By Marla Jo Fisher
The Orange County Register
I’m no longer surprised when I get up in the morning and discover that my teenagers have thrown the couch pillows all over my living-room floor during their late-night movie viewing.
What I fail to adequately understand is what happens next.
If I don’t pick up the pillows and replace them on the couch, the youngsters not only will step over them all day long, but they will actually step on them, apparently having been blinded by the wretchedness of the movies they’ve been watching and hence unable to distinguish between large fabric items and the hardwood floor.
Or perhaps they were royalty in their past lives, and accustomed to walking only on pillows.
It’s become clear to me that they are more likely to grow wings and fly over the pillows than to ever pick them up and put them back where they belong.
I would consider just eliminating the problem by getting upholstered furniture sans pillows, but I paid the Salvation Army the vast sum of $241 for this couch-and-loveseat set, and I really want to get my money’s worth out of it.
I know you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “Marla. Furniture from the Salvation Army. Really?”
It’s true that all those years of making so little money and working in a newsroom with a bunch of wackos have taken their toll on me, but that’s not why I did it.
Seriously, if you had my son, you’d be tempted to pick up one of those couches you see people put out on the curb.
Anything else is just a waste of money, because — not to put too fine a point on it — the kid is murder on furniture.
As I wrote last week, several knobs are missing off my antique desk because he used them as a footrest when he was sitting there.
And the predecessor to this couch has been relegated to the family room, where its broken spine can be propped up against a wall.
My son broke that couch’s back by leaping over it, playing Superman. Or, rather, he tried to leap over it unsuccessfully. You could hear the “craaaack” in outer space when he missed, and landed hard. Fortunately, it was the sound of wood splintering and not a boy.
I could actually rent out my children as demolition experts, since they can destroy furniture faster than anyone can build it.
I always laugh hysterically when I watch some home decorating show where the decorator picks a white couch for a home with children.
Then, I lay bets with Buddy the Wonder Dog – my TV companion – about how many nanoseconds it will be before someone melts crayons on it, spills grape juice on it, or drops an open bottle of nail polish.
Of course, that’s just my house, yesterday.
When my children were little, I bought a small electric saw to do some work around the house.
But I then began to fear that the wee ones would find this fascinating device and try to demolish even more furniture, cutting off any stray body parts that got in the way.
Knowing my kids, this was a perfectly rational fear, so I hid the saw very carefully.
And I hid the blades somewhere else.
Unfortunately, five years later, when I went looking for the saw to use it, I had no idea where it was.
After 97 hours of searching, I finally found the blades in the bottom of the hall closet, but they couldn’t reach their full potential without the electrical part.
I’m happy to report that when I wasn’t looking for it but merely de-cluttering, I stumbled across the saw inside an unused clothes hamper in the back of my bedroom closet.
This is good, because I think my son is old enough now to use it without cutting off any essential digits, and I can have him cut up the fallen cypress tree in the back yard that Curly Girl lit on fire by accident a few years ago, while she was lighting candles.
But, that’s another story entirely.
In fact, I should probably charge him money to use the saw, knowing how much boys like to demolish things.
And, afterward, I’m going to march him into the living room and make him pick up the couch pillows.