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I've had my share of ugly

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Posted: Monday, February 7, 2011 10:45 am

Now here's a contest right up my alley: Ugly Furniture.

Every year, we hold different contests through the Lodi News-Sentinel and Lodinews.com, and, for the most part, they're tepid. Cute kids, charming holiday photos, deserving citizens and the like all par for the course.

But when I was told about our latest offering — the Ugly Couch Contest — I was giddy. Here's something that most of us can identify with. Who hasn't owned an ugly couch at some point?

I've had at least three. 

When I was a teenager, I had a bedroom that was big enough to accommodate my bed, a desk, a drawing table and a couch and loveseat set. None of it matched, and the couch was probably the most stylish thing in there — even though it was hideous.

This particular couch and loveseat was born somewhere in the late 60s, early 70s. It was light green with a pale, sparse floral pattern. The fabric was something akin to a burlap sack, and the 8-foot couch and 5-foot loveseat were held up by stained wood legs about six-inches long. I loved it. It was completely out there, as I imagined my personality to be.

I have no idea what happened to that ode to bad taste, and I wish I had taken more pictures of it to memorialize bad design.

My second ugly couch was yet another set, but this time purchased from a garage sale right here in Lodi some 13 years ago. The fabric, a tighter weave than its predecessor, had a night-sky blue, blood red and “gold” striped pattern, with, again, a type of floral print interweaving the stripes. This set had a deep, brown clawfoot design to support the atrocious up-top. And, it came with a matching glass-topped end table.

I was in hideous heaven. But that couch and love seat was beyond comfortable. Many a nap was had thereupon. That set survived a few moves and stayed within my household for a few years.

Old Stripey eventually broke down and we had to get rid of it. It was a sad, ugly day. I still have the end table though.

At that point, my wife and I were given another couch, an eight-footer, by my mother. Her little place had no room for it, and we needed one.

Here's the catch: It wasn't always ugly. When my mother first bought the set, it was quite stylish, over-stuffed and comfy. Over the years, the couch took on a personality. An ugly one.

It started becoming threadbare, exposing the wooden skeleton underneath. The once-comfy stuffing became stiff and uneven. Stains appeared, pet related and otherwise. It stunk.

Finally, when we returned to Lodi, that material monstrosity went away.

I know I'm not the only one with such sit-upon stories. And I know those sofas weren't the only uncomely couches to exist.

This is one contest I'd enter if I were eligible. Obviously. I'm writing about it.

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  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 12:21 pm on Mon, Feb 7, 2011.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Never owned a hideous couch or furniture but I sure have seen them… You know the ones… you go into someone’s house or office and see this contraption that must have cost 15,000 if not more, giving you that look of admonishment as it anticipates a human desiring to sit upon it… you know the one… the one that even dust particles float about afraid to rest upon its magnificence… where it frowns at you…. As you get closer it displays a contemptuous look and as about to sit… it sneers at you until you feel so uncomfortable, you change your mind and look elsewhere to rest your poor weary feet or have that conversation. Now that is one hideous piece of furniture. Give me my older well wore couch and greets me with that warm inviting look and welcomes me to spend time and take a load off my feet. That’s a couch that is a thing of beauty.

  • posted at 12:03 pm on Mon, Feb 7, 2011.


    Jim had a HUGE recliner that we dubbed the BFC. I'll let you figure out what those initials mean. Its was a dark blue cozy fabric. The chair was handed down when Jim got a new one and number #2 son was moving out. Timing is everything. By then it was showing some real weathering and needed a cleaning. Our son had it for 5 years and probably more than a few beers and pizza spilled on it. Cleaned it again. Recently he moved it into his new place...right into the nursery. He said if he was going to handle 2am feedings it was going to be in something comfy and he could possible sleep in. More wear and tear and it ate up the entire room. Jim and son took it to the goodwill about 4 months ago. I'm sure some else is enjoying the BFC now.


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