Sitting on a couch time machine
‘IT’S solid ball-and-claw imbuia!’. So said dad when he recently told me that he’s sending me my parents’ very first lounge suite.
That I didn’t want my living room to look like it is 1973, didn’t matter.
Apparently my stepmom decided it’s time to upgrade so dad decided that I had to downgrade, and just in case I dared to sell it, he gave me a 45 minute speech on how long it took to pay Morkels, and that ‘you cannot buy solid wood anymore because the Chinese have made paper plates from all the trees’.
He could have said it in one sentence but he kept on repeating himself.
That the transport costs, for my expense, came to double of what a new, modern lounge suite costs, also didn’t matter.
When it arrived I got reminded that mustard-yellow was quite popular back in the seventies, even for couch cushions, so dad really didn’t lie when he said it’s in ‘original condition’.
With some serious rearranging I managed to turn what was a comfortable open plan living room into something resembling a cramped antiques shop.
As some sort of bonus dad also sent four TV trays: one with a picture of an elephant, another with sunflowers, and the other two both had Paul Kruger’s face with an ox wagon floating through the air behind his head.
All that was short was a wooden-box Barlow Vision TV with the Waltons showing…
Sitting down in the mustardyellow folds of one chair I noticed a deep mark in the wooden arm rest.
Then I remembered how it got there;
I tripped my sister one day and she fell face first against the chair, chipping her front tooth badly in the process.
I got a hiding of note that day. Then I noticed two more marks, smaller but deeper, and after thinking a bit I knew how they got there.
Dad pegged his knife into the wood when Riaan Cruywagen announced on SABC news in 1983 that PW Botha proposed two new parliamentary houses, the House of Assembly for coloured people and the House of Delegates for Indians.
Dad got very angry and said that we will have to get a wall and a gate or else we will have someone knocking on the front door every five minutes selling snoek or avocados.
Mom then said that she likes avocados upon which dad pegged his fork in the armrest as well.
The couch reminded me of my mother.
After supper when the TV trays have been folded away she lay on it and I sat behind her legs.
I had actually forgotten about it. On that couch, together, we watched JR Ewing get shot and Magnum PI doing the most famous power slide of all time in his Ferrari 308 every week.
It’s the only memory I have of her because we lost her early.
So. I’ve decided to keep the imbuia set just for that, even though my lounge now looks like that of The Ropers.
But the TV trays are going to the dump because Paul Kruger looks really miserable.