Note from the editor, Lesley Jane Seymour
The White Couch
I am 62 and I am a full-fledged adult.
And I’m doing something really crazy.
I’m buying a white couch.
Yes, you heard that right. White! I have already ordered it, and it will be the centerpiece of our new home in New Orleans.
Buying a white couch, in my mind, is a right of passage. Kind of like the right of passage I hit in 2013 when I bought a two-seater ragtop car. I was throwing off the shackles of the SUV kids-mobile. I was also determined, for the first time, to actually “feel” my bonus (one of my last!) instead of letting it leach invisibly into the kids’ college account.
And you know what? Every time I drive that sexy red car, I feel a sense of accomplishment, a sense of adulthood, a sense of plunging forward with my life. Up until then we only had giant family mobiles — SUVs with three seats so that the kids couldn’t fight while we were driving. This time I wanted a car where a kid was forbidden to bring a cheese scraper. (Yes, I once plopped down on said scraper in my new business suit on the way to the train station! It was not a pretty moment. My daughter, who loved to eat cheese while on the way to dance practice, had left it on the front seat.)
So a white couch represents movement. A new start. A reinvention.
After all, you can’t have a white couch when there are little people wandering around with peanut butter on their fingers. Or when teenagers are playing beer pong in your dining room.
No, a white couch means I’ve accepted that the family stage of my life is over. It means that as much as I grieve for that wonderful, chaotic time of watching children grow up, I’ve decided to become excited about my future instead. I even plan to take out and use the real china and glassware as well!
P.S. I was on my way to buying an upholstered white couch when the seller begged me to choose a slipcovered one instead. Just. In. Case. You know, when visitors or twentysomethings get a little crazy with red wine or margaritas.
So maybe I’m not entirely done with that stage after all.