Ever have one of those marriage moments? Jack and I were divesting the upstairs landing of an old loveseat we picked up cheap someplace. The overstuffed seat, useful at first outside the Second Story Cafe for customers waiting on pick-up orders, was now in prime time bookshelf real estate. Time to say goodbye.
But nobody wanted the ancient paisley green thing, not at a yard sale, not donated. We’d have to carry it out to the trash. It was a solidly-built piece in its day–as Jack and I discovered once we’d eliminated the cushions, taken up the spare change, and unscrewed the solid wooden legs. Thing STILL weighed a ton.
Threading it down our 100-year-old staircase, past the rabbit tunnels of bookshelves between us and the front door, seemed unwise. Too many delicate pottery items and squishable foster cats. So we opted for the back staircase and the long, cold hike across the yard in the dark; we started the whole operation about 7:30 pm.
That probably has a lot to do with what happened next. I’d had a stressful day at the college trying to get some paperwork finalized, and Jack had been alone all day in the rather swamped bookstore – not that custom is a problem, you understand, but we were both feeling a bit hard done by and underappreciated.
So by the time we got The Great Green Monstrosity of Paisley Demonhood (as I may have called it once or twice, because remember by 7:30 pm I’d had a glass of wine on an empty stomach) onto the upstairs landing, I was pretty fed up. Jack standing with his back to the open stairs, the couch aimed at his midriff, yelling “Push, dammit!” was just too much temptation. I set my end down and peered over the railing into the front yard.
The front yard, about twenty feet down as the crow falls, would have to be reached by us carrying TGGMOPD all the way around the side of the house. Unless…..
I looked up. Jack was looking at me. “I will if you will,” he said.
Together we ensured all cats were accounted for behind closed doors downstairs, and that the outdoor flap available to our dogs was closed with them on the correct side. We then maneuvered TGGMOPD into a seesaw position on the railing. I can only imagine what the neighbors thought as we shouted “CHALKS AWAY!” and let go.
Sucker went straight down, taking one branch from our apple tree but no further collateral damage with it. We peeked over the side; the sofa lay on its back like a turtle on the half-shell, implanted in the ground. Jack and I gave each other a high-five.
As Quakers, we practice non-violent solutions and problem management. But perhaps once every ten years or so, tossing a really heavy piece of furniture off a second-story balcony is most satisfying.
In case you’re wondering I can attest that this is a completely true story!
Good thinking and no injured backs!
Lol! I tried to talk Buz into buying that couch and I might have to give him some grief over its demise. 🙂
It might be too late now. It rained last night…..
Oh my, now I know for sure God loves a cheerful Quaker! So many times I would have loved to do that! Peace and Clarity Reign in the Quaker community Kathy
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We recommend it as a consensus building activity
Hilarious! I enjoyed reading this.
I love this story and I so understand what it’s like to try to find a place to dispose of a really sturdy piece of ugly but serviceable furniture with an oak frame that no one would take even left by the curb with “free” on it. We resorted to hacking it up, which took a week. Not the best choice but we were desperate.
Ah– the problems of divesting and letting go. I think you solved it. The wine probably helped. And the apple tree, after the initial insult, may be pacified. But are the cats missing the comfort of that (arguably) ugly thing?
Not all trade offs are equal. As the philosopher said–You will learn much when a couch can fly.