Natalie’s Prompt: Tell me what you thought was ugly. Be detailed. Go. Ten minutes.
We bought the couches on the payment plan in 1992 while living in Fargo, North Dakota.
We’d just gotten hitched the previous summer and lived in a bantam one-bedroom apartment downtown at Roberts Street Place. Everything we owned was second-hand including a tattered old couch with a splintered wooden frame and a two-inch foam pad covered with a bed sheet for a cushion. It had been my bedroom during my first stint in college, situated below a wide picture window looking out toward a grove of red maples and Glenn’s sand volleyball court. I recovered from a minor surgical “procedure” sprawled on that couch. I’d watched the entire Star Wars trilogy (on VHS) for the first time curled up with a wool blanket on that couch. But it was my bachelor couch, and it had to go.
So we went shopping, our then-perfect credit score in hand, and found the perfect set. For around $800, we netted a couch, love seat, two faux oak end tables, a coffee table, and two lamps with robin’s-egg-blue bases and cream colored shades. We had no room left to romp once the guys with the truck hauled it all in.
Looking through our scrapbooks this morning, those couches are in nearly every picture. There they are in a picture of the old Berean gang studying the Bible and eating Doritos. There they are when we brought each of our four kids home from the hospital – mom proud but exhausted and the kid so small and snuggled. Fifteen Christmases.
Now they are sitting on our porch. Relocated after the new set arrived a couple months ago.
A friend tells me I’m now officially a redneck.
Their stuffing is gone. There are gaping holes in the arms where the frame has been pushed through after years as a headrest. A footrest. A jump-hug launching pad. After late nights lost in the throes of romance with the subtle glow of candlelight and the scent of vanilla wafting from the tealights melting on the end table. The bees are building a hive in the loveseat, or so my daughter says. But Beefcake does his homework out there now that the weather’s turned all sunny and dry. And no one else wants them. Not even for free.
Yeah, they’re ugly. And beautiful. And available . . .