I want to take a job selling outdoor furniture but my wife is unwilling to compromise. “You are a Teacher, and there is no way I am going to let you sell yourself short by becoming an Outdoor Furniture Salesman,” she told me with determination in her eyes. “Why would you want to do this to yourself,” she asked? ” The only response that I could muzzle together was “I have always wanted to sell outdoor furniture.”
Some of my fondest memories of youth include outdoor furniture. Sundays would be spent sitting out back with my entire family. We would drink lemonade, eat burgers from the grill and swim in the over chlorinated pool until the sun set. When you sat on the furniture dripping wet a certain aroma was given off by the furniture which I can still sometimes smell. When I am around outdoor furniture I feel young again, without any health concerns and without a care in the world. I become relaxed and nostalgic- recalling the days when I was a happy young man.
Now that I am older and all of my childhood is practically buried six feet under- I am desperate to again feel the pleasures of my youth. When I went into Osh Outdoor Furniture Suppliers for the first time I was only looking for an outdoor chair to stick upon my deck. As I browsed around the tables, pool chairs, umbrellas and pillows I immediately felt intoxicated by the smells and memories that were given off. I remembered a past I had all but forgotten. The Sundays spent out back with my family, the evening barbeque’s, my first sexual experience on the pool chair, catching my father and mother kissing beneath the umbrella besides the fire pit- all these memories and more came at me like a fierce wind. I felt a joy in my heart that had not been there when I walked into the outdoor furniture store. Without even purchasing the chair, I went up to the check out stand and asked the older gentleman behind the register if I could have an application for a job. I filled it out in the shop and was called in for an interview the following day. I was hired on the spot when the manager asked me why I wanted to go from teaching high school to working with outdoor furniture. “I want to work with outdoor furniture because it makes me feel young again, ” I said. To which he replied, “I can relate, that is exactly why I work with outdoor furniture as well.” We shook hands like two men united by a common desire- to be young again.
“I understand that you want to feel young again, but why do you have to go to such extreme lengths to do so?” my wife asked me in desperation. “Unless you have had the same experience with outdoor furniture as I have, it is to difficult to explain to you. It just feels like something I need to do.” “But what about teaching? Are you just going to quit and tell your students that you are leaving them for outdoor furniture.” My wife had a point, I do not think that my students will be happy about my decision. “They will get over it, besides as we get older we forget everything anyways…do you still remember your high school teachers?” I asked hoping that she would agree with me. “I remember almost every single one, even the ones who could not handle it and quit. Just think- you always will be remembered as that teacher that quit to go sell outdoor furniture.”
I decided that I would sleep on it. My wife was planting doubt in my head and I was afraid that the repercussions of my decision would be greater than I was aware of. I longed to spend my days in the presence of outdoor furniture. To describe pool chairs and umbrellas to costumers seemed much more gratifying than explaining nouns and verbs and the Great Gatsby to high school students who were incapable of listening. To smell the scent of outdoor furniture rather than the sent of fake cologne and dirty lockers, what more could I ask for. As an Outdoor Furniture Salesman I would be able to spend my work days reminiscing about the pleasurable past of my childhood which is now forever gone. I could remember the faces of those that I loved who have now passed on and once again swim in the pool of my childhood. I could be sitting out back with my grandfather one sunny June afternoon and listen to him say to me again and again- “enjoy being young kid, because when you get older and enter the real world, it’s a bitch.”
My wife threatened to separate from me if I took the job. Before I was even awake this morning she rolled over on the side of the bed and said, “I will not be married to a man that is constantly undermining himself and not living up to his fullest potential. I will not sit by and watch you destroy your life because you want to spend your days reminiscing about your childhood. That part of your life is gone and if you take this job as an Outdoor Furniture Salseman, than I will not sit by and watch you fall.” I was half awake but already frustrated by her perspective. Right when I was about to respond to her the phone rang. She answered it and then looked at me and said, “It is Osh Outdoor Furniture, they want to know if you made a decision.” She handed me the phone with a stern look that seemed to say you better not. I looked at the clock and it was almost noon.