Life On The Couch

Mom pretty much lives on the couch.  Well, to be honest, it’s really a loveseat.  But she spends 10 hours a day there with her feet propped up on the little round ottoman.  This is after 2 hours sitting in the kitchen doing the morning crossword and having her OJ, banana and granola bar breakfast with Drew Carey.  She also spends 2 hours in the afternoon napping on the matching sofa.  The remaining 10 hours are spent in bed, sleeping.

She has a stash of stuff crammed under a throw pillow and a spare sweater that lays over the unoccupied cushion.  There are several “women’s” magazines, the current TV guide, a magnifying glass, her beloved electronic Poker game, an electronic crossword dictionary, at least one semi-completed Crossword Puzzle magazine, used tissues and, when it’s not being charged, her Kindle.  The end table just to her left contains the Kindle charger, a dish of M&Ms, a jar of hard candy, a box of tissues, any mail she deems too important to throw away but not urgent enough to deal with, and the telephone.  There’s a basket that holds several Publisher’s Clearinghouse and Reader’s Digest entry receipts with the winning registration numbers.  It also holds four or five tweezers, a couple of nail clippers, three emery boards, an assortment of pens, a list of phone numbers, and a notepad.  There didn’t used to be a basket of stuff – it used to be just piles of stuff until I went tilt one day and found the little basket in her closet.  Back then it held a half a dozen unused, dried out Bingo board markers.

I asked her the other day how she could just sit in the same spot all day long.  I can’t sit on my office chair for more than a couple of hours without getting up and walking around and finding something else to look at beside my computer screen.

“I don’t spend the whole day here,” she replied.  “I get up to do stuff.”

“Like what?” I asked.

“Well, I have to go to the bathroom sometimes.”

“Okay,” I responded.  “You go to the bathroom and then come right back out to the couch.”

“But I still have to walk down the hall and into my bedroom to get there.  And then all the way back,” she rationalized.  “That’s getting up.”

“Okay, but if we had a toilet installed under the cushion and you didn’t have to leave to go pee, I’ll bet you’d never get up.”

“Yes, I would,” she replied, then paused for a moment before asking,  “Why?  Do they make such a thing?”

“Yes, Mom, they’re called bed pans.  Do you want me to get you one?”

“No, I don’t think so.  It would probably be messy and you’d be the one to clean it up.”

“Well thanks for that,” I said, with a hint of sarcasm that she didn’t get.

“Oh, and I get up to get the mail and I come and find you and Bill and give you yours,” she exclaimed.

“I know you do, but that’s only because I refuse to get it so you have to get off your rear end and do something besides watch TV.”

“I don’t just watch TV,” she huffed.  “I read.  I do crosswords.  I play my Poker game.  And, umm, and…” she stuttered, obviously searching her memory for some other pursuit.  “Oh, oh… and sometimes I make afghans if anyone wants one,” she finished with a triumphant nod.

“All admirable activities, Mom.  But they’re all done sitting in the same spot on the couch.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you get bed sores.”

“Well that’s just stupid.  This is a loveseat, not a bed and I can’t even lay down on it.  So how in the world would I get bed sores.”

“Oh, I don’t know… on your butt maybe?”

On this high note, she clammed up.  Her philosophy is if you can’t fight city hall, turn on Cash Cab.


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