For a long time, I didn’t have a lot of furniture. I’d either been sailing or traveling the globe for work and I just didn’t see the need for that much stuff. Until my Dad came to visit and he bogarted the one comfy chair in the living room his whole visit, claiming it was the only decent seat in the house. And as I looked around at the wooden chairs in the kitchen and the futon sofa in the living room, I realized he was right. Slightly embarrassed, I went off to the furniture store, determined to get a real couch, one an actual adult would be happy to have friends visit and sit on.
My friend Bob warned me that New England houses, such as the one I was renting at the time, were hell to get big pieces of furniture into, so I’d best measure my front entrance carefully. Turns out Bob was right about that: the small front door combined with a 90-degree turn into the living room meant, in the estimation of the furniture sales guy, that I could fit a 72-inch long sofa through the opening, and not one inch bigger.
That left one sofa in the store that met my very specific requirement. Good thing I liked the design. I ordered white fabric, because back then I thought it would match everything (which was true) but now I realize white shows every little dropped morsel or smidgen of dirt. Life lesson: Never get a white couch.
Three weeks later, the couch delivery guys are on the front porch and we all realize at exactly the same time — about two seconds after they start shoving it through the door and that 90-degree angle — that the protective wrapping designed to ensure the white fabric stays white at least till it gets in the house added about 4 inches to the length, making the whole package about, oh, 4 inches too big to fit through the opening. So they backed it out, and we all unwrapped the couch on the porch, then carefully maneuvered it through the opening and into the living room. Yay. My first real “I must be an adult now” couch!
Since then, that couch has moved cross-country to Santa Cruz, and up the coast to Seattle. Three states, six domiciles, and 18 years. Still looks pretty good, doesn’t it? As my mother used to say, it’s got good bones. This old couch seen me through naps cat-nap and long, cheering on the footballers (both European and US), recovery from surgery, and countless book-reading sessions over the years. Last Thanksgiving, my great-nephew set up residence on it as he shopped the lightning deals on Amazon all Thanksgiving Day.
But now, old friend, it’s time for you to go. This little apartment I moved to a few months ago simply isn’t big enough for you. I’ve finally downsized to the point where a couch is too much furniture. Tomorrow, the guys are coming to carry you downstairs to a truck where you’ll find a new home with people who really use a good couch.
In the grand scheme of furniture downsizing that I’ve been doing, this isn’t that much: one couch. But it’s my couch. The one that I bought to show I was a grown-up, with a real couch instead of a futon couch a college student might have. The couch that’s been with me for 18 years. If it was a kid, it would be legal by now in some states. But it’s not a kid. It’s just a couch. A really good couch.