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.
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.