Thursday, September 1, 2016

No One Names a Sofa, Anyway

Okay, there was that one sofa. But it deserved a name: Larry. Leisure Suit Larry, after that cheesy late-80s and 90s adult video game. The covering was cheap and tacky and, like the character, outdated (undated?).

Never before nor since Larry have I heard of someone giving a name to a piece of living-room furniture. And this was true of the caramel-coloured, leather lounge sofa that we inherited from my parents after the first sofa that we bought for our house bit the dust. Larry predated that sofa and was also a hand-me-down.

Like Larry, it was huge and heavy. It wasn't the colour that I would have chosen for a leather sofa, but it was warm and blended well with the colours that we already had in the family room.

It was also one of the most comfortable sofas that I had ever lain upon. The low-resting arms were angled into the seat , like pillows, and had a cushioned yet firm feel, and made for a perfect head rest. When we first took possession of the sofa, and if I lay down on it, I was guaranteed to fall asleep shortly thereafter.

I would never lie completely down on it if I wanted to watch a TV show or movie: I'd never see the end of it.

Over the years, it saw a lot of wear and tear as our young children climbed and jumped upon it. And, as they grew and got heavier, the sofa began to weaken as they continued to use it as a trampoline, until one day, we heard a snap as both frame and springs failed.

Instead of two giant cushions, held firm and sewn onto the whole upholstery, we now had two bucket seats. They were alright to sit in, but it was no longer comfortable to lie upon. And, as the years wore further on, even those depressed positions would sink further toward the floor.

And so it was decided that since my family and I were going to renovate our kitchen and family room, to extend our hardwood floor all the way through our main floor level, we knew that the time was right to dispatch of this once comfortable sofa, before we tore up the floor.

I remembered when my father and I first moved it into the house. It was a heavy and oversized monster, and we struggled to get it in through the front door. When we delivered it, DW and I hadn't yet rid ourselves of the deep-green fabric sofa. Once my father and I got it into the living room, out of breath and dripping with sweat, we left it there, knowing that removing the old sofa would have to happen on another day.

When that other day came, my wife and kids were out of the house, and I took on the task alone. The green sofa wasn't as heavy, and I could easily stand it on one end and walk it around the room. I chose not to take it through the living room and out the front door because doing so alone ran the risk of scratching the hardwood and scuffing walls. Instead, I opened the wide, sliding-glass door in the kitchen and tossed the sofa into the back yard. Once outside, I threw the piece of furniture onto my back and hobbled to the front of the house, where I deposited it in the garage, to await garbage day.

I went back into the house and took a pause, a few deep breaths. I then lifted one end of this caramel sofa and slowly, carefully, walked it from the living room, into the kitchen, and around the corner into the family room. I might have moved it only 20 feet or so, but I had to squeeze it through a 40-inch opening and stand it on end as I negotiated the tight turn, due to a peninsular counter (the one I'm getting rid of in the reno).

It took about a half an hour and all of my energy, but I got that sucker into place. I felt proud of my hard work but also nervous about the anticipation of pulled muscles that had yet to reveal themselves.

I lay down on the sofa to catch my breath. Within minutes, due to my fatigue and the comfort of the design, I was asleep soon after.

I awoke to DW standing over me. "Did G— come over and help you move the furniture?"

"No," came my groggy response, "I did it myself."

"No way, that's awesome!"*

This week, DW helped me remove that sofa, through our back door, to the curb, with the help of a dolly. I didn't get a chance to see how many garbage collectors it took to haul it away.

It didn't have a name. No sofa needs one; not really. It won't be forgotten, no matter what we call it.

* DW didn't really say that. She probably told me that I was crazy and deserved whatever pain my muscles chose to inflict upon me.

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