“Pivot” : A Story of Love, Emotional Attachment, and a Couch


This is the story of how most of our family lost all perspective because we loved a couch too much. Read on for sentimentality and ridiculosity because we are sentimental and ridiculous.

In this ever unfolding journey of making a home together, Peter and I are making small changes here and there to claim this life as ours. Not his-plus-hers, but altogether ours. The former involves tasks like combining the contents of the medicine cabinet to hold what we both need; the latter is more buying a new medicine cabinet so it’s mutually new to both of us. It’s a subtle difference, but it matters. When you’ve shared a proverbial bathroom with somebody else before, you look for ways to make this bathroom experience new and different.

That’s maybe too much about bathroom preferences, but like I said, I am sentimental and ridiculous.

Anyway, we budgeted and saved, and this week bought new living room furniture. We chose a very welcoming couch, a very masculine and sprawling recliner for the man in my life, and a matching chair that’s oversized enough to seat two people (who would really have to like each other or commit to certain intimacies) but small enough that it could be called Mom’s chair (since oddly I don’t like big things and resist possessing them).

It was all very fun and exciting, especially because we intended to move our beloved Best Couch downstairs to the family room.

Please indulge me just a moment to wax eloquent on The Best Couch.

fullsizerender-8 It is a sectional that’s 13 feet wide and 8 feet deep. It’s a monstrosity. I bought it when the boys and I moved into this house together, and there are more memories hidden in that couch then the money between the cushions could buy. We’ve read years of bedtime stories on The Best Couch. I’ve watched entire seasons of Gilmore Girls. It could actually be called The Best Napping Couch. (I could write odes about the naps this couch allows.) We all three slept end-to-end night after night for the many weeks of Tucker’s Broken Foot Summer, when he couldn’t get up the stairs. It’s an important, anchoring piece of our history. I could only agree to new living room furniture, albeit in the name of Ours, since I knew The Best Couch was moving downstairs.

So, we donated all of the furniture in the family room to make room for The Best Couch. And when I say ‘donated all the furniture in the family room,’ I mean that we rented a Uhaul to take a veritable plethora of items to Goodwill: a sleeper sofa (that was already used when Robb and I bought it 17 years ago, when it was the only piece of furniture we could afford), an oversized chair that at one time fit each of my toddlers on either side of me, and a matching couch that was also pretty famously good for napping.

(Quality naps and somewhat-oversized are a theme in my furniture choices, I see now.)

With the basement family room now cleared for entry, we took apart The Best Couch into its three sections and carried it down the stairs. Except it wouldn’t go. Like, not at all. We took the feet off the couch. We took the doors off the frames. We made some serious dents in the walls with our sheer force and determination. I wasn’t giving up without a fight.

We were Ross and Rachel in the stairwell. (With Tucker playing Chandler.) We pivoted like crazy, you guys. I even casually suggested that maybe Peter could cut it in half. I pretended I was joking, but let’s just say if he had gone to the garage for the circular saw, I wouldn’t have stopped him.

It was a no-go. Sadness fell over me like a heavy blanket. I mean, irrationally so. My children cried. One of them even needed to say good night to the couch before he went to bed, petting it and rubbing his face on the ottoman. Same child got up this morning to sit among the cushions and mourn.

(I’m not kidding. Not even a little.)

I am a reasonable adult trying hard to keep this in perspective.  But I do sort of wish I hadn’t rented that U-haul and thereby relieved myself of all backup plans for even second-choice furniture in the family room. It’s slim pickins’ for seating around here.

Most ridiculously, I accidentally posted the social media snippet of this with the hashtag #thirdworldproblems, which was a ridiculous mistake that made it sound like I think this is an actual problem. I do understand that it’s not. I’ve had problems a couch wouldn’t fix.


p. s. Peter graciously thinks we are absurd.  He has never seen anything quite like this mourning period.

p. p. s. In other news, our dog Sam likes the new digs.fullsizerender-9

Tricia Lott Williford

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