I won’t couch my words: Some days nothing is easy.
It was another rope-worthy day. Last day of school and a kid with lots of plans. Work day full of stuff I wasn’t able to finish yesterday. Migraine headache that wouldn’t quit. Laundry and a variety of errands to split with Basil. Class to teach.
And the new couch was coming.
This would be a couch for the den, which now also has new carpeting — an indigo-blue we had installed at the same time Catherine’s room was getting its wisteria-colored foundation.
The old couch was more than two decades old — a Jennifer convertible that was the focal point of my first apartment (a studio overlooking the Hudson in Yonkers, NY, that a former editor helped me choose). It had served us well, but over the years no amount of Woolite seemed to conquer the stains in its off-white-and-blue ticking stripes. It sagged; its arms were so worn, we could feel the nail heads; the mattress part of the sleeper was wafer-thin; and the whole thing made a strange boinging noise when someone sat on it.
In its heyday, it was a good couch — serving as both seating and bedstead in my little nest before being moved to our first apartment: a third-floor walk-up in downtown Greenwich. On it we each claimed our spots, plopping down for the nightly news, movies we rented, a little Jessica Fletcher guilty pleasure.
It made the move to our second apartment, a condo in Old Greenwich from which we narrowly escaped a creeping mold problem on the way to the house where we now live. There its uses widened to being a place to nurse Catherine; snuggle, play and read stories to Catherine.
Here on Halsey, it lived in the living room for a bit, first on one side of the room, then the other, before meeting its penultimate resting place in the den we created when Catherine moved her bedroom upstairs.
It kept good company with the various odd pieces of furniture we call ours. It is, to say the least, a motley crew:
A hand-me-down, hardly used living room couch that belonged to friends. A love seat that was my sister-in-law’s and is now shrouded in an olive-green slipcover. Great-grandma’s rocker.
The folding kitchen table that was also purchased for my studio apartment. My parents’ old buffet. Bookshelves Dad built.
The four-poster bed that was a wedding gift from my brother- and sister-in-law. Mom’s old telephone table, refinished celery green at some point along the way and now serving as a night table with the aid of a lace runner. Basil’s childhood dressers. Hand-me-down lamps and end tables.
Life being what it is, we’ve accumulated precious little of our own over the years: A coffee table. The TV stand. The dining table and chairs. Catherine’s Ikea bedroom set.
I swear sometimes I feel like I live in a dorm rather than a house, but it is what it is. No matter how hard we work, the paychecks are all spoken for before we reach the “home decorating” part of the to-do list.
As our lawyer likes to say: Easy go, easy go.
Maybe the couch will mark our step toward finally having grownup things. It’s a beauty. An Ethan Allen floor sample we got for a steal, it’s a sort of wheat color, comfy and regal-looking, with a queen an air mattress (hmm, I see several friends and relatives just began reading with renewed interest).
There was high excitement here in Vanech-ville at the prospect of getting a grown-up piece of furniture, but that thrill was briefly dashed when the two guys delivering it couldn’t get it through the den door. (Yes, yes, Basil swore he measured — that’s a story for another blog.)
All was not lost, however. They got it in through the back window.
Don’t ask. I couldn’t watch.
All I can tell you is I’m sitting on it while I write this post.
In fact, I’ll be sitting here all summer: I think it’s our vacation destination.
I remember the old couch. Many happy memories of nights spent sharing thoughts and dreams but ooh those spring coils were coming through…I can’t wait to try out the couch. Dying to see you. Maybe mid-July??
I knew you’d be my first customer! Drop by any time (except July 10-12)…