Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Ottoman: Keep it or Chuck it


This is my ottoman. When Robert and I purchased this set of furniture, I was especially thrilled about having an ottoman. I thought it was much more fashionable than a recliner, yet offered the same, relaxing benefits. Our ottoman was able to double as a seat when we had family get togethers, and sometimes, the ottoman was a great place to very carefully set a snack to eat while watching TV.

We have had this ottoman and the other furniture that goes with it for about 10 years. As kids have come to our family, the ottoman has undergone a drastic change in appearance. Of course there are some obvious flaws in our 10 year old ottoman, I'm not going to pretend they aren't obvious, but it wasn't always this way.

When the ottoman was new, we took very good care of it. We didn't wear shoes when we rested our legs and feet upon it. I really didn't set food there, in the beginning. And, if a little runny nose should happen to brush too closely to it, I was quick with a damp sponge to wipe away any traces of snot.

As the kids got older and the stains became more damaging, I kept on top of cleaning the ottoman as best I could. Sometimes a little soap was needed, or even a fabric cleaner to keep the ottoman looking good as new. On several occasions I used a steam cleaner with an upholstery attachment to clean the tops and sides. Our ottoman became a little faded, but still looked like a fairly decent piece of furniture.

Then, about 3 years ago, things took a turn. I had our third child and didn't have the same amount of energy or time to stay on top of keeping our ottoman clean. A water stain didn't get cleaned up immediately and left a mark. A warm, homemade chocolate chip cookie left a round grease stain in the upper left hand corner. One day, one of the kids got a hold of a permanent marker. While your average super mom would not even have a permanent marker in the house to begin with, and your average "average" mom would at the very least have them safely out of reach of the kids, the mom of 3 small children is under the impression that she doesn't have permanent markers in the house at all and that if she did, they'd be safely out of reach. She is wrong on both accounts.

So there were lots of artistic markings with a permanent marker, more spills and stains, and eventually, the fabric began to wear very thin down the middle. Somewhere along the way I gave up trying to keep the ottoman looking good. What was the point. I was fighting a losing battle. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em (or something like that). When the fabric finally wore so thin that it split down the middle, I went to a home store and purchased a very fashionable "throw" in a coordinating color to casually drape over the ottoman to hide the rip and stains.

This technique bought me about 8 months and I could probably still get away with the throw if I wanted to. But today, a new straw was added to this camel's back. Today, Isaac wanted Gatorade. Why we have disgusting, blue Gatorade in the house to begin with is another post all together.

Isaac had a 2o ounce bottle of blue Gatorade. Yesterday Isaac had a 20 ounce bottle of blue Gatorade and he nursed it all day long, and still had about 6 ounces over at the end of the day. Today, Isaac got his Gatorade (which I swear I will never buy again!) and I got on the phone with my mom, and about 10 minutes later I noticed that Isaac's blue Gatorade was all gone. I knew for a fact that he could not have consumed that amount of Gatorade in 10 minutes, so by default, I also knew that the Gatorade had to be somewhere else.

I did a quick look around, felt Isaac's shirt, which was dry, and checked the sink. I saw a slight blue tinge in the sink and breathed a sigh of relief. He must have dumped it down the sink, I told myself. I was in denial, but pretended the mystery had been solved.

About 20 minutes later I noticed the ottoman. There was a dramatic moisture stain (as you can see in the picture) and my beloved and practical throw was sopping wet. "Maybe it's just water," I told myself. More denial! Why do I keep doing this to myself? I lifted the throw and sniffed. It didn't smell like water, it smelled like BLUE!

I quickly threw the throw into the wash and began the task of getting a bowl of warm soapy water and rag together so I could clean the ottoman. Then, I looked at the ottoman. I really looked at it. What is the point? Do I really need to rest my feet that badly when I sit? I could certainly use my decorative throw on the thread bare sofa or the ripped easy chair that is oozing stuffing.

Is it time to pull the plug on this ottoman?

7 comments:

Catherine said...

I'm so sorry, but your ottoman is dead. It's served you well, but I think it's time to move on. Ten years is a good life span - try to focus on the good times you've had and not dwell on the sad demise. I'd say that it's in ottoman heaven now, but from the looks of it that may not be the case.

Angela Hunter said...

I didn't even need to read your posting or see the picture. I know your ottoman is dead. It's been such a good friend to your feet and it truly is the best support my legs have ever had from an ottoman, but this thing has got to go. I need to read your posting now, so perhaps my comments will change, but I think it's time to pull the plug.

Angela Hunter said...

so funny. the progression in your relationship with your ottoman sounds like mine with my sectional. I'm at the point where the snot doesn't bother me. I guess the greasy cookies are next.

Afton said...

Getting rid of it would create a lot more space in the family room.

LeeAndrew said...

Just get a recliner already and then take a nice long nap.

jutes14 said...

Bury it in your backyard and put a grave stone marking on it.

"For years you have given our feet a place to rest. Now, it is time for you to rest. Rest in peace, our beloved ottoman, rest in peace!"

Afton said...

Senia, that epitaph sounds like something Ty Pennington would say. Don't you just love Extreme Home Makeover?