An open letter to anyone who has to sit on my couch

An open letter to anyone who has to sit on my couch

Dear anyone who has to sit on my couch:

Yeah, yeah... I know. An elephant in the room would be less awkward than my couch.

There's not that many of you. I tend to be a little over-protective of The Ugly Condo, so if you are one of the few people who has made it through the front door of The UC you are either family, a trusted friend, or someone I have no intentions of ever seeing again.

And if you are my friend, you’ve most likely heard my sad song about the ill-timed market crash of 2008, underwater living, the short sale gone awry, the retirement-crushing new roof lawsuit of 2009, the bloody Mortgage Mod Battle of 2013, and the Iron Walkway apparition that still haunts the condo board meetings.

The good news: once you’re inside, it’s adorbs, ammahright? Check out that granite, yo. And yet:

You've come so far! Why do you still have that shitty couch?

He’s a hella scrappy beast for sure. Here’s some context for those who’ve never witnessed this thing:

  • In the split, I got the iMac, he got the couch. My present hard-scrabbled sofa was a second generation hand-me-down passed on to me by a friend when she moved in with her fiance. I’m sure she thought it would be a temporary fix at most. That was back in 2012.
  • Sanford and Son would likely take a pass on the gingham beast.
  • The wooden legs on the couch scream and squawk when anyone plops down on the unshapely cushions. No animals slumber under the couch for fear of being crushed.
  • My dog’s claws occasionally get caught in its frayed cushions threads.
  • And no. Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that couch covers are the answer. Aftermarket couch covers are never the answer.

The worst part? That couch is a symbol of my dirty little secret: that I suck at “adulting”. Hard core. Like, in a way that would not seem cute or amusing to any self-respecting financial planner.

I’ve been living life with a blueprint that included the discovery of a proverbial golden ticket in a bar of chocolate. (At the time of this writing, the number of golden tickets discovered in chocolate bars stands at zero (0)

Let’s just say that some side hustles didn’t pan out like I’d hoped they would.

Let’s just say that I put more stock in inspirational anomalies than I do solid business plans.

Let’s just say that I didn’t follow through on some challenging work.

Let’s just say I don’t charge people what I think my artistic work is worth.

Let’s just say that I lied to myself - over and over again - when I told myself “I’ll just put this charge on my credit card and pay it back when I get home.”

Let’s just say I haven’t been living on a budget.

Let’s just say I’m broke.

And now, all denial stops with my shitty couch. That eyesore has become the closest thing I have to a golden ticket, for in those wonky cushions - currently in shapes never before seen in nature - lies the power to set me free:


I solemnly pledge to never buy another couch until I can fully pay for it with money I have earned from my artistic endeavors.


I’m working on my financial recovery and have no doubt that I’ll be on my feet again soon. But even after I have crushed all debts and built up my rainy day fund, even then I still will not replace that shitty, shitty couch until the money comes in from those creative projects I’ve long promised myself I would launch.

While I agree that self-shaming is generally a rotten idea, I’ve found it has its place in my motivational paradigm. Shame raises stakes. I don’t buy bigger jeans when I get fat - I make myself WEAR the unintentional skinny jeans until they fit, again. The shame of seeing friends sit on that junkyard dog in my living room might just be the golden ticket I’ve needed to get off my butt. Literally. (heh)

So if you ever come to my place for a game night/Cubs game/blue chips-n-dip combo/a “talk-me-off-the-ledge” chat/NSFW stuff, I promise I will throw a blanket or something over the couch to preserve your dignity. If the beast’s disguise falls off during our time together, perhaps after reading this letter you may find compassion through your horror.

And until I buy that new couch, the beast’s cushions are pretty comfy! And you can spill stuff on them! And we can jump on them. #goldenlining


That's my piece, and that's my peace. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my silly words. It truly means the world to me. Carry on...


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