Today has been another Saturday completing tasks necessary to sell my house. If I were an overly analytical person, I would question how long it is taking to even get my house on the market; one might think that Matt is not chomping at the bit to have us living in one house. Yet, we are slowly making progress.
After painting the trim work in the bathroom earlier today, I took a break on the couch to watch a movie. I hate this couch. I have told Matt on many occasions that we can leave this couch behind when we move to his house. You can’t take a good nap on it, two people can not lie down on it very comfortably, it is not somewhere you can sit for a few hours and watch TV without getting a crick in your neck or, in my case, a headache.
Not so my favorite couch. My favorite couch has been a part of my life since I was born. It is a traditional couch, three cushions, low arms, with a skirt. My parents bought it and a matching chair and ottoman for their living room before I was born. I remember what it originally looked like: white (or cream) with large yellow flowers (it was the seventies). When they built our house in the mountains, the living room had beautiful yellow carpet to highlight the yellow flowers on the upholstery.
About the time that I was eleven or twelve, we got new furniture for the living room. We were all very excited as new furniture was very unusual in our house since money was so tight. Mama was “green” before it was a concept and had our yellow floral furniture reupholstered to use in the den, recycling it for continued use. Now, instead of yellow flowers, it was much more conservative, upholstered in a dark blue fabric, that was so soft to the touch, but still durable.
Now in the den, the couch that once was used so rarely (as living room furniture often is) was used daily. Suddenly, we discovered what a gem of a couch we owned. It was long–Tom could stretch out comfortably on it, without feeling cramped. It was wide–Ashleigh and I could both lie on it, heads at opposite ends, without deteriorating into the inevitable “She’s touching me!” arguments. It was comfortable–the back of the couch was supportive, without being too soft or too firm. We loved our couch!
As the years passed, the couch became so much more than a place to sit. Ashleigh spent a lot of time there while healing from surgery to her knee. We both spent time on that couch, sitting next to this or that young man, trying to be cool in front of Mama, watching a movie on the VCR. Saturday nights for years were spent on that couch watching “Saturday Night Live” with our cousins, JJ, Wendi and Matt, as well as friends. After the prom, everyone came back to our house, and we all gathered in the den (20 to 30 of us), watching movies, eating, and laughing all night long. One of my favorite pictures from this era is a picture of me and my prom date sitting on that couch looking at our year book. Some of my most in-depth and important talks with my mama took place on that couch, with my head in her lap.
Not all of my memories of MFC (my favorite couch) are happy ones. When my first real boyfriend broke up with me during my junior year of high school, I spent way too many hours on the couch crying, in what my mama dubbed “the fetal position.” I would assume that position many more times in the future as, during my 20s, I dated someone for 10 years (my Starter Relationship). As we broke up time and again over those 10 years, MFC became my refuge. I could lose myself in a movie, in a book, or simply in thought. Or I would curl into the fetal position.
I know that MFC is also my mama’s favorite couch, as well. She spent a lot of time on that couch, never in the fetal position, but working through her own dreams, ideas, issues, etc. And sometimes she was just working. She worked from home her last several years of outside employment, and MFC was her favorite place from which to work. She tells a story of working all day on the couch, and at 5 p.m., she put away her work and began to clean house. As she vacuumed, she lifted the cushions on MFC, and as she lifted the cushion on which she had been sitting all day, a squirrel flew out and ran out of the room. She had been sitting on the squirrel all day and did not know it. I am quite sure that they don’t make couches like that anymore.
When I got my first apartment, Mama sent MFC with me. When I bought my first house, it came with me. As I struggled with depression as an adult, there were times when MFC continued to support me as I found that there were days that the only place that I found relief was on that couch.
A couple of years ago, I was finally able and ready to pass MFC on to someone else. Even though the couch was at the time nearly 38 years old, structurally, it was still better built than most brand new couches. Mama and my stepfather, Jim, came and picked up the couch to deliver to one of my cousins. As we loaded it, Mama and I commeted on the fact that it was the best couch ever.
In retrospect, I can see that my timing in letting the couch go coincides with the time in my life where I became the most mentally healthy that I had ever been. So, maybe it is good that I don’t have MFC; I don’t have the option to ball into the fetal position anymore. I have learned to deal with my stresses and problems in much more effective ways. I still miss MFC, though.
And I still hate the couch I have now.