Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Red couch=New woman

This is what part of my livingroom looks like. Because I'm moving, my furniture is for sale, and I sold my couch and lavished yesterday. The thought of losing my beautiful red couch makes me sick. Why? Well, let me tell you a story.

In the summer of 2000 I found myself professionally successful. I had an MA and I had been accepted into a Ph.D program. I was also a supervisor at the company I worked for and I was making pretty good money. However, I felt like a failure as a woman.

I married a man nine years older than me when I was 21 years old. This man was emotionally, verbally, sexually and physically abusive. I left him 2 days after Christmas in 1997. I was 23 years old. When the divorce was finalized, I had been 24 for 3 months. When I left, I took the bedroom suite I had had as a child and teenager. I also took two bookshelves and two armchairs. I left him with everything else. I dated for a while and then ended up in a relationship with a depressed drug addict. I sold the armchairs and stored my other furniture and moved in with him. It was over by July 2000. I was 26 years old, with no furniture and a string of very bad relationships behind me. I felt like a failure. I felt like worse than a failure. Obviously there was something so wrong with me that everyone I had a relationship with rejected me or had to do mind altering subsistences to "deal" with me. Love was apparently not enough, and perhaps, didn't really exist.

I needed furniture. I bought a double bed and then went hunting for a red couch. It had to be red. Everyone thought I was weird. Why red? One of my guy friends told me that men would walk into my apartment, see the red couch and think I was into power, that I was aggressive, angry and was a bitch. Well, I was powerful, if I was a guy, I would have been called ambitious, I was angry at myself for allowing men to treat me the way I had been treated and again, if I were a man, they would say I had large balls rather than being a bitch. I wanted my red couch, and I searched for months before I found it. The perfect red couch with a matching loveseat. I've had them since August 2000. Since then, no matter how bad my day has been, when I come home, I smile. When I sit on them, I feel like they are embracing me and reminding me that as a woman I am powerful, ambitious, in control of my own fate and I HAVE BIGGER BALLS THAN ANY MAN OUT THERE!!!! I love my couch and loveseat.

And now I have sold them. And my friend who bought them will sit on them and like that they're comfortable and in good condition, but he will not love them like I did. He will not understand why I will cry when he comes to pick them up. To him, they will be pieces of furniture. To me, they represent my decision to be me. They helped me figure out who I was and how I wanted to define myself in the future. I told Wes that at soon as we have room, I will buy another red couch. For my office. My own red couch that I don't have to share with anyone else. I will always have a red couch. Because no matter how good life is, it never hurts to remember how far you've come. And when life gets bad, it's always nice to know that something familiar is there for you, to remind you that you can keep going. I think everyone should have their own red couch.

And since no blog is complete without complaining about how stupid the students are: I'm grading 10 page papers. They are way worse than the first batch of papers. The worst, a student compared the Nazi camps to the Nationalist Socialist camps. If you don't know what's wrong with that, that's ok. You're not in my class. So I'll tell you. Nazi is the abbreviated version of National Socialist. They are the same thing. THE SAME THING!!! They were supposed to be comparing the STALINIST camps to the NAZI camps. Not the NAZI camps to the NAZI camps. That's just one of the many issues with these papers. They are lovely. I hate my students.


minnie said...

i'm sorry about your couch hon! i know you'll get one that you love as soon as you have the space. what's funny? i've been looking at a red (cinnabar) couch that i want, but don't have the room for! coincidence?

Bart's Camille said...

you are your own red couch now. you have internalized it and now you are all that the red couch embodied in your mind. i have always loved you my dearest friend and i am proud of the woman that you are!

Beth said...

Thanks for sharing your story of your red couch! I'm recently separated from my husband of 9 years and I can totally relate to the meaning that furniture has. I'm getting rid of everything to make a fresh start. Perhaps whenever I finally manage to get re-settled, I will buy myself a red couch!

Clarity said...

This entry was so beautiful and touching. I'm sorry having to sell your couch. I can understand after reading the story why you wouldn't want to part with it. I also know from my own moving experiences that there were certain items that held very strong sentimental value to me.

Look at it as a new beginning. I really really loved this entry. it actually made tears come to my eyes.