I never thought about how sturdy furniture has to be until I started to demolish a couch. Why demolish it? It came into the house through the good work of two wonderful movers – a guy and a woman who worked wonders. I actually wrote a poem about the miracles these people performed. It’s on this blog in the distant past posts and you can have a look if you search for Moving a Washing Machine. I need to get this couch out of my house now because I bought what I know is a much inferior couch. The feature that sold me, however, is that it converts to a bed for when my grandkids visit.
People have tried to get this couch out of my house before to no avail. My little duplex was built in 1960 when furniture was not mammoth and on occasion I have even had to take out the living room windows to get other pieces in or out. The last time was just after a raging snowstorm and my miracle workers had to wade through two feet of snow with my mother’s antique sofa. The legs of antique sofas do not come off. The prospect of taking those windows out again – and worse – getting them back in properly was not to be considered so through the doors we must go.
My 15 year old grandson and his best friend agreed to carry the darned thing out to the curb if I could be sure it would fit. Hence the need to bash the legs off. Easier said than done. When I bought this couch in the 1980’s (God, how old am I?) it was a high ticket item. Over the years I had it reupholstered and to be honest, it has held up well. After wrestling with it today I understand why.
Four legs – four blocky pieces of wood well upholstered and attached to the frame by nails, screws and staples had to come off! Screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer and most important a steely determination to get those damned legs off the sofa – – and still it took me two hours. The boots? well after the first block of wood flew off unexpectedly and landed alarmingly close to my bare toes, I figured I’d better put on my version of construction boots.
What really surprised me was how sturdy this sofa really is. I am sure the replacement one will not be half as good. However, it was painlessly paid for with money collected from a cash-back credit card I have been using for two years (plug for Tangerene here) and the kids will sleep better.
Too bad I have forgotten the name of the maker of my old faithful. I remember I paid a lot of money and bought it in Ogilvy’s. I’m sure it’s the only thing I ever bought in there!
In this throw-away era it was somehow satisfying to discover that my furniture was really well made. It took knowledge and skill to make that sofa. But brute force and a stubborn attitude won the day!
You are so insightfully funny.
This just made my morning!
Hope the kids enjoy your new sofa bed!
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I love this.
Back in 1972 I made my first major home purchase, a sofa that I fell in love with. It was expensive at the time, way more than I really should have paid on my measly wages, and also bought in a high end store.
I still have that sofa. It has been reupholstered twice since then and I still love it. In fact, when you visited me in San Miguel you would have sat on it.
A while ago, when I sat on one end, I heard a noise and the sofa dropped about 5 inches. I realized that something had broken in the frame. At the time, I did the Mexican fix….I went out into the street, found a couple of bricks, which are always available…and put them in a strategic location under the sofa to support it.
Recently I decided that something had to be done. I either had to buy a new sofa or find someone who could repair the frame. Finding good furniture in San Miguel is not always easy and for sure there are no deals….and as you have said, new furniture is not made like it used to be.
After searching in a consignment store and not finding anything, I spoke to the owner and asked her if she knew any one who could repair furniture. She quickly volunteered to come to my home with her repair man and tell me what could be done.
As promised, they arrived….a few hours late as per Mexican time….and after he took a look at my sofa , quickly told me that all it needed was a few screws. Thirty minutes , and 500 pesos ($30) later, my sofa is as good as new!
Two lessons….They just don’t make things like they used to and it is never a mistake to buy quality.
And …..God bless Mexico !
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