It has come to my attention that I am now allergic to our couch. This is not wholly unexpected. Spring is in the air, which means if you look at me wrong, I sneeze. With pollens already irritating my sensitivities, it doesn’t take much for anything else to send me over the edge into a reaction — in this case, a couch I purchased for fifty bucks from my ex-boyfriend’s ex-roommate’s ex-girlfriend (really) twelve years ago when she moved to another apartment and didn’t want to take it with her. In addition to a fold-out bed so treacherous it could mangle the strongest back, it houses an assortment of writing implements, several handfuls of change, and enough fur to make a full-grown cat.

Adding another allergen to my repertoire was not one of my goals for this year, no matter how worthy the specimen may be. To be honest, I’m still trying to get used to having allergies in the first place. Thanks to good luck in the lottery we call genetics, penicillin, strawberries, bees, and even poison ivy have never given me so much as a rash, sneeze, cough, or itch.

And then by chance I moved to the desert — the climate that physicians in Ohio (where I grew up) recommended for those sensitive to pollens and the like. Now I gleefully spend every spring sneezing. Which is where the couch comes in (again). When springtime rolls around, and the pollens are at their worst, something in or on the couch, knowing that I am temporarily weak, joins in and gives me hives. Since my husband’s not moving back east, and I won’t move without him, the couch has to be the one to go, because I can handle spring in the desert or I can handle ancient upholstery, but it turns out that I can’t handle both.

This is not a decision to be made lightly, however. I’ve had my sofa over a third of my life — longer than I’ve owned any item of clothing, three times longer than my husband and I have been married, and twenty-four times longer than I’ve had my car. Shabbiness and reaction-inducing upholstery aside, there are some serious attachment issues here. Which means I must a) learn to hate the thing so much I must be rid of it or b) find a replacement I like even better. Since the latter has turned out to be nigh unto impossible, it looks like I’m fully relying on choice number one. Once the Couch of Death (See? I’m trying.) is properly vilified in my mind, maybe it will be easier to send it to the great furniture warehouse in the sky and invite a younger, prettier model into our family room. I’ll even try not to feel too guilty about it, but I’m making no guarantees.

Couch of Death + Minion
Closeup: Couch of Death + Minion (for scale)
Click on photo for enlarged villainy. It’s probably worth it.