A Real Bugaboo


A seat of love

Urgency Day 291

500 Things Item 200: Loveseat

  • History: From my mom’s house
  • Value: And then some
  • Parting Pain: For the love, not for the dust
  • Un-possessing: Donation (or, if necessary, trash)

Do loveseats get bedbugs? Does that make them love-bugs?

JUST TO BE CLEAR: This well used– albeit very dated– loveseat DOES NOT HAVE BEDBUGS! But I’m sure it has dust mites. No, make that I know it has dust mites. It’s 23 years old, has never been reupholstered, never even been steam cleaned. If it doesn’t have dust mites, it’s a magic loveseat.

It is not a magic loveseat.

Recently, I have been thinking a lot about a line I read in an article in The New York Times:

The fact is, I am often transfixed when in the presence of the artifacts of my own existence. Being transfixed is a cousin to being paralyzed.

I don’t want to be paralyzed by my artifacts. Even more, I don’t want my family to be burdened by all my stuff. I used to laugh at my aunt when she would say that full trashcans “spoke” to her. Okay, Gogo was a real mess, despite her aversion to trash, but now I’m starting to hear my stuff talk to me:

“We are not a shrine.”

The big-ticket item I’m putting up today, the loveseat, needs to go. It’s old; it’s tragic; it should be given a government hazardous-waste designation: Suzanne’s Love Seat Superfund Site.

So why have I been hanging on to it?

  1. Inertia: It fills a spot.
  2. Inertia: It was hard to get into the spot (much pivoting was required: “Pi-VAT!”).
  3. Sentiment: It has lived in 5 of our 7 homes; there are memories, besides dusty bugs, attached.

Oh dear. That last one is a real bugaboo, isn’t it? While it seems that inertia is mainly responsible for my paralysis, the real culprit is sentiment. This time I’ll quote myself. I said it here awhile back:

Keep the memories, lose the crap. And the regret.

I will. I will keep the pictures. I will share the stories. I will be the curator of happy memories, and not of mouldering, unpleasant furniture.

Yes, I will.


7 Responses to “A Real Bugaboo”

  1. Donna Says:

    OK, Let’s get this straight: Gogo said the trash cans “screamed” at her.

    You are my daily inspiration. Wish I could find your resolve. I know I have it in me somewhere, but why, when I cleaned out several cabinets this morning, could I not throw out many of the old half-burned candles I found? “They still have life”, by mind said. “What if we lost our power for weeks on end this winter? We’d need those candles.” I think I should go downstairs right now and try harder.


  2. sthibeault Says:

    I thought maybe her son, our beloved cousin, would object to the real anecdote. Thanks for provided clarity– and cover for me.
    Except for your age, I think you may be a child of the Great Depression, when nothing was wasted and for good reason. Unless they’re screaming at you, maybe you should keep the candles. ILY

  3. kara Says:

    I have a love seat, actually our dogs have a love seat. It has been steamed clean but the stains don’t budge. Bingo chewed on the arm a bit, but still I keep it. It was my Grandmother’s and I think that one day I will restore it to it’s living room worthy condition. I know, I know that it will be cheaper to buy a new one than fix this one, but a.) a new one won’t have the history, and b.) a new one that I could afford, wouldn’t be made as well. Am I fooling myself? Should it get the boot?

  4. sthibeault Says:

    I think restoring a good piece is a great idea. I just don’t see us doing that, plus we’re trying to move to smaller digs. Different problems.

  5. melanie Says:

    Another sweet, yet funny and inspirational post all in one. Thank you. Signed, curator of the Melanie Museum of a Myriad of Merchandise that I’m trying to Minimize!

  6. Barbara Hartman Says:

    Your love seat looks like a match for my old sofa that I also want to give away! I’m inspired by your saying “keep the memories, lose the crap”. That is going to be my new mantra. Thanks, Suzanne!

  7. sthibeault Says:

    Barb, maybe we could both downsize our cast-offs, if we package them together like a set! I’m all for strategic downsizing, or more likely misery loves company 😉

    Thanks for the comment!

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