taking the plastic covers off!


the "new" couch

We bought a new couch the other day. As soon as I saw it I knew it was “perfect” for us. When I told Jack that it was white he cringed a little. …but it is big, soft, wide and oh so comfortable with a little rip on the upper left corner. It is perfect for us because of the rip and the fact that it was “previously owned”…in good shape, not new. New, unblemished things don’t fit well with our lifestyle. They are going to get scratched, spilled on, jumped on, and eventually “used up” and replaced.

I remember, years ago, visiting a friend whose parents (Mr. and Mrs. Morris to me) had fitted plastic covers on the sofa and chairs. You could see the beautiful fabric through the stiff, clear plastic but those suckers were really uncomfortable to sit on…I think that was the point. Her parents wanted to preserve the good, keep it from changing…I could not understand that at the time…I do now. After all, back then, I wasn’t buying furniture or paying mortgages or car payments.

As I get older, I can feel this part of me that wants to keep things from changing…to preserve the unpreservable…my body, the color of my hair,  my relationships, my home…but everything is changing, growing, being born, dying…it is the flow of life and all of the plastic covers in the world won’t stop it. Life will just become a stiff and uncomfortable parade circumstances to be resisted rather than joined….life is messy at times..it is furry, and dirty and wet and sometimes slimy…bring it on!!

P.S. I finally bought a new (to me) car last week too. The previous owners obviously did not have a dog….if they did, it was a very small, neat, fur-less one…not anything like Luke. The car is very, very clean. I need to “take the plastic covers off” and invite my life in…oh, ouch…I really understand the Morrises now!

10 thoughts on “taking the plastic covers off!

  1. I never thought about my grandparents and their plastic couch covers in quite this way before…thanks for your thoughts on this which are right on…nothing does stay the same and life can be messy. And what would our lives be without our messy children and even messier pets…I wouldn’t change that for the cleanest home in the world!!

  2. My mother was like that when I was growing up and still is even now. My stuff gets used – by the time it needs replacing, it’s not even good enough to give away. I want to lay down on my couch, cuddle my pets on there, touch the lamps, the rugs, and whatever else. My house is not a museum. It’s meant for living a life.


  3. I discovered Wabi Sabi, the love of previously used, slighty imperfect things, some years ago at my wonderful dr’s office. she has the best magazines. at that time this amazing store, YBuyNew opened up in our town. we had moved and decided to get all new furniture, which we did, and didnt enjoy, so we were able, at piece at a time, get things we did love and that seemed to love us back, squishy comfy friendly things that if you happened to spill on, oh well, wipe it off and life goes on!

  4. I agree that life is messy and constantly changing – as it should be and as we change with it. Technology makes the rate of change even faster these days. Remember the series on TV – Everyone loves Raymond? Marie had those plastic covers on her couch and the many jokes and episodes about them and removing them. Funny, but so true. We want to preserve the good things, good memories and maybe worry the changes will take some of the comfort out of our lives instead of adding to our comfort and love.

  5. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with wha’s going on in my life that I wish I was like Samantha Stevens on ” Bewitched”. We are getting ready to sell our home, so I’ve been cleaning and painting and sorting and sending things to good will. it’s exhausting! I tell myself, If I didn’t have so much stuff or maybe my 2 bigs labs could stay somewhere else for awhile and then I take a deep breath and remember all the livin’ that has taken place here and I hope people want that in a home, evidence that some laughter and love happened here. If not they’ll probably buy something new with the plastic covers still on! Such is life! As always , love your shared thoughts.

  6. Looks like the kitties love the “new” couch too! I think of imperfections as charming, just makes life so much easier.

  7. Hi Mary – this morning when I was putting on my socks to go to meditation, I noticed that they had some cat &/or dog hairs clinging to them. I thought, “I can’t wear these; we take off our shoes for meditation.” But, happily, the next thought was, “Mary has 6 cats, she will understand”! And then I came home and read this. I always say that I want my home to be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be comfortable. Sometimes when I look on my hairy couch and see my Chocolate Lab in one corner and my Yellow Lab in the other…I feel a tad bit guilty. What would people think? Guess what, I don’t have too many people over, and the ones who live here all love to sit on the one spot that’s left on the couch – with a big furry friend on each side!!

    • “clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be comfortable” is a great way of putting it!!

  8. I clean other people’s houses, and my house will never be as clean as theirs. There’s too much “life” going on here with our dog, 6 cats, and 3 boys. I used to feel embarrassed about all the dirt and fur in our house, but everyone always says what a comfortable, homey place we have. After all, I always have a dustpan and lint roller handy!

  9. I grew up with a Mother who kept things perfect and we never used the really good stuff,like the good china and the good crystal and the good towels. What’s the point??

    We have animals and the house is never perfect!!! Far from it but we enjoy it and our animals!

    Smile, laugh, live!!!!

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