It's out of my life

A couch finally wears out its welcome

People can get attached to the weirdest shit.


Articles of clothing.

Freakin' cookware.


I know folks who've lugged the same desk or battered sofa or papasan chair from dorm to apartment to house since college. Not because they need it and can't afford to buy another one, but because they love it. Like it's a pet. So the mattresses and coffee tables and armoires come and go over the years, and that one piece of furniture that can't be parted with gets older and uglier and more uncomfortable. And no amount of complaining from a significant other can spur its permanent retirement — that only happens when it literally falls apart under an ass or a heavy glass or a computer.

I have certainly been prey to the charms of various inanimate objects over the years. I never want to get rid of my bashed-up green Jeep or the Air-Force-issue combat boots my Pop handed down to me, or my wok. But I've never really had it bad for any particular furniture item. In fact, it usually works the other way for me when it comes to furniture — I generally can't wait to get rid of it and move on to something cooler or cushier.

And there's one piece I actively loathe. It can't be out of my life too soon, and next Tuesday, joy of joys, it will.

Becks' couch was probably pretty cool for a pretty long time. It's a pale pink brocaded two-piece from the '60s or possibly even the '50s, a time traveler from before the word "sectional" was used to describe such a thing. Long and low-slung with the kind of wide seat that forces you to either perch on its edge or sink deeply against its back cushions, it inspires visions of lively cocktail-party conversation among expertly put-together people who wouldn't dream of heading over to the Wilson's for a martini or three without first donning their best suits and dresses.

Yeah, it was probably quite the butt-magnet back in its day.

But it was also probably pretty much on its last legs when Becks saw it at Tampa retro/hip/kitsch boutique Squaresville three or four years ago. By the time I first sat on the damn thing during an afterparty a couple of years back, it was in the kind of shape that makes you look around the room in search of somewhere — anywhere — else to park yourself. And it's only gotten worse since Milo The White Trash Terrordog and I moved in and began accelerating its decomposition on a regular basis.

The springs in the sofa's left half are so sprung that when sat upon, they make the same sound as the trampoline when it comes down repeatedly on Wile E. Coyote's head in that one Road Runner cartoon. Its arms have been completely shredded by the big ol' black cat, Bagheera, who began acting out when the little dog, Princess Sophie, joined the household. The back of the right half is permanently cratered from years of pets lying up there and watching neighbors, other pets and (usually) nothing at all through the window.

If you lie down on it without a pillow, you start to notice after a while that the couch smells very faintly of dozens of bad things; all of the Febreze in the world can't completely undo decades' worth of spilled drinks and food and cigarette smoke and bodies. Worst of all, its two halves seem to behave like the like poles of two magnets, slowly but inexorably repelling one another so that after a half an hour or so of lounging, there's an incredibly uncomfortable gap between them. But it obviously looked good once, and it matched the decor, so we were stuck with it until Becks could enact her plan to redo the entire living room.

About two weeks before we started painting, a little roughhousing with Milo caused the right front leg to burst through the wooden slat to which it was attached.

The bad news: It made an already irritating situation well nigh unbearable, and now we're getting that really clean, classy look that comes with using books to prop up one end of a couch.

The good news: It forced us to move up our redecorating schedule.

The new paint, armoire and wall unit are now in place. (Neither of us shed a tear when the old stuff was unceremoniously moved out.) The new couch was supposed to be in place on Thursday, but thanks to an ill-informed and possibly now-unemployed furniture salesman named Dan, we have to wait until the model we wanted — and were told was in stock, naturally — is shipped in from that enigmatic location known only as "the warehouse."

At least we found a new coffee table to go with it; a helpful saleswoman will be getting the commission for that, on top of what is no longer going into Dan's paycheck. And I know on exactly what day I will no longer, and never again, have to try to get comfy on that goddamned pink piece of junk.


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