The Perfect Couch

I’m in search of the perfect couch. I’m not convinced that there is such an animal, but I’m on the hunt. The perfect couch must be firm for sitting. Long enough for napping. And above all, it must not weigh the same as a WWII aircraft carrier.

A few more constraints. The couch I need must be somewhat weather tolerant. It will be used on my covered screened-in back porch, but it will be exposed to the elements. The heat and humidity of summer is almost upon us. I do not want mold growing on my cushions. On foggy mornings, a slight covering of moisture could accumulate on the surface.

Also, during our three weeks of West Central Georgia winter it could be exposed to extreme fluctuations in temperature, from 14° to 80°. I need a couch that can take it and not fall apart.

My poor wife would never buy a couch without first sitting on it. That makes sense to me. Her reason, however, was to make sure her feet could touch the floor. God played a terrible joke on her with the dimensions of her skeletal structure. The distance from heel to knee joint remained toddler size her whole life. Plus, the distance from the knee joint to hip joint was comparable.

When she sat on most couches, her feet dangled off the floor and her lower back was always forward of the back cushion. If she scooted back, her feet would be that much higher off the floor. If she scooted forward, she might as well have been in a recliner when she leaned back.

Consequently, whenever we shopped for a new couch, we shopped for six months and visited every furniture store within a day’s drive from home.

My plan is to shop one day. It’s a guy thing. I will sit on three or maybe four at the most. I will choose the one that is closest to my liking with a firm cushion.

The salesperson will say, “We have more in the back if you want to see those.”

And I will say, “Nope. Seen enough. I’ll take that one.”

My major requirement is that it must be long enough for naps. It’s a little bit of a stretch to say this, but the main reason I built the back porch was to be able to take naps behind the security of the screen and under the cover of roof.

All kinds of naps. Naps on rainy days. Naps when the birds are singing. Naps while the frogs and cicadas are making love. Naps on cool mornings when a blanket is required. Naps at night when the owls are calling out.

The best napping couch we ever had was a hand-me-down from my sister. We had just been married a few months and we were moving out of a tiny apartment into a rental house. We were furniture poor. Marian gave us her old couch that was nearly 8 feet long and soft as a kitten’s fur.

I have pictures of me sleeping and slobbering on that couch. Later, pictures of me sleeping and clutching a small baby girl to my chest. Also, pictures of me sleeping with a book covering my face. I am all about naps.

At my age, I am also concerned about how much this new couch will weigh. If there is not free delivery, I’m just stubborn enough to haul it home in the back of my truck, four feet hanging out beyond the tailgate. Straps and bungy cords laced over it like a spider’s web.

I have toted many couches over the years. My L4 and L5 have partially collapsed because of this. I have hauled couches on trailers to apartment buildings in various communities around the Atlanta Metro Area. I have gone backwards up a flight of stairs for three stories. I have groaned and tugged and perhaps maybe sworn a few choice words over moving couches that belonged to my children.

The most treacherous version of insanity is the sleeper couch. First of all, there’s enough metal in one of these to build a skyscraper.

A friend might ask me to come over and help move their couch. I’m all about being a good neighbor.

“I just need it moved from the den to the living room.”

I have learned to ask, “Is it a sleeper couch? Are there steps involved?”

“How’d you know. I’ve got family coming in from out of town and they’ll have more privacy in the living room.”

I just go ahead and pop four Ibuprofen and put on my back brace before I ever leave the house. And I plan to lay flat on my back on the floor for three days when I get back home.

I’m pretty sure the guy who invented the sleeper couch has never slept on one. When I was a kid and had a friend over to spend the night, we’d stay up and watch Dracula from the sleeper couch in our den. I always thought it was cool to sleep in the den.

When I got married and we went to visit my in-laws, we got the sleeper couch in their living room. The steel I-beam beneath the 2” thick mattress imbedded itself in my back all night long.

After that, I swore I’d never own a sleeper couch. A promise I have kept to this day.

So, tomorrow I am shopping. I have one store in mind. Something wicker, though probably plastic made to look like wicker. That should make it light weight and it should handle the weather conditions on the porch.

I want something long. I’m not particularly tall, just average, but I don’t want to have to curl up to take my naps. I built this porch to accommodate a long couch. I even measured out where the couch would go with a lamp table next to it so I could put a receptable in the floor in the right place. I could see it before it ever existed.

The temperatures this holiday weekend are supposed to be perfect.

I can feel it already. Thick comfy cushions. Just the right height so my feet don’t dangle. The ceiling fan on medium. An extra pillow. A book. A cold drink.

I don’t know how much I’m gonna get done around the house this weekend, but I have one sneaking suspicion.

I’ll probably take a nap.