Ode To a Couch


It was the perfect place to think and create. Paisleys wisped across the cushions. Pleather that's easy to wipe down protected the armrests and bottom. The wooden legs and frame went so well with our coffee table. We even purchased a wispy-looking wall hanging to add to the dreamy milieu. 

But my dream couch, the only one Hubby and I ever owned new, faded too fast, even for its $700.00 price tag. The person I talked to from Best Furniture Upholstery explained that even though my cats clawed the pleather, after 3 to 4 years it would’ve flaked anyway.

That’s a disposable couch! How irresponsible for a company to make a daily-use item with material that doesn’t last. And how irresponsible for a company to make material for large items that quickly break down. This is hazardous to our environment.

The nightmare couch now sits next to trash cans on the side of our house. It’ll take up space in a landfill soon. This reality gives me an ache in my gut. The couch was supposed to be what Hubby calls a dead man’s couch, meaning that at my age I should have had it until I died. I shouldn’t expect a $700.00 couch to last for 20 years. But 4! My only joy is that two of the seat cushions fit well to replace the ancient ones on a chair in our bedroom.

Hubby said the couch was “a piece of crap” when he bought it. But he knew I loved the look of it, and how well it matched our living room curtains and seat covers. Maybe he also thought that since I’d be the only one using the couch, it would last.

Tape I applied stopped adhering when the dusty underlayer of the pleather became exposed. Someone with sensitive dust allergies may have had a serious issue.

I can’t be the only consumer who wasn’t aware faux leather flaked.  

Saturday, we bought a sturdy, used couch from Habitat for Humanity ReStore. It’s not dreamy, but it’s quality furniture we could never afford new. Without many options, we chose a basic color to avoid clashing with the paisley-print curtains and seat covers. 

I unzipped the seat and back cushion covers and threw them in the washer. I scrubbed the fabric armrests. Something I had planned never to do again.

Will my creative juices sour on a functional couch? At least our new/used dead man’s couch won’t go into a landfill anytime soon. Maybe it will find its way into a grandchild’s first apartment when they grow up.

As the functional couch grows on me, I plan to spice it up with a paisley throw.  




  1. Okay, Dawn, so maybe I knew plether flaked. We had one growing up in our basement. This is a beautifully written ode to a couch. Seriously, what a wonderful writer you are. You can make a reader "care" about a couch. By the way, I love your new couch! It's wonderful to have a plain background to "dress up" as you see fit. Have fun!


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