Bye old friend, you sat so well

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Inanimate objects, houses, cars, couches, do not have feelings. They don't care who owns them or if pass to new owners. On an intellectual level, I know this is true.

That's why my feelings about my old couch were so confusing.

"Here's an extra throw pillow," I said to the guy carrying it out the door. "Make sure you put it with the others."

As they put my old friend in the truck I thought about last week, when he – don't ask me how I know it's a he I just know – split a cushion. After years of service, life with us caught up with him.

"There is a little split place on the couch," I told my husband. "It's on the center cushion, see."

"Turn the cushion over," he said.

Sounded good. I flipped it and to my horror found two splits on that side.

"Oh no," I said. "This is awful."

As I surveyed the problem, my child watched with a grin.

"Well, that's not good," I said. "It is only a matter of time before she discovers there is stuffing under there."

"Yeah, one day the insides of the couch will be on the floor," my husband said.

That was when I knew my friend, the couch with the blue background and burgundy flowers, had to go.

I considered reupholstering, but it wasn't cost effective considering my pal was not young anymore.

"The frame is in great shape," I said. "It's such a little split."

"Yes, but think of how much you will have in an old couch," my husband said.

I knew he was right, so the shopping began. I picked up cushions, examined colors and sat on couches.

It was a process I went through when my couch, the one waiting at home while I searched for his replacement, joined our family.

I was about to give up when I spotted it sitting near the front of the store.

"I like this one," I said to sales person, a childhood friend of mine. "The colors are different, but I think it will work."

"Take a cushion home and try it," she said.

So I sneaked in the house and with my back to my faithful couch, tried the new cushion with my chairs.

"I think it could be the one," I told my husband. "Come with me tomorrow and see what you think."

"I'll trust your judgment," he said.

The next day, after a couple more trial sits, it was decided.

"We can deliver it Tuesday," my friend said filling out paperwork.

"I have to figure out what I'll do with my old couch," I said.

"We can haul it away for you," she said.

I wasn't ready to make that decision; I told her I'd let her know.

"I want someone who can use it to get this couch," I said to my husband, running my fingers over my flowered buddy's back. "It has lots of years left and it's worth something, too."

So, I called sisters, children, parents, asking if anyone needed a piece of much-loved furniture. I came up empty.

Then I advertised hoping to find a home that way. Nothing.

"It has to be gone by Tuesday," my husband said. "We don't have a place to store it. We agreed it would go."

By Tuesday morning, I admitted defeat. Not one person wanted my comfortable companion.

When hope was gone, it happened.

"How does she like the new couch?" my child's teacher asked as we arrived for summer class.

"We don't have it yet," I said. "It comes today."

Then I heard wonderful words.

"Mother wanted to know what you're doing with the old couch," she said. "She might want it."

Inside I screamed with joy. Her mother is an expert at upholstery, a perfect match for my couch.

"I'll call her and talk to her about it," I said, trying to tone down my excitement.

Sure enough, we made an agreement. We even worked it so she picked the couch up at the furniture store.

So Tuesday my chum was loaded into a truck and driven away.

I felt sad as I watched him go.

Furniture is furniture, but I think that couch and I bonded.

I'm adjusting to my new friend. She is bigger and fluffier, her colors more muted, but she's growing on me every time I walk through the living room.

I think I handled the loss of my couch. I know he has a good home and will be happy.

I'm fine now, but if my van ever dies, I won't survive.