Monday Dare: That couch is NOT for sitting


Every week, I challenge myself to a Monday Dare. Click on the link to see the complete list of Monday Dares or to learn more about its origin.

This week: Get comfortable

My dad worked as a mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service when I was a kid. His job came with a few advantages. It saved me from walking 30 or so feet down the driveway to mail a letter. Now that I’m thinking about it, this probably exacerbated my innate desire to be the laziest 8-year-old to ever roam the face of this planet (Hey, if you’re going to do something, go for it all the way, I say).

On occasion, he would save magazines that were deemed “Undeliverable” and bring them home for us kids. I always requested home design magazines. I clipped out pictures of beautiful things and articles on How To Make Your Home Feel Lived In But Still Look Perfect Even Though You Got A Tight-Ass Budget And Some Stupid-Ass Kids Who Put Their Grimy-Ass Hands Everywhere And I Fucking Mean Everywhere.

I would spend hours cutting out pictures and then taping the front and back of each picture with rows of Scotch Tape. I would double tape the areas with small gaps, making the picture harder to see, but I wanted my pictures to stay protected so I could use them as references when I became a Katrillionaire Adult. I asked for a laminator, but my parents always had some bullshit excuse about not spending on unnecessary luxuries. It was during one of these NO‘s that I quietly decided I would never invite my parents over to my Teal Palace to admire my semi-circle headboards or Laura Ashley comforters.

It’s a shame that all of those hours clipping and taping didn’t actually cultivate a keen eye for design or functionality. That BLING nook looks pretty cozy, amirite? Too bad no one can sit in that chair without knocking into the sloped wall. Yeah, I tried pulling the chair out already. I promptly tripped over one of the legs and almost lost my front teeth. I’ve still got braces on for another year. Think about how much my orthodontist would hate me. “What the fuck, Elizabeth, I can tell THESE ARE CHICLETS.”

I finally fulfilled my childhood wish of owning a white sectional. It doesn’t have a La-Z-Boy at the end like my home-laminated picture, but it’s white. I wish I could tell you more about it, but you know how it is: You buy a white couch and suddenly, you tell your family that it’s better to sit on the stone floor because “something about spinal alignment,” and then you don’t sit on it either, because you want to have a straight and healthy spine too. One time, you accidentally brush against the corner while wearing dark-rinse denim, and you immediately fall to the floor with your arms raised, asking the Universe to turn back time just 7 seconds, to that moment before the lily white fabric absorbed any of the deep blue pigment. You cry about it a lot that day. A little less the next day. In a month’s time, you feel okay. Not perfect, just…okay.

Life is for living. Couches are for sitting. Wow, that’s really beautiful. And I just made that up right now, too. I want to live comfortably in my home. I want to put my grimy-ass hands everywhere, and I fucking mean everywhere.

Any decorating disasters or regrets? Ever sullied something in your home that you love?

BLING pic: Another sad moment captured on Instagram (username: flourishinprogress)

Get connected on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page: (t)hug life thoughts, random shit, time-wasting links.

Speaking of wasting time…In my quest to be as unproductive as possible, I spent 45 minutes making this tag + miniature hanger for Harv’s Valentine’s Day Swag. THUG WIFE. THUG LIFE.

Commenting Guidelines:

Leave your thoughts below and I'll holler back at you with a response. PLEASE DO NOT POST LINKS TO PRODUCTS OR SITES within the body of your comments. I edit/delete them. If you'd like to link your comment back to your site, just sign up for a Disqus account. It's quick and easy. I promise.

  • Stacie Burrows

    Ahhhhhhh!!!! My favorite line: “What the fuck, Elizabeth, I can tell THESE ARE CHICLETS.” That made my day. Thanks Elizabeth.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      It made my day that I made your day. That made so much more sense in my head.

  • Geoffrey Taylor

    Reminds me of all the pretentious living rooms out there that no one is allowed to set foot in. I once dented my favorite desk by throwing a watch on it. Didn’t make much sense to me either, but I immediately regretted it.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Dang. Some powerful arms you got there, man.

  • Kayla Carruth

    Every single time we move, I end up breaking something I love by accident. The time before last it was my Tiffany’s lamp shade that I’d always dream of having and actually did……until I broke it. You’d think that’d be incentive enough to stop me from moving every single friggin’ year…..but it doesn’t.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      NO, NOT THE TIFFANY’S! There was about a 10-year period where I moved every year. Shit would randomly disappear or break and then I’d cry and say I’d never move again. Rinse and repeat 10 more times.

  • Are You Kidding Me?

