By Casey Mullins
Four and half years ago I documented the history of the unsightly green couch I inherited when I married my husband. I thought it was ugly the first time I saw it and I still think it’s ugly every time I walk into my bedroom. “If it’s so ugly why don’t you get rid of it?” Because I’m emotionally attached to the ugly hunter green couch that leaks oil on my carpet and threatens to swallow you whole if you sit on it wrong. It’s where my husband and I had our first kiss, it’s where we sat for the first 10 years of our marriage and it’s been in every place we’ve called home since 2000.
In my 14 years of marriage and 9 years of parenthood I’ve learned you must be very careful about what you bring into your life because there’s a very good chance you will end up with an emotional bond to it and find yourself struggling to separate yourself from the memories associated with it. The chair I’m sitting on this very moment is bright orange and hideous, but it belonged to my husband’s favorite grandma and it’s where I slept through both of my pregnancies when I couldn’t stand being in bed anymore. There’s no denying it’s ugly, but there’s also no denying how comfortable and well designed it is.
Over the last four years the history of our green couch has grown, it supported me through another pregnancy, became my favorite place to nurse my new baby and continues to be a staple piece of furniture we rotate around as we go throughout our daily lives. The brown couch we chose for downstairs has its own budding history as well. We have over three thousand square feet and a dozen rooms in our home but on any given night you will find all four of us piled up downstairs on the couch (six if you count the cats.) We were sitting on the couch when we told our oldest I was pregnant and we’ve all taken turns being various levels of sick, injured, sad, happy, or bored on it.
We spend a lot of time visiting historic places throughout our travels, pausing for a moment to remember the momentous occasions that happened there and wondering what these historic monuments would say if they could talk. More than ever, our couches are a central part to our story as a family and as silly as it sounds, we’ve started to regard them as the overstuffed sentinels they are. Not a day goes by that one of our couches goes unused, even when we’re out of town we always return to evidence of the cats making full use of them in our absence.
Have you ever stopped to think about an important couch in your own life? Who has sat there, what stories has it heard, or what grand life events has it been witness to? What did it feel like, smell like, or sound like when you sat on it?
Think about it for a minute, I can promise you’ll think of something. It’s a great question to ask loved ones as you’re traveling around this holiday season, you may learn bit of new family history and begin to regard grandma’s plastic wrapped floral couch in a whole new way.