And then there was Couch

For a long time, there was no couch.

And they did sit on the floor. And their bottoms did get sore.

Then I found the red chaise. And by “found” I mean that I saw a crazy person set it out by a dumpster at the apartment complex, waited patiently for them to leave and swooped in with my car. Something to sit upon! And it was red!  With the car seats down, it wedged perfectly into the back. As far as I’m concerned, it was destiny.

So now at least I had a place to sit. Or, for two children to sit together. Or, if staggered properly, two adults, neither of whom would be comfortable. But anyone who came to visit was still stuck on the floor. Not very hospitable. Some of us minded more than others. 

Being poor, I trolled craigslist and eventually found a winning couch for $45 on the other side of town. Strapped it to the car with the help of ropes and determination, drove home as fast as I dared in the pouring rain and hauled it into the house. The living room should have now been complete.

No pictures survive of this first couch because it was a retina-burning visual offense. Green and gold do not go together. And black stripes don’t make the green and gold problem better. Plus, instead of a proper back, it had move-able pillows. Black, gold and green pillows. Nook enjoyed relocating these pillows while I was gone and evidently rolled around on them in order to deposit lots of difficult-to-remove hair. Whenever I came home, I had to put the couch back together and clean unreal amounts of dog hair off. It also had been well loved, when sitting on it, one sank to the floor and had to flop around like a grounded walrus to climb back out.

I h-a-t-e-d it.

What would be dreamy, I thought, what would really be great is if I had a leather couch. One that could be de-dogged with a wet paper towel. One that looked like someone with aesthetic sensitivity had designed it. One featuring just one color and maybe even (reaching for the stars here) with a solid back and difficult to move seat-cushions.

Right around Christmas, later that year, a miracle happened. A craigslist search for “leather couch” returned the following results:

12.11 Leather couch $700

12.12 Leather couch $600

12.15 Leather couch $500

12.17 Leather couch $400

12.18 Leather couch $200

Joy. It was a thing of absolute beauty. Solid color and the bottom seats were held in place by thick swabs of velcro. Enough to make one’s heart swell with overwhelming emotion. I didn’t have $200 at the time, but I did have $125. In the spirit of Christmas (he actually said that), the guy sold it to me!

So then there was the problem of getting this very large sofa from his house to my house. The old sofa was a loveseat and hadn’t really fit in the car. This was a proper, grown-up sofa. There was no way it was fitting in the car. But it might fit on the car. And stay on, with the assistance of lots of rope.

At the time, there was a guy who looked like he’d been plucked off a beach in Miami living near me. He was a muscle-bound no-neck poster-boy who always seemed to either be coming from or going to the gym. I caught him that evening going to the gym and asked him if he had rope or those bungee cord things.

No he didn’t, he replied, raising both eyebrows. Why would I want such things.

So I explained and he mentioned that while he didn’t have rope, he did have a truck.

I knew he had a truck. The entire neighborhood knew that he had a truck. His truck was less of a truck and more of a land-barge. It was an all-black, with blacked-out windows, raised up higher than necessary beast that roared and had the exhaust sticking straight up out of the back like a steamship. My nephew thought it was God’s gift.

I thought it was slightly ridiculous, but was glad that my neighbor had found happiness with it. I grew an instant appreciation for it when he offered to help me move the sofa – but he had to go to the gym first.

About two hours later, he and his friend knocked on my door all full of testosterone and ready to go. As big-scary truck guy was basically a stranger, I’d also brought a friend who was small, but fiesty and off we went to pick up The Couch.

The man who sold me the Couch had purchased it before moving, hauled it up to the third floor of his apartment building and then couldn’t fit it through his front door. His landlords didn’t appreciate the hallway being turned into a lobby and gave him 2 weeks to make it gone. Sad, really, but…yay! My friend and I supervised as the two body-builders wrangled the sofa down three flights of stairs, out to the truck and then monitored again while they wrestled it into my apartment.

It didn’t fit through my front door, either.

Fortunately, I’m on the terrace level and the patio door is much wider! You can see straight into the living room from the patio and muscle-man wondered aloud from underneath the sofa why I’d just gotten a sofa when I already had a sofa.

Because this one is better.

That one’s just the same.

No, that one is clearly inferior and I hate it.

…I’ll take it!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how I ended up with the most gorgeous sofa of all time and also got rid of the ugliest sofa of all time.

We still sit on the floor a lot, though.

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2 thoughts on “And then there was Couch

  1. Mom Sonke says:

    Having muscle-men neighbors with a land-barge truck should be among the top five criteria when searching for a new apartment. And I’d be glad to pay them after having moved Jen a GAZILLION TIMES!!!!! But of course she’s worth it. Because she’s going to be a famous author and screenwriter and has promised me an English cottage with her earnings. So I’m still game and a major champion of every new adventure.

    FYI: You CAN clean leather couches off with a quick towel. But Jen’s frequently is cleaned by my pants sitting on her couch… always come home with lots of doggie hair to remind me of my FOUR grand-dogs. It’s a dog’s life!

  2. Mom Sonke says:

    Oh – and that red chaise lounge is the ultimate in retro cool modernism along with two yellow barrel chairs. The brown Frankenstein couch on the other hand is um… serviceable and evidently tastes good.

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