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My new couch

Su Lum

My living room furniture consists of two couches and a butcher’s block coffee table I bought from Bethune & Moore back in the mid-’70s.

When I bought my house in 1972, it came with a comfortable mustard-colored corduroy-upholstered couch, which my late dachshund Peter Mouse looked upon as his personal urinal.

After a few years the skirt of the couch was crystallized beyond redemption, and I took my problem to Dick and Zinny Moore: I needed a couch – actually TWO couches – with no fabric low enough to be hit by a trajectory of dachshund pee.

So it was that I ended up with two very handsome couches, heavier than lead and achingly uncomfortable to sit or lie upon, but lovely to look at with their matching solid-as-a-rock coffee table, a purchase that set me back around $1,000, which was big money in those days for me, being about 15 percent of my annual wages.

Fast forward 30 years to last Sunday. My daughter Hillery and her husband Bruce were visiting from Leadville, my daughter Skye and granddaughter Riley came over from Aspen Village and, by accident, Hillery, Skye and I ended up at Gracy’s new location in the mall under Kemo Sabe, where The Blue Moose used to be, then, in I don’t know what order: Loretta’s, Flying Dog, Howling Wolf and another place I could never pronounce.

The last thing on my mind was buying a couch, but the first thing I saw when I walked in the door was a couch that looked as if it belonged in my living room.

Things happened very quickly. I asked how much, the proprietor said it had just come in and he’d have to check, made a call and asked me to make an offer. I threw out a number and he accepted it, I wrote out a check while he moaned that his wife was going to kill him, and I was dispatched to deliver Skye’s SUV keys to Bruce, who was at my place playing a computer game (the dreaded SIMS) with Riley.

Off went Bruce while Riley and I tried to disentangle 10,000 miles of turntable, amplifier and speaker wires (idle for the past decade) to get them out of the path of the couch. I did remember that it was a “corner couch” (I understand this is called a “sectional”), but not much more.

“What color it is?” Riley asked. “Kind of brown,” I said. “Is it a pattern? A solid?” “Not really either one,” I bumbled. Actually, it was more like a teeny-tiny brown-and-black check.

By then the new couch was arriving and my daughters switched into their most efficient gears: “This OUT, this TRASH, this KEEP, this HERE, this THERE, Riley find two pieces of cardboard and a felt pen and write FREE on them.”

In seconds, the old pee-free couches were out on the sidewalk with their FREE signs and the new couch was installed in the corner of my living room, looking as comfy as a feather bed compared to its stolid predecessors, which were scavenged within an hour.

We were lying around on the new couch before dinner (“No potato chips on the couch!”) when the phone rang. It was the man from Gracy’s, calling to tell me that he was in even worse caca than he had anticipated. The couch was worth X, he should have charged Y, I paid Z – he wasn’t asking me to DO anything about it, but then said maybe I could write a column about it.

I said that wasn’t a column, it was a paragraph, but the more I thought about it (be careful what you wish for) maybe it was a column, in its own way.

Su Lum is a longtime local who still barks her shins daily on the immovable coffee table. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.


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