I bought a couch about eight years ago on sort of a whim. I had just lost a case in court and was feeling numb, and so, still dressed in my suit, I walked to a nearby furniture store and used all of the money I had been saving to send each of you to college to instead buy a brown leather couch.
Thus began nearly a decade of marital consternation.
As it turned out, Skylar did not like this couch because "it's not comfortable and I also really hate this blue rug you picked out and for the last time I need you to stop leaving your sweaty gym clothes on the bathroom floor why are you naked right now it's noon on a Tuesday."
While I actually agreed with most of his opinions, I obviously had to spend the next several years pretending that I thought he was wrong because in this house it's more important to win one argument than to experience thousands of hours of comfort.
He was right—the couch was so stiff it was called to serve as a stake president. It was shallow, to the point that curling up on it required advanced degrees in physics and sports science. Even the dogs hated it. And when you've lost the support of the portion of the household we have to hold back at the park because they have an ongoing craving for duck poop, you're not doing great.
I hoped eventually the couch would just break and I could tell Skylar that, although this was a perfect piece of furniture which exemplified the capacity of human ingenuity and spirit, we simply had to go ahead and buy something new. But this thing would not break and I believe it could and would survive a nuclear apocalypse.
Finally, several months ago, I decided to give in. I think I had had a glass of wine or something. I usually become more generous under the influence of Satan's juice.
"Fine." I told Skylar out of the blue. "This is a bad couch. Let's sell it and get something you'll like."
You would have thought I told him he could have that pony he's always wanted. The way his face lit up—it was like Temple Square at Christmas before they burned the entire place to the ground and made it the world's most expensive mud pit.
I'll note here, before you call Husband Protective Services on me: this is not one of those situations where I don't allow Skylar to make any decisions without my authority. Trust me. This man makes plenty of decisions. He makes so many decisions in our home that I sometimes forget I live here, too.
But, when it came to this couch and rug, he didn't want to buy something new until I forfeited. Because in this house, it's more important to win one argument than to experience thousands of hours of comfort. And if he had just bought a new couch, I could have pretended to hate the new one and then what petty feud would we have resolved?
What's that? This all seems unproductive and immature?
That's marriage, babyyyy!
Skylar took to the internet that very night and over the course of the next several weeks he viewed photos of every couch that has ever been dreamed up by man. He called friends to ask for their opinions until they started blocking his number and reporting him to the FBI. He dragged me around to so many furniture stores you would have thought we were trying to set a Guinness World Record.
Finally he found it. "I think this is the one," he told me, holding up his laptop to show me a photo of a couch that looked identical to all 6,000 couches he had previously shown me.
"It's perfect," he whispered, as though he had spent his life scouring dating apps before finding his actual soulmate.
He used all the money we had been saving for each of your retirements to instead order this. I got an email from the couch company a few minutes later letting me know that we would receive it sometime between the next full moon and The Great And Terrible Day Of The Coming Of The Lord.
Skylar had used my email address for the purchase, which means that for the next several months, he asked me on a near daily basis if I had received any shipping updates. I told him to just log into my account and track this on his own but he said it was more fun to make me do it.
At long last, I received a notification last week that the couch would be arriving on Friday between the hours of negative eleventy in the morning on March 17, 2023 and positive eleventy on December 50th, 2075 and that I needed to make sure not to go anywhere because if I wasn't home when they arrived they would throw the couch into the nearest active volcano and add us to a terrorist watch list.
And so I sat, perched in front of our living room window, like a mother waiting for her son to return from wartime.
When Skylar got home from work that evening, he took a flying leap into this couch. I saw him express a level of love for it he's never shown me. He loves this couch so much Republicans should make it illegal.
That night I learned that not only did we get a new couch, but we also got a long list of "Couch Rules," which were drilled into me in the tone of a third grade teacher who remembers what happened the last time the class went on a field trip and she was about to threaten to cancel the next one if the kids didn't shape up.
Once I was properly dressed, de-shoed, and Skylar had covered the couch with a coat of some stain resistant spray that instantly sucked up the entire ozone layer for the whole planet and drew it directly into the fabric, he let me sit on it.
I climbed in. He climbed in. The dogs climbed in. We sunk into what I think may be an actual cloud.
"Oh my god," Skylar whispered.
"Oh my god," I responded.
He gently rested his head on my shoulder, put one arm around me in a cuddle-hug, and mumbled, "so glad you finally admitted you were wrong."
~It Just Gets Stranger