grandmother’s house after she died in 1965, so who knows how old that one is. We have three bookshelves, one that Deb bought in 1994—

DEB: Ninety-three, ninety-four, something like that. Around that time. Pretty sure.

—that Deb bought in the early 1990s, two that we’ve bought together since we’ve moved in (always need new places for books, and after a stack falls over for the third time it’s a sign, and we take our signs seriously and buy new bookshelves). So yes, most of our MBR furniture is older than our marriage.

Our bedroom. If you’re thinking, “Well, THAT doesn’t look so bad!”, then you’re lying; if you’re thinking, “OMG, that is SO Jack & Deb!”, then {*hugs*}. (photo by author)

We won’t even get into the stuff hanging on the walls, okay? We like it. Shush!

The furniture is functional, we’re used to it, and the only people who see it are family, friends, and the housekeeping crew. But! The clock is ticking. (Or the calendar pages keep coming off, really, since we’re talking years. Whatever.) And at some point we will be moving to a retirement home we’ve picked out, meaning serious downsizing, and we will have to get rid of the waterbed because we’ll need something we can roll out of rather than climb out of.²

ME: So I was thinking maybe we should start looking for furniture we might want? Like a bed that has great storage underneath and a headboard that holds a lot of stuff?³ Maybe with a matching dresser?

DEB: How big is the MBR we’ll be moving into?

ME: Ummmm…

DEB: See, we don’t know yet. We don’t even know what size villa or cottage we’ll be able to afford.

Okay, true, but at some point…

¹I understand this condition is now referred to as “distressed” and costs extra when furniture is purchased new. 🙄

²See, Interculturalisticman! We’re going to get rid of the waterbed. Happy now? (Well, not NOW now, since it’s going to be a few years, but eventually happy, is what I’m asking.)

³This is how I ended up with a waterbed. I wanted a new bed, something a little larger than the bed I’d been sleeping in since I was a kid, so I went shopping at the local mall. Hey, this place has beds! Wow, six drawers under the bed, shelves all over the headboard—very cool! And… padded rails on each side, which seems really weird… and the mattress sloshes…
SALESGUY: “Can I help you, sir?”
ME: “Um, sure, is this a waterbed?”
SALESGUY: “Yes, sir.”
ME: “Oh. Do you have any of these that have the cool storage but aren’t waterbeds?”
SALESGUY: “I’m afraid not, sir, this is a waterbed store.”
Really? You could have mentioned that on the… sign that I walked by as I came in. Oh. Fine. How do these things feel to lie in… WHOA! That is nice!
SALESGUY: “And we have a sale this weekend, kingsize for the price of a queen…”
And that’s how I went shopping for a full-size bed and ended up with a king-size waterbed…




“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.” (Frank Lloyd Wright) Non-fiction pieces, personal essays and occasional poems that explore how we feel about how we age and offer tips for getting the most out of life.

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Jack Herlocker

Jack Herlocker

Husband & retiree. Developer, tech writer, & IT geek. I fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. Occasionally do weird & goofy things.

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