Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Couch

This is our couch.

Lovely, eh?

Long ago, when my husband and I had just two children and one cat . . . before our third child was born and we added two more cats, a dog, several guinea pigs, and a rabbit to the family . . . we bought an inexpensive couch and loveseat from Big Lots. My husband and I are currently debating whether or not we bought the matching chair, as well. I don't know . . . we can't seem to remember back that far. 

The furniture was new and wonderful and unmarred by baby excreta. It wasn't the highest quality, but comfortable enough. We knew it would be transition furniture, lasting only as long as our children were small, so we intentionally didn't want to spend too much money. In any event, we didn't have much to spend. We still don't.

Fast forward almost nine years, and the above photo is what we're left with. If indeed we had the chair, it was relegated to the curb long ago in the hopes some college kid might pick it up. The loveseat, in all its ragged glory, is downstairs serving as our son's gaming chair. He loves it.

In its lifetime, the couch has served as scratch post for the cats, trampoline for the kids, and bed for the dog and occasional sick human. The springs are shot, the zippers on the cushions will no longer zip after years of fort-building (and in fact the foam stuffing is spilling out). There is a hole in one of the back cushions that I once attempted to repair with strong thread and an upholstery needle, but one of the cats clawed it open and subsequently made it a habit to remove giant clouds of stuffing. Likewise, my kids came up with this awesome game called, "Let's See How Much Crap We Can Stuff in the Hole." Lots of fun, I assure you.

The couch has been used and abused in every way imaginable. It's been accidentally gouged with pencils, and then on purpose when the kids discovered how much fun that was. It's had food and drink spilled on it, and we've lost more Polly Pockets and hair ties in its deep, unreachable recesses. Sadly, no loose change. The faux leather has been picked, peeled, and chewed at, and more than once I've woken to the dog gagging up couch remnants in the middle of the night. "Repairs" have been made with clear duct tape and, when that wasn't available, blue painter's tape. The couch has been the source of deep embarrassment and the butt of many jokes, and while we attempted to replace it countless times over the years, something else always seemed to bump it down on the ever-growing list of priorities. 

But today is the day. The day my husband and I buy a new couch. Yesterday we browsed hundreds of couches - traveling first to a furniture outlet that was just depressing, then to a grown-up furniture store where the price of some of the pieces require you to take out a second mortgage on your house, then back to Big Lots. And while we knew we could get more bang for our buck at our tried-and-true Big Lots, in the end we decided to buy just one more expensive, but well-made piece. I am insanely excited . . . but also a little sad. Saying goodbye to the couch that has been a more integral part of our life than I realized is admittedly bittersweet. 

For months we've been prepping the kids about the "new couch" we would eventually get. It's fabric, which makes me nervous, but I didn't want to risk gouged, clawed, and peeling leather yet again. There will be no food and no drinks on the new couch, and absolutely NO gymnastics. If I end up covering it in plastic, don't be surprised. We're even debating about getting the dog her own dedicated chair. From Big Lots, of course. 

Here's a video taken when Bea was small and our couch was still young and innocent. 


  1. As someone who replaced a similar couch a few years ago, I do miss the worry-free couch care. That is, not worrying and not caring. We got microfiber -- great for stains etc.

    1. The piece we got came highly recommended for an active family with pets and kids. It's microfiber as well. And we didn't spend so much on it that I'll be paranoid. Well, perhaps I'll be paranoid for just a little while . . .

  2. And also ... holy freaking cute, Bridget.

  3. Cute video. Your daughter was precious! (I am sure she still is.)


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