I came across this article on NPR today pondering the meaning of the American sofa. It got me thinking about our couch, and inspired me to reflect on our living room centerpiece.
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Our couch. A beloved rust red sectional that pulls our living room together into a comfortable, accommodating space for friends to gather. Game nights, movie nights, people spending the night…our couch has seen it all. It has been played on my countless kids. Forts, mazes, art studios, and towers made from it’s cushions. Right now it is probably the primer nap location for at least one of our two kitties.
You see, our couch has had a long life. When my parents were first married, they had literally no furniture. They ate dinner on the living room floor picnic style for over a year in their first house in Oklahoma. Eventually they bought the coveted couch: a beautiful 6 piece sectional with kick-out foot rests on each end. The couch is a true sectional…as in each individual seat can move independently creating infinite combinations of long or short couches. The couch moved with us to Louisiana, and then on to Pensylvania where relatives would sit on it to admire my new baby brother. It was the center of Christmases and Thanksgivings, a place for friends and family to gather. It moved with us to Ohio, and then was temporarily in Missouri while it’s family lived in pre-furnished housing in St. Croix (USVI). We were reunited 5 years later in our new home in Washington. The couch had a great life for a few years, observing more Christmases and game nights, swim team parties and Boy Scout troop meetings. And of course stacks and stacks of laundry.
At some point, the old couch was banished to the basement in favor of a new loveseat and sofa…microfiber…which I am sure was a foreign fabric to it since microfiber was not even around when our red sectional was constructed. Our couch lived in the basement all through my years of college. Collecting dust and piles of items discarded to the basement. It rarely saw a person with enough time to sit on it.
And then one day, our couch was loaded up and hauled on a new adventure. The little girl who used to do flips and rolls off the ends had graduated, and was moving into her very own apartment…and needed a couch.
The red couch lived on Alki Beach with a view of the Puget Sound. Then I moved it even closer to the water on Beach Drive where I would recover from marathon training sessions curled up on it’s well loved fabric; my feet kicked out on the footrests. The couch became a hideout runway for my cat, Alki, and the perfect place for me to fold laundry in my tiny apartment by the sea. The couch seemed to approve of Matt when he would come over to watch movies, and served as a comfy place for us to curl up to watch winter storms roll in.
And then, we moved it again. This time the couch was stacked section upon section in a U-Haul to be moved up the hill to a small old house in West Seattle. Then it became our couch. Matt and I set it up, orchestrating the living room to accommodate this red sectional. It just fit…perfectly, almost as if to say “See, I am still the right couch for you! Keep me in the family!”
Our couch is the first thing we see when we walk in the door. It collects coats, bags, and laundry, provides seating for late night games of Settlers, and sometimes even later nights of movie marathons. Our couch is sometimes our dining room, sometimes where one of us will curl up for a nap, an office, an entertainment center, and always a relaxing retreat.
Thank you for almost 30 years of service sweet couch. You are a member of our family.