Friday, December 15, 2006

I was in Macy's Herald Square last week because it's a great place to go when your feet hurt. The express elevators are hidden behind the Broadway & 35th Street entrance — take them all the way to the ninth floor and turn right when the doors open, by the post office and watch repair. That's where the furniture department is: huge, comfy chairs and tables and empty cardboard boxes painted to look like television sets. The whole department is kind of set up like those living room sets from The Price is Right, and it's not explicit, but there's plenty of cues inviting you to make yourself at home.

My first time up in the furniture department, I felt like I was sampling all the different flavors in the ice cream store and then walking out without buying anything. I sort of hid, curled up in a little shy ball, doodling on my Palm Pilot hoping that no one would kick me out. And none of the salespeople batted an eyelash, so I've been back several times. After the Palm Pilot, I thought everyone might be cool with me resting, eyes closed, in a big old armchair... and then the next time, I took my shoes off. Last week, I got out my laptop and spread some work out on the coffee table there and all I got from the salespeople was one guy asking me how I liked the new MacBook.

So now I'm curious, just how much can I make myself at home in the Macy's furniture department? Like, can I sleep on the couch? Change my shirt? Invite friends and throw a party?