A Rose by Any Other Name…

For a long time I’ve subscribed to the theory, “If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck, it’s a duck.” Nothing fancy or convoluted about that little nugget of wisdom. Nope. I’ve tried (largely in vain) to convince my poor husband of the same—especially as it relates to his muddled and dreadfully misguided view on a certain sensitive domestic issue: the proper function of a sofa.

Let’s just say for the sake of argument, that he and I have some philosophical differences in this particular department. Okay, major philosophical differences. One of us is clearly wrong, never mind mired in denial. To frame it less delicately, if the man walks and talks like a couch potato, it would logically follow that said man is a couch potato—contrary to his intolerably skewed perception. It’s not rocket science we’re talking about here, people.

In my humble opinion, sofas are intended to be sat upon, lounged upon and even napped upon for a period of time not to exceed the bounds of reason. They also function quite nicely (I’m told) as something purely decorative in nature, fashionably adorned with an array of immaculate-looking throw pillows and perfectly placed cushions—well suited to those perfectly coiffed socialites that ooze sophistication and an I’d-be-appalled-to-find-a-three-day-old-peanutbutter-sandwich-wedged-in-with-the-Legos kind of air. I used to be appalled. And I once owned such a sofa. But it was still marginally functional, I suppose—almost as functional as my kids currently consider their beloved “launch pads” to be.

Not surprisingly, they have spent a goodly chunk of their collective childhood (clad in makeshift superhero capes, barn boots and strange-looking helmets fashioned from Winnie the Pooh and Dora the Explorer underwear) leaping from the backs of those gloriously cushiony surfaces with wild abandon, saving the day roughly 42 times a week. It’s been rumored anyway. More practically perhaps, couches serve as the most ideal cover known to man—a vast and wonderful dumping ground for the mounds and mounds of unsightly rubbish (i.e. kid paraphernalia) we can only dream of trashing one day. Instead, we settle for shoving it underneath and behind the sofa—out of sight, out of mind. A mildly liberating experience, some would say. But liberating nonetheless.

It is also my impassioned belief that couches are not to be confused with beds and they should never ever take the place of anything mattressy—except where the aforementioned naps (and unabashed mid-day romps) are concerned. Nor are they meant to be crashed upon till all hours of the night, perpetuating and exacerbating that horrendous, vegetative-type state I have grown to loathe. The one pictured thusly: a certain someone’s eyelids are slammed shut, his mouth—shamelessly agape and sucking air like nobody’s business and his arm (usually the left one)—suspended in midair by some strange force yet to be determined, sprouting forth from the cushions like a tree branch, aimed directly at the television screen, of course. At the end of that bough-like appendage rests the prized remote control device, firmly cemented in place for all eternity. Heaven forbid that some fool (namely me) would try to pry it away, adjust the volume, change the channel or try and convince Mister Sofa Spud that it makes far more sense to get up and go to bed than to vegetate half the night on the blasted couch. I may as well save my breath. It’s like conversing with a head of cabbage—a mildly intriguing concept in theory, but entirely futile in practice.

“Honey, why don’t you just shut off the T.V. and come to bed already. It’s late. Reeeeeeeally late,” I suggest for the 37th time in as many minutes. “It can’t be all that comfortable there and besides, your snoring is disturbing the neighbors. More importantly, it’s disturbing me.” (Yes, I can hear those irksome rumblings all the way upstairs—plain as anything).

He then mutters something completely unintelligible in response and I have to ask him to repeat it 16 times so I know precisely how to counter his denial of the obvious and his predictably lame attempt to justify why he’s STILL on the stupid sofa at 1:37 in the morning. Ugh.

Like I said—if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck….

Planet Mom: It’s where I live (with a man who possesses a wealth of couch potato tendencies).

Copyright 2007 Melinda L. Wentzel


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