Wednesday I began telling the history of couches in our family which leads up to an incident that I didn’t want to tell you about my husband. As a reminder, he has insisted that I should tell this story in the hopes that it will help even one person. Today I conclude the story from the point where I realized that things aren’t always as perfect as they seem.
One night about four months into owning this perfect couch, we had a gathering of about 18 people. Bob and I were sitting across from our couch when we noticed it bowing in the middle. The guys flipped it over and, lo and behold, the delivery men had not set the center leg on the thing. The frame had bent and was starting to crack. The furniture store was extremely apologetic and said we could replace it, but that couch was no longer being made so we had to pick out something else. Oh, the agony!
We picked out a couch that was definitely second fiddle to the other one, but we were limited in our choices so we settled. We told ourselves it would do. It didn’t. After less than a year the cushions were wearing and it hurt my back to sit on it. It was the joke of our family how I never sat on my couch. After about five years, my father-in-law had mercy on me and gave us a new couch of my own choosing for Christmas. This, of course, was a mixed blessing because it meant that we could replace our couch (Hooray!) but it also meant that we had to shop (Boo!). Bob and I spent a couple of weeks looking around and eventually agreed on a fabric covered Lazy Boy that reclined on each end. This brings us to present day.
Even though we no longer have children at home or pets, we had the couch treated for stain resistance. We didn’t want to take any chances.
Our new couch was delivered at 4pm on a lovely Tuesday afternoon. That night Bob and I each poured ourselves a glass of red wine and headed to the family room to watch TV. As he approached the couch, which is a light color (I know, what was I thinking), I felt fear rise up in my heart. “Are you going to sit on the couch with that?” I asked. “I just don’t want anything spilled on it the very first day.”
He gave me a reassuring look, placed his wine on the end table, and had a seat. I guess I should mention at this point that the biggest challenge in my marriage has been stain removal. That may surprise you as marriages are plagued by so many things – financial crisis, health issues, communication problems, child rearing problems – but those issues come and go while spilling things seems to last forever. Now let me state that Bob is a wonderful, caring man. He can fix just about anything and is a good provider, husband and father; but he does tend to spill…kind of a lot.
So this was the most unrelaxing glass of wine I ever had, but we got through it with no incident so I slept well thinking that my new couch had made it through its first night in our home without being spilled upon.
The next morning I smiled as I went out into the living room and saw my beautiful new couch sitting there. I happily headed to the kitchen and poured my coffee. With cup in hand I decided to live dangerously and sit on our new couch for my morning Bible reading. Now, I cannot over emphasize the importance of reading your Bible in the morning, especially when you sit on your new couch, run your hand across the new fabric, and realize that there is something spilled on it – something that looks suspiciously like red wine – something that is in the general vicinity of where your husband sat the night before with a glass of wine.
Remember, this is less than 24 hours since the Lazy Boy guys set it in our living room. I called Bob and cut right to the chase. “Honey, there appears to be something red on the couch cushion. Did you by any chance spill wine on it last night?”
He insisted that he did not.
“Well, something red is on the seat cushion,” I said. “Something that I guess we could not see last night but today in the light of day it is quite evident.”
He still insisted that he didn’t spill any wine, and then he got quiet – very quiet. “I know what it is,” he said. “It’s blood.” He hesitated and continued, “When I was sitting on the couch, being so careful not to spill my wine, I found myself picking at my toes. When I went to bed I noticed that one had been bleeding a little, but I didn’t think it got on anything. I’m so sorry.” He apologized over and over again. I know he felt terrible about it.
Here’s another little tidbit that might round this story out for you. My pet peeve is picking, especially toe picking. Hearing that click, click, click drives me crazy (and that’s not a long drive). So, with that in mind, you can only imagine that Bob really felt badly about the whole thing.
Thankfully, I was rather composed. I can only account that to God’s grace and how it’s hard to get angry at somebody while you are reading the Bible and while they feel so rotten about the incident anyway. I also will admit that I did mention to Bob at that point how I hate toe-picking and the grief it causes. I’m fairly certain that I may have said that more than once, but I didn’t get angry – not too angry anyway. I guess I was in disbelief.
So, I headed to the computer, registered my new couch’s stain removal agreement and immediately called the hotline. They talked me through how to remove the stain. It worked. It even worked the next time Bob got blood on the couch. And, I won’t even mention the day he accidentally kicked a mug of coffee that was on the floor and splashed the contents over the front of the couch (which I also was able to get out). It’s the baptism with fire, or in this case, red wine and coffee.
Now you can see why I didn’t want to tell you this story. But my sweet husband insisted that he was here to serve; and that truly if this story will help one person not pick his toes while sitting on the living room furniture and, therefore, make his wife crazy, it would be worth it. Now that’s a humble man. It’s also a humble man who has agreed that he won’t sit on the couch unless he’s wearing socks, though I don’t expect him to hold to that agreement. We do live in Florida, after all. It doesn’t really matter anyway; I am a pro at stain removal.