Patty O’Furniture

I have a tiny backyard with a concrete slab overlooking green patio that needs furniture. And by furniture I mean stuff that can be rained on repeatedly, snowed on a little when I forget to bring it inside until after Thanksgiving, cleaned halfheartedly, periodically doused with wine, margaritas, and crab dip, and still look impossibly stunning. (I could also use a housekeeper who works for compliments and Diet Pepsi. If you know anyone.)

The “furniture” that I have out there now is 100 years old and so grimy that when one of the cushions somehow sailed over the ledge into the wetlands (my neighbor’s and my affectionate term for the unidentifiably marshy land of Oz behind our homes) I didn’t even bother to retrieve it. I looked down at it, thought “huh” and left it there, to think about what it had done, I guess. In the past few days it’s actually reappeared, but the fact remains that I need decent patio furniture.

First I was thinking of my dear friends Crate and Barrel, because yum. Honestly, I should get married just for the registry gifts. And, um, also to celebrate love and fidelity. Anyway, in between lusting after their veranda wine glasses and wire outdoor candleholders, I realized that they don’t actually seem to sell much patio furniture. But boy, will they accessorize it adorably and expensively. Sausalito striped picnic blanket, whee! Of course, I haven’t been on a picnic since… okay, well, I remember one that we had after my cousin Chris’s christening. He just turned 19.

A google search for “patio furniture” returned some Walmart options. So I tried googling “nice patio furniture” and got JC Penney and some listings on Craigslist. “Really fucking great patio furniture” got me a review of a place called the Spider House in Austin. Okay, apparently I’m not the efficient googler I once considered myself to be. So how about Target? Worth a look, right? And at least while I’m there I can pick up some body wash, batteries, and board games. (What, you have your weekend your way, I’ll have mine my way.)

And who would’ve thought? You sly sons of bitches, you’ve got gazebos! Deep seating and conversation sets! I don’t know what that last one is, but I do know that I want to sit deeply and converse! I nixed the bistro set because I’ve been on enough awkward dates at cafes and I really don’t need to simulate one at my own home. I feel like I could sit there with Dorie and suddenly I’d be nervously asking her how long she’s worked for her company and uh-huh, oh really, five years, how interesting, and how many siblings do you have?

Some of the patio stuff looked nice but then I realized that what I really liked was the sparkling pool or bright blue ocean or rolling hills of Tuscany that they conveniently placed the furniture right beside for photographs. Nice ploy, folks. I almost bought a bean bag chair filled with styrofoam peanuts because I thought it came packed alongside that weatherbeaten Italian villa.

Target has plenty of outdoorsy things that I don’t need but that I really think no one should have to go through life without: Tiki bars! Cast iron fire pits! Wall fountain with lion head! Okay, okay, too far, Red. Just stick to the furniture.

Wait a second… color-changing solar party path lights? I’m sorry, did someone order a DANCE PARTY straight up? Picture me, if you will, throwing my hands up in the air and waving them around like I just don’t care. Who needs a practical chaise lounge when you can have a backyard filled with tequila and pretty colors?

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11 Responses to “Patty O’Furniture”


  1. 1 Libragirl June 27, 2007 at 8:51 pm

    Do you live in my complex. I have a 4×4 slap o’cement, and a bbq. I want patio furniture. I got a screen door so I can leave the door open when I go outside and not get infested with bugs But I live next to wetlands (really) and they are mosquito infested so outside – not so much. But when I get furniture – it will be someplace the delivers and sets up.
    and then the pretty crate and barrel stuff comes.

  2. 2 emily June 28, 2007 at 12:05 am

    For the record, Spiderhouse in Austin DOES have totally fucking great patio furniture – those old-fashioned metal? aluminum? whatever love seats that also are on a glider-type swing. Awesomeness.

  3. 3 Red June 28, 2007 at 8:02 am

    Libra, well, if you do, grill later?

    Emily, wow, who knew?

  4. 4 janet June 28, 2007 at 9:18 am

    I would highly recommend World Market, and it seems like they are always have big sales. Sadly, I don’t have a patio myself, but if I did that is totally where I would go.

  5. 5 Killer June 28, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Someone is going to have to venture into the wetlands and recover the old cushion before the new furniture arrives. You don’t want them to see what kind of retirement plans they have to look forward to.

  6. 6 -R- June 28, 2007 at 11:05 am

    Well, obviously, no patio is complete without a lion fountain.

  7. 7 Married Jen/Single Jen June 28, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    Holy shit that was hilarious.

    SJ

  8. 8 Matt June 28, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    This is definitely your wittiest blog of late. Sadly, though, there is no resolution…at least not just yet. I propose that in the very near future you and I embark on a quest to dress your naked slab! I mean, er…patio! Also, have I mentioned my new place HAS a gazebo?

  9. 9 Shesabigstar June 28, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    My vote goes for the tiki bar!!

  10. 10 LC June 28, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    I second that vote, a tiki bar is a must have!

  11. 11 stefanie June 29, 2007 at 10:13 am

    I have gotten sucked into the same collection of backyard wonders on Target’s web site, before realizing (A. I have no patio and (B. I almost never entertain. So basically I’d just be serving up tiki drinks for myself, and lugging the bar out of the way every time I have to mow the lawn. It was a fun thing to think about for a few minutes anyway, though.


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