By Susan Dromey Heeter
Couches, as one of my friends said, “are friends.”
Indeed. And just as some of our friends can be rough around the edges, our best ones are comfortable, forgiving, have seen us through both good and bad times.
This week’s Joyful Musings is all about couches, sofas, – those places of comfort, softness and, perhaps, in less than pristine condition. The idea for these musings came about when my friend Margo and I were walking last Sunday morning – one of the few sunny days in the last several.
When we walked up to her house, her couch was out front, ready to be taken away. Margo’s couch had seen better days – brown and torn, the stuffing was coming out, there was a huge paint stain on the back, the insides were, literally, on full display.
“I was embarrassed to put this out in front of my house,” said Margo, “I really didn’t want my neighbors to know we’d been sitting on this for years.”
Alas, Margo was mourning that couch, so very sad to see it leave. “My water broke on that couch. I think there may be some amniotic fluid in those cushions. It’s so comfortable – our new one doesn’t come close.”
And as we laughed over the funeral-like atmosphere of talking of her friend, her couch, I could not help but think of my own couch friends – two green ones who still live in my home, who have travelled with me from my mother’s home, to my homes in Holland, Alaska, and now in our current New Hampshire abode.
These couches should have passports and they do look worse for the wear, for the travel. But, they still work. They owe us nothing and, while they could provide a myriad of DNA samples, I’m still partial to them – and even though there is writing on these couches, even though they have been beds for three dogs, these couches, truly, are friends.
We’ve lived on these couches, dozed on these couches, watched countless hours of TV on these cushions. Couches are dearly good friends who – mercifully cannot talk. Couches keep our secrets.
When I asked a group of students if they lived with a couch that should be condemned, 16-year-old Luke’s hand shot up. When I asked him about this couch, he remarked, “It’s old, it’s got a hole, the stuffing is coming out – but it’s broken in.”
Luke also shared it’s where he watches TV, his chocolate lab, Callie, lays next to him, her head on his knee. That, indeed, is what friends do – comfort us, surround us with the softness of an embrace, let us be perfectly ourselves.
And our couch friends never judge. They provide only comfort and say, “Hey, come on, sit down! I’m always here for you!” I muse joyfully that one day a Pottery Barn Catalog with a couch looking like Margo’s will arrive in the mail – a real couch with holes and stuffing that looks like it would be the perfect spot upon which to watch TV with a chocolate lab.
And if you are reading this upon your cozy couch, celebrate that friendship, that comfort, that love. Couches are the best upon which to muse joyfully…stuffing, drawings, smells and all.
This week’s Joyful Musings! Enjoy! Sadly, I’m looking like my couch these days…
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.