Hello, Couch
June 5, 2008
Meet the newest member of our family.

After months of discussion and many test-sits and test-sprawls, Couch came to us on Sunday.

Couch is a study in physical perfection. He's Swedish with a long, firm body and a very clean lines. He's tricked out in a heathered beige linen blend; he's very natty. Like Bertie Wooster in the summer. We agonized over what texture Couch should have. Leather -- either chocolate brown or lipstick red -- was appealing, but we knew that one unintentional prick and hook from either cat, and the effect would be totally ruined by stuffing sprouting white out of leather pores. The cozily rough nap of Couch might definitely encourage prodding and inquisitive paws, but new scratching posts, SoftClaws, and a six-pack of Don't Scratch spray are already on the way. Furthermore, unlike Futon, Couch is on strict no-food diet. From here on out, all meals will be taken with Kitchen at the year-old counter.

In the brief time he has been with us, Couch has already made an amazing difference in our lives. He's brightened our lives, turned us into grownups, and chiropracted all my lower lumbar, shoulder blade, neck, rotary cuff, upper arm, spine, knee, and face issues. Gone are the musing days and working nights with my butt slung inches from the floor while my knees hew dangerously close to my ears. No longer will I stretch and strain my neck forward, stacking four pillows behind my lower back to summon up some semblance of a normal posture. Couch has eased my pain.

Gone is the dark wood and midnight blue futon that slouched in the living room, sucking all light into its sullen, sinking depths. (I can say that because I'm the one who advised Mathra to buy that exact wood treatment and cushion color when he was starting grad school.) Couch transformed our room from dorm to living.

However, I have to confess, I am slightly afraid of Couch's untouched and pure pristinity. The first few days, I noticed that both me and the cats were warily circling Couch, admiring but not sitting. I finally retreated to the bedroom to work, and the cats kipped out on the mattress of disassembled Futon. I glanced up at Couch a few times but did not touch. After my run, I found reasons to stay in the kitchen, busy with cleanup and cooking, but when I walked through the living room, I stopped and stared. I marveled at Couch's clean lines and six plump cushions. Finally, I took a shower, scrubbed down my sandy feet, covered my clean feet with clean socks, washed my hands a few times, and gingerly sat down on Couch.

Oh, the comfort of a firm cushion! Oh, the bliss of those stretchable 93 inches!

Best of all, I can sit crosslegged, laptop sweating in my lap, with a cat resting a purring chin on each knee and still have plenty of room for a husband.

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