If This Couch Could Talk

If This Couch Could Talk By Andrea Freedman

For the longest time I didn’t
want to spend the money on replacing
our couch. I didn’t want
to acknowledge the severity of the
tears in its cushions. As I watched
the fabric rip more and more, I was
reminded of the fabric of my life
over the past 15 years and found
the thought of replacing the couch
that had been so much a part of it
daunting. The holes in the cushions
only got bigger. Try as I might to
be diligent about flipping them, as
time went on, one side was no better
than the next. For as long as I
could, I rationalized that it was still
functional. Eventually, the rips in
its fabric bothered me to no end.
My husband and I talked many
times about getting a new couch
and now that we’ve finally done it, a
part of me is asking myself if it was
all worth it.
We went off to the furniture
store one Sunday with the intention
of just getting ideas but once we
had spent three hours there and my
husband said that he never wanted
to go shopping for a couch again,
I knew it was now or never. I had
to make a decision. If I wanted to
transform our living room from its
present shabby condition, I would
have no choice but to replace the
couch, even if it meant paying for
it.
The couch I have now was my
first purchase of real furniture after
I moved out on my own. Now this
new couch will be the first piece
of furniture that I have purchased
with my husband. Even the color
we chose for our fabric is something
I never would have imagined myself
choosing. Green! When it was first
suggested to me I was inwardly
horrified, nervous to move so far
out of my color comfort zone. Black
seemed cool back when I bought
my first couch; there was no other
choice. Perhaps my old couch was
a prop in the persona I was trying
to create of myself when I was a
single woman, as is the new green
shade a symbol of growth.
I have many fond memories on
my big old couch and I will be sad
to see it go. I remember taking the
day off work and waiting in eager
anticipation for its arrival over 15
years ago. I can still visualize the
scene when the delivery men had
left and I fluffed up the cushions
and rearranged my other furniture
in order to show off my new huge
beautiful black sectional in the best
possible light. I remember how excited
I was as I waited for my sister,
who was also my roommate at
the time, to get home from work so
she could see it. When she did, she
was just as excited as I was and it
was not long before it became The
Party Couch, each of its five seats
occupied on any given night. If that
couch could talk – well, let’s just say
I’m glad it can’t!
Over the years, that particular
possession with its soft pillows that
you could sink into has given me
comfort when I needed a place to
relax or take a nap and peace when
I was filled with inner turmoil and
needed to just sit down and collect
myself. It has provided a backdrop
to many romantic evenings,
a welcome meeting spot for socializing
and watching sporting events
and a makeshift bed if someone
needed to sleep over. My friends
and I have laughed and cried on
that couch and it was also the place
where I was sitting with my husband
when he first told me that he
wanted to marry me. I wonder if
its next owner will realize the history
behind it, the memories it has
been a part of. I wish that there was
someone I could give the couch to
that I knew would feel the same appreciation
for it as I always have.
As silly as such sentimentality may
sound, anyone who has ever grown
attached to an object, souvenir or
a piece of well-used, lived-in furniture,
knows the emotions that come
with letting go of something that is
so much a piece of one’s past.
When I mentioned to some
friends over dinner that our new
couch was not to be delivered for
another six weeks, they were appalled
that I would have to wait
that long. “It’s okay,” I told them,
“Imagine how excited I will be
when it finally arrives.” What I really
was thinking was that I would
still have another six weeks with my
old, cozy couch. I have time to try
to find someone who needs furniture
and who would be grateful to
have my old beloved couch, shredded
fabric and all. I will have time
to get used to the idea that once my
old couch goes out the door, I will
be saying goodbye to it forever.
Some of our friends have expressed
mixed feelings about what
it will be like once we get The New
Couch, wondering if my husband
and I will be as cavalier if someone
accidentally spills something on it,
as we once were with our faithful
black sofa that never showed any
dirt. Will I feel as comfortable if we
want to eat dinner or have a snack
in front of the TV or will I be too
afraid of dropping something and
making a stain? When people collapse
on the new couch with unnecessary
force, sending the cushions
into disarray, will I be cringing
inside, trying to set an example by
sitting down gingerly? Time will
tell. There is sure to be an adjustment
period but hopefully, once we
and the new couch get used to each
other, it will become part of many
happy, new memories.
It is time to take a deep breath
and move on. That is, it will be in
another six weeks. For now, I can
still sit on my favourite, worn spot
of my tried and trusted couch without
worrying that I am going to
make the holes worse, and wean
myself from it in the meantime. I
will look back nostalgically at all
the good times it has been a part of,
while looking forward to the future,
coming home from work and flopping
down on my new couch. Not
too hard of course. I don’t want to
wear it in too quickly.
The Epoch Times June 24, 2008 Life A7

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About andfreed

I am a Toronto based writer of articles, columns, essays and novels.

Posted on September 24, 2012, in See Some of My Published Articles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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