I have never bought a couch


‘Does this mean that I am no longer The Grownup?’

It’s bad enough when your Child ends up being six inches taller than you. (Stern maternal finger-wagging somehow loses its force when directed upward.) But then said Child ends up making way more money than you. (Granted, I am no longer employed. So there’s that.) And ends up collecting way more stamps in her passport. (The kid has been to Mongolia, for pete’s sakes.) 

But no matter. That tall, employed, well-traveled woman is a person whose nose (not to mention other body parts) I have wiped. I could be in the same room with her and still look myself in the eye and say “Hey, I’m the Grownup.”

But then she bought a couch.

And it’s not just a couch. It’s a sleeper sofa, for heaven’s sakes

And I, a much older person — and her mother — have never bought a couch. 

[Quick note here. Last night I read the beginning of this piece to The Dude, and he totally doesn’t get my point. Maybe you don’t either. Which means you can stop reading if you want. (But then you’d miss some cool couch pictures.) But I had always heard that the true mark of GrownupHood was to buy a couch. And, no, I’m not the only person who thinks so.]

True, she didn’t buy this couch all by herself. She and her BF bought it together. To go in their new apartment on Beacon Hill in Boston. But let’s get back to couches before I make myself weep.

While The Dude and I haven’t bought any new ones, we have owned two couches. There’s the one that was in Mr. Man’s living room when I met him. Which, actually, isn’t just a couch. It’s one of those sectional sets that was popular during the 70s — you know, low to the ground; with separate pieces you can move around to make a “conversation pit”.

If you can take your eyes off the cute kid for a sec, you’ll see a couple of pieces of the gray sectional in our old living room

The Dude likes to brag that he scored all nine pieces of this sectional (which, when I met him he had pushed up against all four walls so his living room resembled an airport lounge) at a garage sale for less than 200 bucks. We had so many pieces of couch that we divvied them up — we put several in our living room, and had plenty left over for the Little House. (A 450-square-foot retreat you can read about in “Hamptons (Un)Real Estate”).

The Dude and The Child having a “conversation” in the sectional “pit” during a hot game of Go Fish at the Little House

Even now, years — and a whole different apartment — later, we have this same couch. Though we raised the pieces off the floor with wood blocks (to be less “pit-like”) and gussied them up with slipcovers, they’re still the same couch. (We did lose a few “sections” to mold when The Little House got flooded. See “The Little House Meets the Perfect Storm(s)” for soggy details.)

Yup. Those are the same sectional pieces. Gussied up, just like us

And though we had to abandon ship, as it were, Little-House-wise, we didn’t buy a new couch when we took over The Dude’s parents’ much higher and dryer Amagansett place. We just used the perfectly-good old couch that was already there. (Actually, my well-meaning-but-somewhat-interfering Sister-in-Law suggested at one point that “We” buy a new couch, but I just ignored her. Like I do pretty much all the time.)

That’s the couch. Oddly enough (or maybe not so oddly, since it’s also from the 70s) this is also a “sectional” — seen here doing duty as a game table as well as seating

No, this couch wasn’t the one pictured at the top of this post sort of camouflaging the Very Young Dude perched upon it. Though gosh I wish it had been (!)

Anyway. At the rate I’m going, I’ll probably never buy a new couch. Which means, I guess, that The Child gets to be The GrownUp.

Wombat and The Child (er, The GrownUp) demonstrating the versatility of the not-new repurposed gray sectional

But hold on a sec; I just thought of something. So she bought a new couch. She still can’t drive.

New York City. September 2018

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22 thoughts on “I have never bought a couch

  1. This is very funny! I remember when I got wall to wall carpet installed (shag rug no less!) and my mom was so upset as she still had linoleum and throw rugs. I’ve bought a couple of couches over the years but I still don’t consider myself a grown up.

    • Oh my! I love that you had wall-to-wall shag carpet installed! (What color was it?) I grew up with linoleum, too. And throw rugs. I remember when my parents had wall-to-wall put in; they were thrilled. And then 30 years later they ripped it all up to expose the “beautiful hardwood”. Thank you for reading and commenting — I’m ever so glad that even though you have bought couches you are still not considered a grownup, dear Darlene!

  2. I had people “excited” for me when I bought my first fridge. Hmmm… I am on the page of I could have put that money towards a trip. So I guess I wasn’t the grownup there! I’m okay with that! Enjoyed the post!

    • You crack me up! To think that someone could be “excited” for you on the occasion of your first fridge! (Hmmm, come to think of it, I think that’s pretty exciting myself.) I agree completely with putting money towards trips instead of appliances, even couches. That’s how The Dude and I have been able to travel to places like the Amazon and Uganda. Thanks for reading — and enjoying!

    • Wow! That makes TWO readers who’ve experienced New Fridge Excitement! (Check out “You Can Always Start Now”‘s comment somewhere in this thread.) As for being “considered a real adult”, I’m thinking you and I and Miss “Always” are all on the same page.

  3. She will learn… new couches cost more than exotic holiday. So why would you! Think of the fun you had on the second hand ones … would you have done that on one you paid an arm and a leg for. Now whos the grown up? ???

  4. We recently bought our first couch (out of necessity because we moved to a new country into an unfurnished apartment) and it looks A LOT like the couch your daughter bought (is it from Ikea??). It must be the new sectional. It definitely felt like a big adulting moment for us anyway, along with buying the rest of the furniture! When we go home I’ll be pestering for hand-me-downs.

    • Congratulations on your Big Adulting Moment! But gosh, I don’t know if that couch came from Ikea. But it’s probably a good guess! I actually haven’t ‘met’ said couch in person, but The Dude and I are all set to visit in a couple of weeks. I’ll surreptitiously sneak a peek at the label. Or heck, I might just go all the way to bright and ASK her!

    • Yes, I didn’t mention that one of the reasons we kept those old couches was because they were practically indestructable! Good with kids, pets, and houseguests! Thanks for your comment xo

    • A “futon with inserts for cups”?!? Now that’s really livin’, as folks in my hometown would say! p.s. it’s nice not being the only somewhat-functioning adult who has never purchased a couch!

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