The Couch That Won’t Die – But I Almost Did

December 24, 2009

The "GREEN" Couch - 35 Years Later

I think everyone ‘s parents still have something in their house that in some way is a reminder of their childhood and possibly their life.  It may be a good memory, bad memory or just a trigger that reminds them of their past.

My parents don’t have many as they are generally not packrats with OCD (that was my wife’s mother) but they have one thing that is a constant reminder of the majority of my life.


The green couch was purchased in approximately 1975 or 1976.  So it is now approaching 35 years old.  The primary companion piece is an arc lamp that is now very popular in vintage furniture stores.  I have come to hate them both.

There is nothing wrong with them but come on now, 35 years of use – I think my parents got their money’s worth out of them.  Today the couch and lamp are set up as a “den” or sitting room in the 3rd bedroom of their house but it was only moved from primary use about five years ago.

I don’t go in that room when I visit them.

If you are the right age to be “Dazed and Confused” you remember this couch.  It was what was known in the mid 70’s as a Play Pen couch.  They didn’t buy all the pieces just enough to make a large sectional but it is completely modular and can be reconfigured.  It was a custom piece of furniture when it was purchased 35 YEARS AGO!!! and has never been recovered , just cleaned a few times.

I am an only child so basically this couch is my sibling.  The child my parents had when I was 13.  It is in pictures from, when I was in High School, College, my wedding (I got married at my parent’s house), etc..  This couch is the “Where’s Waldo?”  of our family pictures.

My hatred of the couch is probably rooted in an incident that occured within the first year or so after they got it.

When I was about 14 I took a nap on the couch while my mother was cooking dinner.   Of course the cocktail hour was in full swing at our house out back on the porch.  If you are not familiar with my parents penchant for smoking and drinking in the 70’s click here for a link to a post I did about that.  I was sound asleep and all of a sudden I was awakened by the sound of my Mother screaming and running in the house because, during her cocktail she had forgotten that she had rice cooking on the stove and it was burning.  As I type this I just realized she probably wasn’t coming in because she realized the food on the stove was burning but was probably coming in because someone needed another cocktail.

Now when I say burning, I don’t mean a little scorched.  The air was THICK with smoke.  If you cook rice for 25 minutes, this must have cooked 2 to 3 times that amount.  We are talking scorched pot, ruined food.  The smoke was the kind where firefighters tell you to get on the floor and crawl out of the building.  I could have DIED!  But everyone lived and we probably went out for dinner that night.

A psychiatrist might  tell me my hatred of this couch is transference of my anger towards my mother for almost killing me.



P.S. – My mother is in the room as I write this post we are not estranged.     



3 Responses to “The Couch That Won’t Die – But I Almost Did”

  1. A chum recommended me to read this page, nice post, fascinating read… keep up the cool work!

  2. rtU Says:

    i LOVE this couch. let me know if (a BIG “if” considering how long they’ve had it)your mom is ready to get rid of if! seriously.

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