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Monday, February 28, 2011

Celena and the Couch

I recently received the following email:

Someone at work was telling me she bought this awesome, mammoth orange couch with a hide a bed and before she could finish her story, I yelled MY DEAR TRASH!!!!!! Sure enough! What a coincidence. I just started reading your blog last week, can't get enough, and just hit $1 day at the Goodwill for the first time... can't wait to list, sell and see what happens!! 

I laughed my head off when I read this.  This is what blogging is all about.

So, let’s talk about the couch, the orange mammoth hide-a-bed couch.
I found the couch at Goodwill and practically fell over the first time I saw it.  It was beautiful and hideous and took my breath away; more like a succor punch in the gut then love at first sight, but it caused me to take a step back to catch my breath.  I wondered, was I crazy to buy it?  According the Goodwill numbered tag, it had sat on the floor for almost 5 weeks with not a single interest. 

Did no one else see it? 
It’s enormous potential! 

Historically speaking, it was a piece of American history; you know the part where home d├ęcor was burnt orange and olive green.

I nudged it, wanting to see how sturdy it was when it practically hit me back.  It was so heavy; it had nothing to give back but hard solid wood.  I tried to scoot it, but it didn’t want to go anywhere.  I sat on it and like I’d hoped, it was sturdy structurally speaking.  I did the sniff test.  If it smelt like smoke or pet or pee, I was not brining it home for re-sell. 

I stood up and walked around it, eyeing it like it was under investigation, looking for any tears, signs of fading or snags.

And it was nothing but pure vintage perfection.
Like a good student, it passed all the tests.
So, I bought it.

The guy who worked stocking Goodwill helped me load it into my truck.
“This couch is awesome,” he said in homage to all mid-twenty skaters like him who would love to not live with their parents anymore, so maybe they could branch out and look at furniture as something they could invest in too.

In other words, I could tell he really wanted the couch.

When you find a fine piece of vintage furniture, like this one, you know it will go to someone unique, someone who really appreciates it, someone who is actually seeking it out.  
I posted an advertisement for the couch on and had 3 calls within minutes.  
The first caller was a young woman who begged me to hold it for her.
She was every thing I hoped and dreamed she would be, for the couch, that is.
Her name is Celena and she’s an opera singer.
Celena is a pretty red-head with a flare for life and the confidence to put it all out there.
She is the perfect match for a couch that doesn’t apologize for anything, for a couch that knows it will be the center piece of every social gathering in her apartment.  This couch knows it will be mocked and coveted, hated and loved, but never redone, no . . . never reupholstered, because that is why it gets so much attention.

Celena and I hit it off, talking in my garage next to the couch, sharing ideas of fashion and furniture and graduate school at ASU.

On a table next to the couch sat a huge pile of my recent Goodwill finds.  I pulled out some vintage clothes and offered Selina a pick of any of it.
It was no surprise she picked a summer apron dress with yellow polka dots.

Celena lived up to the challenge of owning a couch that weighs a ton when she rented a truck from Home Depot and took it home herself.  I have no idea how she got it up the stairs to her second-story apartment, I just know when you put your heart into something you love, miracles happen.

What independence, what drive, what dedication to the better things life has to offer. 
Oh, Celena.  You take good care of that couch and it will take good care of you.  Through the laws of the universe, you attracted that couch to you and you to the couch.  
Linking up to:

Domestically Speaking

New Nostalgia




  1. I love this story! (And I love the couch.)

  2. (Redheads gravitate to burnt orange and olive green, we can't help it.)

  3. Awesome couch. Even better story. Not that I would even THINK of doing would be a great sofa for anyone, reupholstered. Such good bones and shape. Great find.

  4. What a great story. How fun that you got the story, full circle!:)

  5. I love that couch too!That is an awesome story.

  6. What a fun story. I'm glad that couch found a good home. (I'm vintage, too, and I'm glad some people can appreciate that!)


  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE the Couch! True beauty and if only the couch could talk!

  8. I never knew something so eloquent and inspiring could be written about a couch. Love it!

  9. That couch is rad!!!!!!!!!! I love it!!!!!

  10. Thanks for the laugh! I love finding treasure- especially the ones that no one else "sees!" Congrats on your new roommate!