By Sue Murphy
When Goldilocks broke the chairs of the Bear family, she did more than destroy furniture. She plundered the family’s peace of mind.
Baby Bear’s chair may have been assigned to him because of his size, but I’m guessing Mama and Papa had personally selected theirs. They probably tried several, sitting a few minutes in one, a few minutes in another, until they found one that was just right for each of them. They weren’t interchangeable. If Papa Bear had decided to sit a spell in Mama Bear’s just-right chair, it would have felt just-wrong. So, they chose their chairs and happily settled in except for one brief foray into the forest to let their porridge cool; then in walks Goldilocks and ruins everything.
The Bears managed to chase her away (Somehow the Bears were portrayed as the aggressors in the story. It would never stand up in court.), but they still had to sit in hardback folding chairs until the insurance check came through.
Everyone has a place where they feel most comfortable. I’ll bet you always sit at the same chair at the dinner table. You sit in the same pew each Sunday at church. That may be force of habit, but at the end of a long, hard day, when you finally get to sit down and relax, you know exactly where you want to be. I have friends who say goodbye at the end of a party because “their chairs are calling them.” I get that. Even if I am out having a good time with friends, as the evening wears on, I begin to think of my place on the couch.
I saw a TV ad for a store that lets you design your own couch, which is brilliant. A couch, like a purse or a wallet, is a personal thing. It has to be the right size and shape, neither too hard nor too soft. But each person’s optimum hard/soft/size parameters are different.
After many rounds of sitting and doubting and sitting again, I bought a new couch last year and, even though I tried it on, as it were, I was nervous when it arrived. More than that, I felt guilty when the delivery people carted the old one out the door, like I was heartlessly banishing an old friend. Still, I let the truck drive away and turned my thoughts to moving forward, or more precisely, to sitting back.
It took me a few weeks to really break in the new couch, a lot of shifting and pillow fluffing, but in the end, my instincts were spot on. The couch is just right. One arm is next to the end table where I can set my snack. The other arm is next to a window with just the right amount of light to stretch out in the afternoon with a crossword puzzle. The cushions are interchangeable, and I had the whole thing Scotchguarded. I love it.
For me, my couch isn’t just a place to sit, it’s a refuge of sorts. When I’m feeling a little run down or world weary, I give myself a couch day. (I’m nice like that.) I watch a movie, do an extra crossword puzzle, have an unhurried cup of tea, and suddenly I’m feeling just right again.
So, when the days get colder, when the wind blows leaves against the windows and everything looks gray, retreat to your chair, to your cushion on the couch, and if your porridge is too hot, just blow on it. No sense taking chances.