The Time in Which I Buy My First Sofa… On the Wrong Credit Card

by Meghan Medford in


So here’s the deal: when I went to college, my parents gave me a credit card for emergencies. Well, I graduated college two years ago and it is miraculously still in my wallet. And oddly enough, I can justify a lot of things “emergencies” (shoes).

So when we were in the process of purchasing this house, I started to look for my one “splurge” piece - a really nice sofa. Now don’t get me wrong, the IKEA one that is currently in my apartment is wonderful. But since a good 98% of all my furniture is IKEA, I wanted to invest in one really nice piece that I could customize exactly how I wanted and use for several years to come. 

I agonized over this purchase. I woke up from nightmares in cold sweats over a sold-out couch I was eyeing from West Elm, I kid you not. These upholstered seating contraptions were haunting me for the better part of three weeks. I spent my weeknights and downtime at work researching this sofa versus that sofa, and that warranty versus this one, taping out sofa measurements in my empty living room, and on and on…. 

And then I landed on this chesterfield-esque sofa from West Elm that was a good size, good price and I could upholster in a plethora of fabric choices and colors.

 The original couch... poor guy.

The original couch... poor guy.

I went to the West Elm in Highland Village and sat on that couch for thirty minutes. I laid on it, I sat cross-legged on it and checked Instagram (what I would be doing at home, let’s be honest), I gave dirty looks to other customers that tried to eye my sofa. I was one of those customers. After much hesitation (and a lot of glares from sales associates), I decided to purchase the sofa in a dark navy performance velvet. (Mimi and my grandfather used to own a velvet sofa and it was HEAVEN.) So I shakily handed over my credit card and the sales associate swiped it quickly and handed me my receipt, overjoyed, I’m sure, to finally be rid of me. I left, feeling relieved, shell-shocked, and my wallet figuratively lighter.

And then I made the mistake of walking right next door into ZGallerie.

I don’t even know why I did it or what possessed me to inflict that kind of torture on myself. I must have some kind of furniture-induced masochism. But there it was. The couch of my dreams - the Pauline. It was seriously calling my name - with its big fluffy cushions, nail head details, and high arms. 

 The Pauline!

The Pauline!

I was already experiencing buyers remorse. My first adult furniture purchase and I was regretting it. This sofa was $100 cheaper (plus an additional 10% off!), had the same upholstery options, a lifetime warranty, was 2” longer and was infinitely more comfortable to check Instagram on. 

I immediately ran back next door to West Elm, much to the dismay of the sales associates, and cancelled my purchase - twenty minutes after I placed it. I’m 100% positive I am banned from that store location for life. 

But the thing about West Elm, is that they really want to second-guess your decision to cancel an order. They’re rival to a critical mother that states, "so you’re actually wearing that?" as you’re ready to walk out the door. After countless customer service calls, online chats with my customer service homeboy Robert, and days of checking my refund status, I was rid of my West Elm purchase and free to turn around and buy the sofa made from Heaven. 

In the meantime, mind you, I was at ZGallerie twice a week sitting on this couch - just plopping down on Pauline, talking to my new BFF and sales associate, Manuel, who had the honor and privilege of answering my every question about this sofa for two weeks - as I refused to make another regrettable purchase. 

So when the time came to re-purchase a sofa, I ran to Manuel, excitedly waving a credit card and our faces both lit up as I would be finally buying the couch of my dreams, and he would finally be rid of me. 

And as I made my purchase and left the store, I felt both relieved and excited - a good sign. Until…. I got a phone call from my mother 20 minutes later asking what this large purchase was from ZGallerie on her credit card.

You see, in my excitement, I picked up the wrong credit card (before you think I’m more of a ditz that I already am, they are the same color and are right next to each other in my wallet - a problem I have now rectified)

So now, I’m in the process of paying back my parents for this sofa, because as hard as I may try, I just can’t convince them it’s an emergency.