An Imagined Life: Pink '50s Sofa

An Imagined Life: Pink '50s Sofa

Heather Blaha
May 8, 2007

(Welcome to Jessica, one of the finalists for a contributor position here at AT:Chicago. Comment away!)

Used furniture has always intrigued me. At thrift stores and garage sales, I find myself wondering...Where did you come from? What did you see? Who did you know?

Some items speak more loudly than others but every single piece has a story:

I was born in the '50s but I won't get any more specific than that. A lady never reveals her true age. I will tell you that I only spent a few moments in the Kroehler showroom before I was whisked away by a demure but nervous new housewife. I was a wedding gift...

I resided in the parlor, surrounded by only the finest accessories and furniture. Early in the marriage, I supported the guests of frequent cocktail parties and impressed all the "important business connections." I stood proud and sighed as manicured fingers ran across my embroidery.

After the children were born, cocktail parties became a thing of the past. Yet I didn't have to fear grubby fingers and carefree drool because the wife would shoo the little ones out of the room the instant they even thought to enter. Although no one else came to sit upon me, the wife would visit, usually late at night, when the house was quiet. She would pull her legs up and nestle into me. She would often cry. It was through this fragile relationship that I became more than a sofa. During these years, I learned how to cradle.

The arguments began to flare up more and more frequently and I remained the wife's rose-colored sanctuary. I reminded her of fresh love, hope, and the blossom of a new life. This must be why, when she finally left that man, I was the first item to be wrapped in plastic and man-handled onto the truck. Thankfully, she was still able to afford me as the parlor sofa and not just the thing one "plops" themselves upon. I saw her couch, as it was carried past the arched doorway and into the family room. I shutter when thinking of the horrors that thing must have faced.

I spent the rest of my life there, providing a gentle comfort to that woman. She sat upon me to knit, to open mail, to speak to her grown children on the telephone. When she finally died, her children came to sort through her belongings. They were gentle with me, the youngest one even tried to give me a good cleaning! But I did not fit their lifestyle and, even though I held the memory of their mother in every thread, they had to give me up.

So now I wait. I stand next to all these other sofas and couches (that, I admit, terrify me) and hope for another young bride to come scoop me up. I may be a bit worn in places and I might not be exactly contemporary, but I never lost my figure (30" H x 83 L x 35 W). My tufting is completely intact, I do not smell of anything but lilac – I am the same lady I was a half a century ago.

If you'd like to rescue this sofa, you can find her here:

Brown Elephant Resale Shop

3651 N Halsted St

Chicago, IL 60613
11:00 AM - 6:00 PM / 7 days a week

- Jessica

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