Beware of the Couch – It Will Mess With You

I like to be open with you, but I have struggled with sharing the following story because it doesn’t put my husband in all too great a light.  He asked me if I was going to blog about this incident, but I told him I just couldn’t.  His humble answer, “If this will help just one person, it will be worth it.  Tell the story.”  So, with my dear husband’s permission, here goes.

It was with a mixed bag of emotions that I recently found myself waiting nervously for the delivery of our new couch.  Every time I shop for furniture I am filled with a sense of doubt over if I have chosen the right thing, and this never shows up as clearly as when a new couch is on the horizon.  Let me take you back to the history of the couch in our family.

Bob and I married in 1975 and like most people who had lived at home until they were married and also married young, we were on the poor side.  Our tiny unfurnished apartment loomed large with empty space.  Thanks to our parents, though, we did furnish it.  It was, shall we say, eclectic.  The focal points were his mom’s old sewing table, which we used for dining, and the couch from my parent’s basement.  This couch had served our family well – so well that the back legs had long given out and were replaced by Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, which Mom and Dad lovingly included with the couch.

I can only imagine how happy my parents were to unload, I mean give this to us; and we were truly happy to receive it.  After two years we had saved enough money for a replacement.  We chose one that had legs on all four corners – we were big time.  Along with the couch, we purchased a matching love seat.

At that point in our life I worked for the Social Security Administration and Bob was going to school full-time.  I had contracted baby fever, a condition that carried the possibility of slowing down Bob’s exit from school with a diploma in hand, so we devised a plan to put a Band-Aid on my condition.  We got a puppy.

Blondie was adorable – a little ball of golden fur.  We loved having her and hated leaving her each day as we went to work and school.  When we left the house we blocked her in the kitchen with a few chew toys and her bed and went about our day.  Typically, Bob returned home before I did and I would call him from work when I was getting ready to leave (this was before the days of cell phones, of course).  That particular day Bob seemed as normal as ever with not even a hint of trouble in his voice.

If you look closely you can see the corner is chewed up.  Blondie is asking if I forgive her yet.

If you look closely you can see the corner is chewed up. Blondie is asking if I forgive her yet.

When I walked into our apartment, Bob was bent over the sewing machine with a worried look in his eye.  Cute little Blondie had escaped from the kitchen and chewed every cushion, as well as the frame, of our new couch.  I think Bob thought I was going to kill her.  He may have been right.  He was finishing up mending the last cushion as I came in the door.  I wish I could tell you it looked as good as new, but it didn’t.  The best I can say is – it wasn’t awful.

It took me a while to get over this.  I reminded myself that it was just furniture, things, stuff.  Stuff that we had saved for two years to buy.  Stuff that still had the aroma of new furniture.  Stuff that I wanted to bludgeon my dog with.   You know, stuff.

Six years later we were moving into a new house and decided it was time to replace the couch.  No more bite marks!  Hooray.  We bought a great couch and matching recliner with durable fabric that would function well with our growing family (two kids, a cat and, amazingly, the same dog).  The dog hadn’t chewed anything for years so I was no longer worried about her.

In a matter of a few years we had grown by two more kids and another couple of cats.  The cats made their mark on our furniture this time.  They looked at our recliner as a scratching post so I traded chew marks for shredded fabric along the back of our chair.  By this time, it didn’t bother me as much.  I was getting used to things being torn, stained and even puked on.  I was becoming an expert at stain removal, which was going to serve my husband well in the future and keep me from strangling him.

Tune in tomorrow when I will resume the story that I didn’t want to tell you about my husband.

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  1. Okay, this makes me have to tell my own couch story. When we were newly married, we didn’t have much furniture either, and a friend of my wife said we could have her couch. She had a gleam in her eye, and when it was delivered by her husband, I understood why. It was as big as a brown aircraft carrier with only four of the six legs it was supposed to have. It was threadbare. I almost refused it, but didn’t because the fellow delivering it had a tear in his eye as he looked at it. He could barely speak before he left in a rush.

    Confused, I sank into the couch and stretched out to test it. My wife woke me up when she came home… hours later. I hadn’t even remembered falling asleep. This giant thing was the most amazing napping couch ever! We dragged it across the country with us, even though it took up half the room of our first apartment here in Florida. We dragged it up to Georgia when we moved three years later. I left stuff behind so we could take that.

    Then it was time to move back to Seattle. Our truck was smaller. We had two kids. We were moving in with my in-laws. I had to wake my best friend from his nap on my couch (he came over often to sleep) and ask if he’d keep it. I thought he’d cry. I think I did when we left it his house. I never said goodbye to my friend because he was zonked when we left.

    No other couch would ever match that couch. Even my wife loved it (largely because she could nap on it with both babies and not worry about rolling off).

    Truly, it was a great, great couch. Tragically, my friend passed away when we were in Seattle. His coffin is a bit bigger than an aircraft carrier….

  2. What a great story! I’ve got one, too, for another time, though! Thanks for sharing!

  3. That’s hysterical! I bet almost everyone has a “my first couch” story. Here’s ours. Kendall and I bought what we thought was a great couch and matching chair for a great deal that was too good to be true. Well, you know what they say about that. It was a gigantic brown overstuffed couch that was so comfy when we settled into our first apartment as newlyweds. Our parents were so proud of us! We actually had real furniture – no lawn chairs or entertainment centers made out of cinder blocks and two-by-fours! Sadly our love affair with the new furniture didn’t last long. The springs practically fell out so when you sat down you needed someone to pull you out! You know that funny commercial where guests sit on a couch while the hostess walks into the kitchen for something and the poor unsuspecting guy literally falls into the dark recesses of the couch and is eating leftover crumbs? Well, that was what our couch was really like! My parents hated it and so did we. Eventually Kendall cut a long board to put under the cushions.and we lived on that thing for another three years. Maybe that’s where all our miss-matched socks went!

  4. chris bainbridge

     /  April 3, 2013

    Mom had a sewing table? You must have been referring to Bob’s Mom. . . yeah?

    • Thanks for the comment. I just found it in my spam (sorry about that). I checked out your blog and really enjoyed the one about the special plate. I will admit your colorful heading made my eyes uncomfortable, but I was able to scroll down and get to the great content. I subscribed, too. I love your blog name.


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