I got a new couch. Those groans you hear are my mother and my sister reading this and thinking, “Another one? Really?” This is because in the 22 years we’ve been living in this house, we’ve had more couches than you can count on one hand.
We switch couches so often because we are always looking for the perfect couch. I’m not saying that my style tastes change so quickly, I’m saying it has taken that many couches to find one that does not break down within five months of purchase.
The last, less-than-stellar, new couch we purchased about 4-5 years ago for our family room did indeed break down within five months. I called the company and informed them they could have their couch back and I wanted my money back. Their solution was to send someone out to fix their almost new couch.
The repairman had his own business and contracted out to several furniture manufacturers. His livelihood was based on the fact that most seating is poorly designed. He even had a solution for how they could change their design to help them not break down so quickly. But as with most large companies, the tail wags the dog and it was not in their comprehension that a design change could save the company money on repairs.
After so many couches, I have become somewhat of a couch connoisseur. A couple years ago, I was watching a design show and there was a furniture expert discussing the sturdiest type of seat construction. I was glued to the television. After all these years I finally had my answer: the sturdiest furniture seats are made up of eight-way, hand tied, coil-springs. Unfortunately, they are expensive and elusive beasts.
So when the “repaired” couch began to hurt my husband’s back because it deteriorated past the point of no return, (I think we were able to push it through another eight months), I started a hunt for one of those mysterious, eight-way, hand-tied, coil-spring couches that we could afford.
Patience was required, so my husband just had to deal with a sore back for awhile. Then around Super Bowl Sunday a couple years ago, I found one at Costco. It was a huge, L-shaped job, but it had the springs I had so desperately sought in our price range.
Fast forward two years later; the couch is still sturdy and hasn’t shown much sign of wear, which is saying a lot since it’s the husband’s couch-potato couch and the teen video game party couch. It’s still comfortable to sit in and the seating hasn’t broken down at all.
Yet, I have another couch in our living room. It has broken down and, in fact, after the repairman came out to fix our new couch, I asked him if he could fix my older couch too. I think it was about five or six years old by that time.
He did fix the couch; the frame was broken underneath. Since then, a board in the back broke from my daughter’s teen way of “sitting” on the couch by flopping over the back, but it doesn’t seem to affect the performance of the couch. It is acceptable with its green, microfiber upholstery. At now nine years old, it is a bit stained and rough around the edges, but it’s okay.
Because it was okay, I wasn’t actively looking for new couch for the room. But secretly I longed for another eight-way, hand-tied, coil-spring couch to round out my perfect couch collection.
Then, as I was shopping at Fred Meyer the other day, they had a couch I loved. And guess what? It was an eight-way, hand-tied, coil-spring, $300 off, with an additional 10% coupon couch. So I bought it for my birthday and gave my old couch to my girlfriend who has small children and will use up the rest of its life.
As for me, I’ll be sitting pretty on my eight-way, hand-tied, coil-spring couch.
Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is sitting pretty. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com or on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh.” Her column is available every week at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Lifestyles section.