Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ode to a Couch

Our couch after it was first delivered to Park Drive, tags still on:

This past weekend, we took a big plunge and finally replaced our couch. We've been wanting to do it for quite some time, as sitting on it was difficult for me and my back issues since it wasn't very firm. With the matching armchair (really a "chair and a half") and ottoman, their presence in our living room dwarfed everything else. We were ready for sleeker and smaller, and found the new sofa of our dreams.

And yet.

We loved our big purple couch. Hannah actually cried to see it gone, and I got a little verklempt myself. In a way, this furniture told the story of a significant portion of our life as a young family.

When Marc and I met, he lived in a studio apartment and had a really nice futon (seriously!) that served as his bed and couch. The futon joined us in our first apartment together on Park Drive in the Fenway section of Boston, and served us well. But change was underway and the futon moved on to other family members. Buying the couch together was our first major purchase as a couple. We stood in the giant Jordan's Furniture showroom, analyzing the color ("do we really want a purple couch?"), and taking fabric swatches outside to see them in natural light. What we didn't realize at the time was just how LARGE the couch was - it seemed right at home in the vastness of Jordan's. When it was delivered to the apartment, it strongly contrasted with the building's bright green carpet, but we didn't care. The carpet was temporary - the couch would be moving on with us.

And move on it did, to our condo in Coolidge Corner in Brookline. Well, it tried to move on, but we couldn't actually get it in the place. So we had to have the sofa disassembled, brought in the condo in pieces, and then reassembled in its new home. The day after this reassembly, we sat on the couch and called our parents to tell them we were pregnant with their first grandchild, and both sets of grandparents were almost more interested in whether or not the couch was okay! Hannah cruised along the edges of the furniture, teaching herself to walk. After three years in the condo, we disassembled the couch once again, this time for our move to Newton.

Thankfully, we had a nice, wide and straight entry in our new house, and it was the last time we'd be calling the upholstery company. (Thank you, Melo & Sons!) For the next five years, the couch would move around the living room quite a bit, whether to serve as a baby gate for a constantly curious Max or pushed out of the way for a birthday party. It supported us through many sick days and too many Disney Channel shows, and was swept clean of snack crumbs more times than I care to remember. It was as close to a family member as any inanimate object could be.

Last night we Freecycled all three pieces, to a guy furnishing a new apartment for a family member. He's actually an acquaintance that we'll see now and again, and I'll have to fight the urge to ask how the furniture is doing, but I'm happy to know it's going to a new home. Marc and I told Hannah stories of couches past, Marc of a couch with his bite marks as a teething toddler, me of couches passed on to my grandfather that made visiting him feel like a visit to my childhood.

So that's the story of our big purple couch. It's time to start taking pictures on the new brown leather loveseat with an attached chaise lounge, which accommodates all four of us in a much smaller footprint. I know in time we'll love it as much as our old one, but I can't deny the lump in my throat as I say goodbye to a piece of our past.

In our condo (clearly before children - remember having bookcases like that?!?):

Hannah before her naming ceremony, March 2004:

Toddler modeling, September 2005:

Trying on her ballet gear, December 2007:

First sibling photo session on the couch, January 2008:

Cruising along, September 2008:

How dare you pen me in here!, January 2009:

Goofing around, November 2010:

Making new memories, March 2011:

1 comment:

  1. I'm feeling a little misty-eyed myself! I remember you sitting on the couch holding Max when he first came home and when Hannah came downstairs you opened up your other arm and told Hannah you had room for two kids on your lap. She climbed on your lap with a huge smile, and there you were holding both kids on the purple couch!