No Such Thing as a Cheap Couch
I blame the couch. It started all this... all this... nesting. The old couch was a smelly memory, gifted to a happy couple in a smelly house some weeks ago. Our empty living room became the Hooping Room, where I could practice my clumsy hoop-dancing moves while watching Oprah on one of the two channels we get in the house. It was perfect. Then Deborah sent me a link to a couch for sale on Craigslist. Green leather, near us in Taos, and only $75. I had said it out loud, I want a couch. And while I wasn't specific about the color and fabric, here was the answer to my request--a good sturdy couch at a price I could afford. We drove out to see it, and brought it home to live with us... even though it's green leather.
Leather is a tricky thing for vegans. We, mostly I, don't eat meat or other animal products, except for the rare special occasion cheese splurge. Rick, it turns out, is one of those people who craves a good chicken mole enchilada periodically, and I can't fault him for that. I'm perfectly happy with grains, greens, and beans, and feel good not supporting the animal "processing" industry in this country. I won't talk about it here, but if you want to know more about my whacky sounding choices, Meat.org is a good place to start... But anyway, back to the green leather couch... I would never buy a new leather couch, but we are at least the third owners of this one, so at this point it can practically be classified as recycled. Every time I sit on it, I stroke it lovingly and thank the big green cow who once lived in that skin. We treat it with respect, and we intend to keep it for a long, long time.
So the couch moved in, and few days later, we did too, as you might recall, with deep resistance. We sat on the couch, surrounded by the red walls we had painted several years ago, and almost immediately I announced that we (meaning Rick) would have to paint the living room. He knows me well. I was not going to let this go, or be easy to live with if my house wasn't making my eyes happy. So the very next day he brought home some paint chips, and the day after that he started painting. After one false start, we got the color right on the second try. I wanted "chocolate," and what we got was more like "Swiss Miss"-- sort of an anemic, watery brown that simply wouldn't do. Back to the paint store for the darkest brown on the chart, and we had it, a deep, delicious looking chocolate color that looks good enough to eat. Deborah came over to help, because she says she likes to paint, and the two of them knocked it out in just a few hours. It's really beautiful. And I'm really happy... but the room's not finished...
A new couch and new walls call for new curtains, of course. And pillows. And maybe a rug. And with everything so new and clean and pretty, the raggy, hairy old dog bed has to be replaced. But at least we already have a lot of wonderful art that we could just shuffle around and re-hang. Old paintings look new again, and the whole house seems to be refreshed and breathing and smiling.
I'm the one who always says, no more stuff, but I have to ease up on myself here, and remember that this is our home, for now, for a while, maybe for a long time. So maybe there's no such thing as a cheap couch. After all, it made it necessary to make so many other changes. But so what? Change is good. It's part of the creative process. I'm grateful to the couch for being a catalyst, and an inspiration. Bringing this one beloved, used thing into our home has helped us to feel comfortable here again. I don't know how Rick feels about it, but to me, it's already a member of the family.
I don't have everything in place yet, but here's a sampler from the new Chocolate Room. I'll show you more when it's finished.