Thursday, July 12, 2007

The New Couch and Life's Simple (?) Pleasures

We got a new couch recently, and I have to say, of all the furniture one needs in a new place (apartment, house, whatever), outside of a bed, the couch is key. It is the focal point of the livingroom, the place where we watch the news, eat a snack, read, discuss the day's activities, and sometimes fall asleep before navigating to bed. We purchased it at a high quality consignment shop, as it was truly nicer then anything we had seen new. It is queen size, with a foldout bed for company, and a features a pleasant light blue background with a delicate floral pattern throughout. It also came with 2 matching side pillows, joy of joys. We didn't know the company or the model, all we knew was that sinking into the couch was like surrendering oneself to a great tuft of clouds.

The couch purchase was not without its stresses. For one thing, we were not entirely sure it would fit in the elevator of our building, not to mention the front door, or the apartment door itself. If it hadn't fit, there would have been a huge problem, for obvious reasons, not the least of which we were paying for delivery and would have had to pay to have it returned to the store. In the moments before the couch's arrival, (the delivery guys had called to say they were on the way) I found myself nervously munching on potato chips and tapping my fingers, as if I were waiting to find out if I'd won the lottery, or a trip to France, or a coupon for a free chicken at Trader Joe's. OK, maybe not the chicken. In any case, the movers arrived, and with some clever maneuvering managed to get the couch through the door, into the elevator, and into the apartment. Whew.

"See? Nothing to worry about," my husband said, wiping the sweat from his brow.
"Uh huh," I said, feeling my breathing begin to return to normal.
We sat on the couch, practicing different poses --sitting up like we were waiting for a bus, reclining as if in the midst of a Sunday New York Times marathon reading session, swinging our legs and not swinging our legs. We noted the part of the wall that was covered, and that we probably would not see again until we moved. Then we thought about what paintings we would hang above the couch, as we had discussed numerous times this chicken and egg scenario: You can't hang a painting until you know what couch you have...

"This was the fastest couch purchase I've ever made," I said, noting that it was 4 pm and we had only visited the couch store around 2:30. It took me longer then that just to get through my e-mail. I found myself reminiscing about past couches I had owned....futons that took atlas strength to fold and unfold, strange creations from Ikea that were painful to assemble and looked like new age space ships. There were couches I had shared with roommates, and my first official post-college couch from Conran's, a foldout with blue and white stripes that also served as my first introduction to the wonders of Scotchguard.

We celebrated the couch by turning on the tv and watching an old episode of "Bewitched." It was the one where uncle Arthur has something wrong with his powers and Dr. Bombay has to come to save the day. It was stupid and yes, trivial, but I suddenly realized that I missed "Bewitched," almost as much as I had missed my old couches and apartments, and then I realized how fast the time goes. With a snap of our fingers, it's here and gone again.

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