Warm Takes - Episode 4: Couches
After a long day of work, few things are more satisfying than plopping down on a comfy couch. Couches are often the largest piece of furniture we own and other than our beds, we spend the most time on our couches than any other piece of furniture (though after work from home started being more regular, our office chairs have significantly increased their usage). They come in different shapes, sizes, firmness, colours, and even names. Couch, chesterfield, lounge, sofa, or love seat to name a few. A couch can define the look of a room, help break up the monotony of a loft space, or add a splash of drama to an otherwise dull space.
We often cart our couches as we move around the world, looking for our place in it. Even though it often feels like buying a new couch would be less of a hassle. They are an anchor of familiarity in every new spot for once a couch has been placed, you know you, and it, are there to stay (At least until you break up with Suzie and decide that if you are ever going to get your life back together you really need to switch things up. So you take your couch, you flip it so it now faces the window instead of the tv and you languish in your renewed sense of purpose).
Couches are the living room workhorse. They offer a place to read, to eat, to watch television late into the night where they turn into a place to sleep. They are always available for a friend who needs to crash or a spouse who needs to understand why putting the toilet paper on with the pull on the bottom instead of over the top is modern day heresy. And for all of this our couches persist. Through scratches, spills, and various kinds of pee, our couch remains.
Even when we finally realize it's time to actually lift up the cushions to vacuum, our couch is there for us again, offering up a donation of lost change, toys, and peanut M&M's which still look good enough to eat.
A home can lack many things, but a couch is rarely one of them. Think about the last time you went more than a couple days without grabbing your spot on the couch and cuddling up with your partner, your pet, or your favourite snack. Speaking of couch spots, we all of them, don't we? Without discussion or question my partner, my kids, and I all know our spots on the couch and rarely do we deviate from them. Keep a couch long enough and it rewards you with the warm embrace of a spot that knows when it's rightful owner has come to sit.
To have a great couch is to have an experienced one. One that has been with you through it all. However, some people choose to deny their couches of their full potential. They wrap them up in plastic. In a perverse attempt to preserve their couch, they rob that couch, and the couch sitters of developing a relationship. A couch, protected from the accidental spill or scratch, is like a 70 year old who botox'd the wrinkles from their forehead and eliminated the signs of life. There is honour in aging as stories are written and told through the imperfections. So, to all the couch wrappers out there, let your couch be free. If you make a spill, just dab it with a towel and tell yourself you're definitely going to use the fabric cleaning vacuum you bought on Amazon and is still fully packaged in the closet. Let your couch live!
I hazard to say that a couch is underappreciated. I think most of us realize the role they play in our homes and our lives, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth spending a little time thinking about all the great memories a couch provides. I hope you are reading this while sitting on a couch right now, but if not, next time you plop down on your couch, give that fabric a little rub or that leather a little pat and think back on all the wonderful things you've done in your spot.