When we first moved into our house you could have easily played racquetball in our great room. There was a big, open space that encompassed a foyer and living room. From the front door, you could breeze through to the back slider as nary a piece of furniture would ensnare you.
I remember feeling like an absolute billionaire scion going to Rooms-to-go mere months later and placing our names on a credit application that would enrich us with a living room, dining room and bedroom set – replete with five years of payments so that we could afford it all. (Yes, I have since learned that Billionaire scion types do not in fact go to Rooms-to-Go for their furniture needs; life lessons come in all sizes). When the delivery truck arrived, I waved it in to our driveway by way of a damsel flagging a lover off to war – with unabashed emotion and arms in vigorous movements- that is a recurring theme for me.
Gone would be the Coleman pop-up chairs that had moments before inhabited the space – now a cast-off relic, resigned to the garage. There, in all of its tanned, bonded-leather glory stood three pieces; a couch, a loveseat and a chair, all reclining. They stood faithful watch for almost thirteen years…
I had crumpled in on them, in an exhausted heap as a new homeowner, then a newly minted wife and later a new mother. I had collapsed into their comfort as our faithful dog weathered a surgery and succumbed years later to illness… My mother had sat on that couch, as had my father and each of my four siblings – what else did I own that could boast that? Our babies – almost tweens now- had deftly maneuvered diapered bottoms off those cushions and waddled away from me.
How could I ever repay a wood frame and cotton backing, which had cradled me in sickness and defiance? Would I one day forget how “mine” each item had felt? This is my love letter to the furniture that served me well.
Thank you, couch, loveseat and recliner for serving as a standard for so many years. I have watched, with baited breath – presidential elections and weather forecasts and New Year’s Eve ball drops. I have eaten far too many bowls of ice cream and cartons of Chinese takeout from your perch – as well as countless salads enjoyed while watching “The Hunt for Red October” after working on the yard. I have cried endless tears into your trusty arm cushions as I talked on the phone or wrote the beginnings of countless novels. I have sat on your cushioned expanse as I received some of the most thrilling and some of the absolute worst news of my life.
Thank you, for welcoming the popcorn bowls and the Halloween candy bowls and everything in between that I laid across your leather, while I grew into myself. Thank you for the comfortable naps you provided everyone in this house – even when we said countless times that we were not actually tired and we would just be resting our eyes for a minute. Thank you for not actually swallowing up the lost wallet, or the lost pacifier or the lost remote. Thank you for looking good when I hosted book club, or a wedding shower or Christmas gathering.
Right this moment, our living room is bare – save for a black vinyl bean bag that bears my husband’s name – along with suffix. Tonight marks the end of an era. And I feel incredibly grateful that I got to go along for the ride.