It was a warm and enchanting day in New York City when I saw the puke gold couch standing proudly at the Bensonhurst Salvation Army. His seat was long and lean, his woodwork ornate and powerful (albeit chipped).
His cushions and back were adorned with the most putrid-colored gold velvet I ever did see. His entire essence screamed of retro shabby chic. I absolutely had to have him. So I shelled out the $65 for my new best friend.
Friend for all seasons
Since the puke gold couch was at least 8 feet long and had big, bulky woodwork arms that had to be 4 feet wide, my memory is blocking out how I managed to get him the 20 blocks from the Salvation Army and up to my second-floor Brooklyn apartment. Or how I managed to get him inside.
But he got there. He sat there in his stately glory, merrily eating up nearly half of my cramped living room. He then followed me to New Mexico on a month-late moving truck. Got the frame of his seat cracked in a horse trailer during a two-hour move north.
He then came along for the ride to Oregon, Northern California and finally landed with me in Tucson, this time taking up at least a third of the small bedroom in which he had been crammed since my boyfriend had moved in with me in 2012.
I began to hate the thing (the couch, not my boyfriend).
The end of a relationship?
Well, I can’t say I actually HATED the puke gold couch. We had, after all, been through so much together.
He was there when cousin Andre needed a place to sleep after helping me move. He was there to provide cushioning for and sustain chew marks from two different sets of really big dogs. But he was also there now, stifling my world – or at least the super small bedroom in which I now wanted to permanently erect my Reiki table.
But for some reason, the idea of actually LETTING GO of the couch filled me with fear and dread. I feared losing all those fond memories and the shabby chic retro vibe. I dreaded what my boyfriend would say when I asked for his help.
Moving the puke gold couch from the sizable master bedroom into the tiny office bedroom was a feat that took several hours, lots of maneuvering and a few smashed toes in the process. I distinctly recall my boyfriend’s last words when we were finally able to cram the too-big couch through the too-small doorway into the too-small room.
“I am NEVER moving that couch from of this room. Ever.”
But alas, the time had come.
Creative solutions to life’s little problems
I sat and stewed for about three weeks over the couch. It was the time I needed to come up with both a feasible way to remove the couch, and the courage to actually let it go.
As I was poking at the couch to inspect its already-broken framework, a wayward nail sliced the skin on the top of my hand. Blood slithered out in an intense bright red.
That’s it. He’s going. He’s going now. And he’s going by way of dismemberment.
Pruning saw required
Sawing up a wooden-frame couch isn’t as tough as you may think, especially since part of the frame was already busted up in parts. As long as you don’t try to saw through the springs beneath the seat, it all moves rather quickly.
Once my beau and I had the couch down to just the seat and back, we then forced the two pieces into a backbend by jumping up and down on them. The couch neatly cracked in half, as if it had been waiting its whole life just to do exactly that.
Out the couch went in four compact pieces: an 8-foot-long seat, an 8-foot-long back, and two ornate and bulkly wooden arm pieces. Four sawed-off legs followed.
The two arm pieces made their way into my backyard garden. The seat and back are still out front waiting for brush and bulky pickup. The legs went into the tiki chiminea.
What I learned from letting go
Did I wail, cry and bemoan the loss of my puke gold couch? Surprisingly, no.
I actually feel more relieved than anything. The brush and bulky pickup still hasn’t come six days later, so I still have kind of a view of the couch from the office window if I need a blast of nostalgia.
But even after the couch remains are removed from the curb, I’ll continue to feel cleansed, purified and sensationally set free. I also learned a few lessons about letting go:
- Just because you get rid of something doesn’t mean you get rid of the memories. The couch and I will always have Andre. We’ll always have Clovis.
- You can continue to love something or someone even after letting go. Yeah, I’ll always have a soft spot for that pukey couch o’ mine.
- Old clunky couches are more popular than you may think. When I shared this story with a batch of pals, two of them admitted they have their own old couch they just can’t seem to let go. We all agreed: “They don’t make them like they used to, you know.”
- Keeping things alive past their natural lifespan is torture for everybody. No comment needed.
- What you think may be sweet sorrow at parting can actually be even sweeter relief. This counts for puke gold couches as well as relationships, jobs, habits and anything else that has lingered for far too long.
The bedroom office is now just right for a cozy yet high-energy Tucson Reiki room – without the burden of a puke gold couch incessantly weighing us down. And just so you know, the dogs are fine with the transition. In fact, one easily switched from chewing the couch to chewing on our slippers.
Let go of even more stuff for ultimate FREEDOM. Enroll in the Rynski online course 12 Steps for Everyone now.