You've Got Your Sofa Issue Handled

"Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you're satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you've got your sofa issue handled." (from Fight Club.)

Living in this house, I am feeling like the sofa issue is pretty handled.  I have a strong sense of consolidation, of embeddedness, of  hovering over the exact center-point of the American centrifuge.  I plug in the monthly mortgage payment and tack on the "13th month" extra to help whittle down the principle.  I pay the insurance premium and then submit it to the company HRA for reimbursement.  I am the very picture of what thinkers in the Western Marxist tradition referred to as the process of embourgeoisement (although, it could be pointed out, they were talking about industrial workers, not skinny former grad student IT guys.)

I'm reminded of one of the big reasons that I quit tech in the first place: the feeling that I was gaining nothing from year to year, just getting older.  This time around, there are tangible benefits (thanks largely to the fact that I work for some guys who believe in paying good money for good employees, a phenomenon tied, in turn, to the fact that they aren't beholden to investors / venture capital.)  I am dead serious about that maybe-a-Honda-Fit thing I mentioned before.  Likewise, while I can conceive of the whole ennui-of-middle-class-existence easily enough, I never really thought I'd be able to have one (a middle class existence), thanks to the historical economic shifts of the last thirty years, and I have a hard time imagining that the shock and novelty of being able to afford it is going to wear off anytime soon.

Also, the thing about having the sofa issue handled is that if your aspirations are limited to more and better sofas, then yeah, you are not going to have a whole lot of fun.  Being able to cover housing and some more-or-less "basic" first-world consumer society creature comforts and be genuinely content with it, however, does open up the possibility of looking well beyond sofas.  In other words, what I think B and I are really enjoying right now is exactly the same shit we enjoyed living in that stupid one-bedroom apartment in Santa Cruz: friends, family, funny cultural detritus, and thinking deep thoughts, it's just that we're less worried about the material context in which those things are happening.

My point is just that if Tyler Durden showed up and asked if I wanted to join him at the next meeting in the cellar of the dive bar, I would be like "dude...no."

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