Monthly Archives: May 2013

The New Kitchen Table

We all have a life on a couch—every last one of us. Much of the joy that underlies our natural attraction to our life on a couch has nothing to do with the couch at all, let alone the book, TV, movie, laptop or whatever other form of entertainment might be consumed there. The real joy comes from the time spent there in the company of those who matter to us most. I suppose this is what makes the couch so special as a fixture in our lives. It is not a chair—it is a shared chair. It is wide, and soft, and low and inviting. It is beautiful. It is not furniture—it is a platform for living—one, that despite having a thousand years of history, was seemingly designed especially for this era, for our way of life.

The couch is the new center of modern civilization. For better of for worse it has replaced the kitchen table as the place where people come together, where people communicate in person, where people enjoy shared experiences—which by the way, is the definition of intimacy. Some people sit there together, facing the center and chat. Some people sit in parallel, focused on the same screen ahead. Some sit close, others apart, some cuddle, some lay sideways, some build forts with kids, some pile-on with friends, and some make-out with lovers. Some hold hands, even as others text, surf, shop, work, or game in solitude—yet often they are still “connected.” But regardless of how they do it—people spend time together on the couch…and that is a beautiful thing.

As a culture, we are more aware of, and more fascinated than ever by how others live. Whether celebrities, or whether just “the Jones’s” next door, thanks to modern media we have access to more personal information than ever—and this helps bring context to our own lives. It is my personal mission to shine a light onto this “life on a couch” that we share—one by one, story by story—in hopes to further our mutual awareness and respect, both as a people and as a generation. That we might recognize: regardless of our income level, social status, marital status, or personal travails, we are all just in this together, trying to make it work, trying to enjoy life, to find meaning, to contribute in some way, and to connect with those who love us.

This is life on a couch—and it is interesting, because you are.

— Shawny

My life

…nearly every night