    Ugh, when we were building our house, I picked the paint colors. I didn’t know how to pick paint colors and our painter had some sort of substance abuse problem and disappeared in the middle of the job. So, the “oatmeal” color I picked out turned out to be pale yellow and our red dining room was a raging pink from the painter mixing the paint with primer and only putting on a couple coats. It looked like a funhouse. And we had to have the place painted so the guys could put up the molding. So we spent Easter weekend painting the house a lovely neutral beige and putting about 7000 coats of red on the dining room. Fortunately, the bathrooms turned out nicely, and the bedrooms and closets looked fine in yellow.

    Also, we’ve had our light beige sectional with recliners at both ends for almost 12 years, and it’s still in decent shape. Of course, my neurotic husband won’t let me sit on it when I’m still wearing my work clothes, and no one wears shoes in the house, but it’s been splashed with red wine twice and survived (thanks to OxyClean).

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Wish you coulda seen how hard I laughed at your throwaway line “some sort of substance abuse problem.” My biggest fear in hiring anyone to do anything is that they will disappear before they finish. I like to hover for the first few days just to see how they’re doing things in case I need to finish some shit myself.
      Happy to know there is one other family out there who makes the distinction between “outside clothes” and “inside clothes”. I never, ever let anyone get on, in, near the bed in “outside clothes.” Do you know there are actually people who sleep with their shoes on? In college, the girl who lived in the next room would take naps during the day with her shoes on. UNDER the blanket. Writing that just made me shudder a little.

      • Are You Kidding Me?

        Shoes on the bed is MY WORST NIGHTMARE!!!! Well, that, and food in bed.

        • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

          I ate toast/peanut butter in bed two days ago. My husband is still complaining about the crumbs. I guess i should wash the sheets or something. if only I weren’t so lazy….

  • Ed

    Oh my… The hardwood floors…my hubby wants to have them sanded and refinished, we have been here 9 years and have had 2 boys and 2 big dogs lots of “character”as I like to say. But I just can’t go back to being the floor Nazi again so I don’t want them redone…they are floors after all and are meant to be walked on right.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Totally. Are your hardwood floors dark or light? Ours are dark, which was a very poor decision on my part because I’m a klutz and drop something about once an hour. Nicks and marks show up so much more on dark surfaces. As well as dust. Oh dear Lord, the dust.

  • Kim’s Kitchen Sink

    Oh, I once owned a white couch. I had to have white because I painted the walls sea foam green and yellow. Don’t believe me? Here’s a link to some pictures: I had STYLE! Ok, I had COLOR! We still have that couch, though I replaced the white slipcover with a brown one (<3 you, IKEA) when we moved into an apartment with more neutral coloring. Strangely, though we had no kids or pets, the white couch always found a way to get dirty. I kept a Tide Stain Stick on the bookshelf (still do, force of habit) to clean up dinnertime spills. What, you don't eat all your meals on the couch in front of the TV?

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Those Tide Stain Sticks are GENIUS. One day, I’d like to walk into Target like A BOSS and buy 100 of them at the same time. Maybe after I win the lotto, who knows. I made a rule that no one can eat or drink on the couch or open carbonated beverages within two feet of the couch. Just in case. Welp, now you know what kind of crazy my family has to deal with on a daily basis.

      • Kim’s Kitchen Sink

        No joke, I have them in every room of the house. And one in my purse.

  • MJ Germany

    I bought a white fur rug when I decorated my first apartment. In my head, it was amazing and romantic. In reality, I was allergic so I couldn’t go within (5) feet of it. Did I throw it out then? Nope. How about when I discovered you couldn’t vaccuum it, or walk on it and I was forced to tip toe around the edges of my living room hugging the walls for support? Uh-huh. For a solid 18 months I hand groomed that horrible rug with a pet brush until my friends finally broke down and had an intervention.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Major fist bump to your friends. I could only bite my tongue for so long, but I imagine my tipping point would be catching my friend getting down on all fours with a pet brush to groom and care for a rug.

  • brittany rae

    White by far is the scariest non color color. I am so bad with white. I never even wanted a white wedding dress because hello I want to eat or even move in the darn thing without ruining it. Good luck with the couch. Mine is navy blue.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Are the dark colors any more forgiving? Do you have pets? I’d imagine there is a lot of lint roller action to pick up stray bits and pieces of stuff.

  • Julia

    I have a white sectional with three kids from the ages 14-11 months. I had it scotchguarded when I bought it and once a week I spot clean it. It is holding up pretty well because I am the only one that gets to eat on it. I figure by the time the baby is 10 I will be sick of it anyway and throw it out. The last couch lasted 10 years and we cried when we through it out. We carried it out to the curb and sat on it like a bunch of dumbasses but it started to smell like old people so it had to go.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I laughed. Out loud. Hate it when shit starts to smell like old people. Unforgivable.

