Monday, March 03, 2008

The Right Priorities

So, a few months ago we bought a couch. A sofa bed, in fact, so that when our friends (like you! That's right, you!) come visit, after they go out and see the wonders of the Greater Vancouver Region and ride a skytrain and a ferry and walk on the beach and eat sushi and come back to our place and admire the view and we all stay up talking and laughing hysterically and drinking the wine we brought back across the border from Trader Joe's, they (you!) can have a nice place to sleep that does not involve waking up at 3 in the morning with a metal bar digging into their/your back.

Now, of course we tried the couch out when we bought it; we made the couch salesman unfold it and we all lay on it and bounced and tried to determine whether, aside from the overwhelming self-consciousness brought on by lying down in broad daylight in a couch store, we felt comfortable. And we were pretty sure we did. But that's very different from actually sleeping on the thing, which is what my relatives did a couple of weeks ago when they stopped by to visit on their way up to a ski resort. They pronounced it "surprisingly comfortable" the next day, so we were relieved.

Mostly, though, we use the sofa function of the sofa-bed rather than its bed capacity. It is an excellent place for napping or reading or all sitting together to watch a DVD on the computer. We all chose it together, and it is a cheerful red color that clashes in a homey way with the falling-apart overstuffed chair that we brought up from Seattle with us.

It is also the most expensive piece of furniture, by far, that either the Renaissance Woman or I have ever bought. At one point, I tried to calculate how many times we would have to sit on the couch for it to have paid for itself, at about $1 per session (on average; more for extensive naps, less for just sitting down for a couple of minutes). It will take a while, so we had a discussion about how imperative it is for all of us to use the couch as often as possible. We agreed that this was a highly worthwhile endeavor.

The past few weeks have been very, very busy, and both RW and I have to-do lists that do not seem to shrink no matter how energetically we attack them. We each have multiple looming deadlines with a lot riding on them, involving tasks that are new for us; at the same time, we have eagerly-anticipated family visits and holidays and vacations and just the daily business of life. On top of all that, I've been sick, with some kind of low-grade infection that I just can't shake, and RW has been working more hours than usual, often on evenings and weekends.

So there hasn't been much time to relax, and neither of us feels much inner permission to do so, not in the face of piles of laundry and stacks of dishes and more deadlines than we can even keep in our heads. But still, in the midst of all this pressure, we try to keep our priorities in order.

The other day, I went looking for RW, probably to ask her about some to-do item or other. I was calling down to the laundry room for her, and was surprised to hear her voice from the living room.

The Renaissance Woman was lying down, reading a book, her head propped on one of the couch cushions we'd hand-picked.

"I'm amortizing the couch," my spouse explained cheerfully.

The Mermaid Girl and dolls, amortizing the couch.


Blogger Pamelamama said...

ha ha!

8:30 PM  
Anonymous m.bee said...

Holy vocabulary, Batman!

9:56 PM  
Anonymous m.bee said...

Nevermind, thought MG said it, read it again, beautiful sofa, I'll show myself out.

9:58 PM  
Blogger elswhere said...

Oh, I can totally see why you thought MG said it, m.bee (and welcome, by the way), with her photo there and everything. And she'd be quite capable of saying it if she'd heard us explain it enough and/or say it ourselves. But no, in this case it was mine esteemed spouse.

10:30 PM  
Blogger elswhere said...

I fixed it so it's clearer. I'm as happy as anyone to brag about my kid, but it's nice to be clear that in this case I'm bragging about my spouse.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

This made me laugh out loud. With the amount of time I spend on our couch, that thing paid for itself years ago....

5:40 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...

Arwen and I will have to be sure to sit on it this evening. Friends using it is worth double, right?

8:20 AM  
Blogger Songbird said...

I just love this. Love. it.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous liz said...

I must come and get a little of its value, joining the ranks of the amortizers! It sounds glorious!

10:38 PM  

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