  • Alison

    My kids smear their grimy, sticky paws all over my comfy, gorgeous, modular grey couch all the time. I GIVE UP.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      It takes balls to have beautiful furniture with two little ones running around. You get major points for that.

  • Nicole

    That is hilarious. And you are so right. I am deathly afraid of white furniture. I grew up in a house with white formal living room furniture, white dining room furniture(upholstered!), and off-white carpeting. Um. Yea. I’m almost 30, and my parents STILL have those furniture items, because my mom is that careful with them. They still look brand spanking new! I don’t have the patience for that stuff. My furniture is usable. Doesn’t mean I don’t flip out when something happens to it, but at least it’s pretty easy to clean up!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Just through years of practice, you must be, like, the carefullest person ever. Do you parents use the white furniture? Get the carpet cleaned frequently? I gotta give props to your mama.

      • Nicole

        Well, yes, I am fairly meticulous about things. Not to the extreme my mom maintains. She picks up every dropped crumb with her fingertip, and my dad follows suit. It is insane!
        They do use the white furniture. But carefully. When we have holiday meals, my kids sit on towels. My mom always eyes my dark wash jeans suspiciously. And so on.
        There’s always one situation I recall…. We had company over, a man my father knew, and he was sitting in the living room on that white furniture with us. He sat with his legs crossed such that his heel touched the piping on the edge of the loveseat cushion(yes, it’s a sofa AND loveseat in white upholstery, a damasque), and my mom just watched. The second he was out the door she was on that spot with every industrial cleaner she could get her hands on.
        They’ve been in their current house, off white carpet and all, since 1999. My mom has a steam cleaner and she’s cleaned the whole place once in that time, with the exception of the room where their cat’s litter box was stored, which has been done a few times, and the stairs, which have been done a few times. Except for some wear, there’s no marks or stains. I don’t know how it’s done.

        • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

          TOWELS! I’m gonna go get a grip of towels so my guests can actually sit on the furniture next time.
          13 years. That’s a major accomplishment. Must be exhausting but very satisfying.

  • SandyOhio

    When we moved into a different house, I got a new couch. I picked out mostly white fabric that had to be dry cleaned (with 4 kids in the house). I lectured and lectured “no eating or drinking in the living room”. Well, one day the phone was ringing, I had red juice in a cup… can probably guess the rest. Tripped and fell and managed to splash most of the juice on the couch.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I just watched the whole scene in my head slow motion.
      If that had happened in my house, my family would not have let me live it down for…EVER. As much as I get on their case about being careful around the couch, the only damage it has ever incurred has come from me. Naturally.

  • Siebee

    I just moved into a house with wallpaper in the bathroom that I believe came from the “Clown-Inspired Bubbles that Grandmothers from the 1980s Believe to be ‘Jazzy'” collection. It would be slightly easier to suffer through until I can afford to replace it, if it weren’t in the bathroom, where I tend to be naked. Ugly home decor just feels especially offensive when you don’t have clothes on.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      FORREALZ. I need at least one layer of cotton or (if I’m being real) rayon/wool blend between me and poor home aesthetics.

  • L-Train

    Teal Palace…check; semi-circle headboard WITH MIRRORS…check; Laura Ashley comforter…what am I, an asshole?

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Glad to hear this. Don’t know that our friendship could have survived the Laura Ashley decor.

  • rebecca

    I have the same respect for people that look all put together as for people that have an eye for decorating. Because while I appreciate it I dont have the gift to pull it off effortlessly. (or the money…do you know how expensive art is?! like gazillion dollars expensive)
    Also I have a kid & two dogs. I am pretty sure that at some point the three of them held a meeting to plan my demise. I dont know this for sure but it probably involved peanut butter on my white comforter, puke on my rugs and crayola markers on my coffee table.
    If I had no dogs and no kid my house would look like a West Elm add. I like clean & contemporary.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I get a little depressed every time i go to the Women’s Apparel section of Pinterest. All these ladies be putting together some fabulous looking shit all the time. I just got out of the shower and I’m clean. That’s about the extent of it for me.

  • pencilmarkandthings

    As a kid, I used to cut out diamond rings and the likes, and taped them around my fingers. Now, as an adult, you rarely find me wearing accessories…that includes a purse. I don’t know why that is. Wow, I cannot believe this childhood memory almost escaped me…. Thanks for the post!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Thank YOU for showing me how to expand my bling collection on a budget. I bet you can’t even tell that shit is a taped-on picture from afar.

  • Pingback: That Couch is NOT For Sitting | What The Flicka?()