The Last Straw That Broke the Camel-back Sofa

coveredcouch2

I had trouble getting my iPod to shut down after my workout tonight.  As a result, I ran screaming through the YMCA, smashed all the machines with a baseball bat and burned the place to the ground.

At first glance my reaction might seem a bit extreme, but it was entirely reasonable.  Let me explain.

I overslept this morning.   I had only a few minutes to apply mascara with one hand, brush my teeth with the other hand while simultaneously shrugging into an article of clothing suitable for covering nakedity in the workplace.

Realizing I was running late, our dog, Sally, helped me out by refusing to come in after her morning run.  After alternately cajoling and threatening her, she finally deigned to enter the house, bounding in to jump up on the sofa.  Whenever we cruelly abandon her (i.e. go to work) she cooperates by lying down on the sofa so we have to drag her to her crate.  Since it has been raining here, her dash to sanctuary left a perfect set of muddy Sally paw prints stretching from the door, across the pale, Berber carpet of the living room and onto the sofa.

Don’t worry about the couch, though.  We’ve had that ratty, old camel-back sofa for ages.  In fact, I’d been looking forward to finally replacing it.  Then we got a dog.  A dog that sits with my husband on the ratty, old camel-back sofa.  Which is why I will never be able to get a new one.   A new sofa, I mean.  A new husband, however…

Work was an unending litany of unhappy clients, uncooperative companies and unendurable sessions of being stuck on hold. I barely got out alive.

I went to the YMCA after work, hoping that exercise would release some of the frustration that had been building all day.  There wasn’t anything good on the little TV attached to my treadmill.  The news was depressing, Property Brothers was a rerun, and The Food Network had that show where the expert chef “helps” restaurant owners by cursing at them, loudly.  I plugged in my MP3 player instead.

I was walking fast on the treadmill, working up a good head of steam when the thing stopped dead in mid-stride.  I stepped forward against a backward movement that was no longer there and almost fell flat on my face.  Half of the machines in my row had stopped.  That happens there sometimes.  Modern athletic science cannot figure out why.

I got off and went to wipe the machine down, like a good little citizen of the gym, but the sanitizer dispenser was empty.

I took my ear-buds out and hit the center button on my MP3 player to turn it off.  It didn’t turn off.  With this model, if you press and hold the button for 1 nanosecond, it pauses the song.  If you press and hold for 3 nanoseconds, it starts it back up again.  You have to press it somewhere in the sweet spot, about 1.5 nanoseconds, to shut it off.   I couldn’t get it.  I pressed too short and it paused.  I pressed too long and it restarted.  Paused, then started.   Paused, then started.  It took 5 tries before I pressed the button JUST right so Goldilocks’ iPod would finally turn off.

That was it.  That was the last straw; the one that broke the camel’s back.

I stood in the middle of the Y, next to the dead treadmill and the empty dispenser, clutching my still-running iPod and felt a scream building up like molten lava inside of me.  If had had a Louisville Slugger in my hands, I wouldn’t have been responsible for the consequences.

You’ll be pleased to know I beat down the almost overwhelming impulse to have a screaming temper tantrum or go postal all over the joint.  But it was a near thing.  The ingrained habits of a lifetime came to my rescue.

I breathed deeply, calmed down, and tried to get a better sense of perspective on things.  After all, even if I’m stuck with that old sofa, that doesn’t mean I can’t get a snazzy new slipcover for it.  Anybody know where I can get a good deal on one?  It would need to be big enough for an 80″, camel-back sofa…with room enough to  cover its resident husband and dog.

 

Have you ever felt yourself teetering on the edge of an epic explosion?  Have you gone over that edge?  Would you like me to throw you a rope?

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About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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68 Responses to The Last Straw That Broke the Camel-back Sofa

  1. mistyslaws says:

    Congrats for not succumbing to an epic breakdown. I know that took a hurculean effort, for sure. I have a solution . . . get rid of the dog AND husband, then buy a new couch. What money you could get for the sale of those two will probably help pay for a new couch. See? Problem, solved.

    Like

  2. Whenever I’m teetering on the edge, or annoyed in general, I usually start getting my words jumbled up and say something ridiculous, which thankfully causes laughter which in turn drags me back from the edge. I don’t know if that helps you find a good deal on a new slipcover or not.

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  3. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I think the YMCA is the perfect place for screaming. Who would notice anyway? What a day. Crazy thing about the machines turning off all at once. It’s a miracle there weren’t bloody noses involved. The good thing about days like yours is they do not, generally, happen every day. That way we can appreciate them when they do happen.

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  4. bigsheepcommunications says:

    That day deserves a do-over.

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  5. Coming East says:

    Aaarrggghhh! Those are days when you really look forward to bedtime to finally put them to an end.

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  6. I go ahead and just scream something stupid at the top of my lungs when I reach that point. So next time, just stop where you are, rub your temples and then scream, “Fuuuuuuuuuuck!!!! THE MOTHER SHIP CAN’T MAKE IT AGAIN AND I’M ALL OUT OF SALTED PEANUTS AT HOME!!!!!” and then calmly get a drink from the water fountain and leave.

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  7. Al says:

    Sounds like someone needs a one-hour session on the sofa herself…….. I heard Dr. Phil is accepting new patients.

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  8. All that deep breathing probably did you more good than the treadmill, my friend. And consider trading in the couch for a Lazy-E-Boy. Oh wait, you already married one of those… 😉

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  9. yes, almost, and yes to your questions. you are describing the day I am having today–and I think you managed it amazingly well

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  10. Ooof… I hope your day is going much better today, Peg (sounds kind of brutal)!
    It always takes me about half my iPod’s remaining battery life to shut it down (the little wheel-thinngy hates me. HATES ME).
    I love the new slipcover, too, of course. It really ties the place together.
    🙂

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  11. Janu says:

    I have days like that….just substitute cat hair and hairballs.

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  12. Goldilock iPod – great phrase
    A cover-all couch cover…now that’s a product definitely needed…..do I cry because we need rain or because we get it..muddy paws! Muddy paws!

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  13. I have a terrible chair that I take things out on. Hubby picked it out. So, um, are you geting a new iPod or what? 🙂

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    • pegoleg says:

      Every time I use the damn thing I end up frustrated. But I never think of replacing it until I’m already on the treadmill. It’s like that old joke about the guy who couldn’t fix his roof because it was raining, then wouldn’t fix it because he didn’t need to – it wasn’t raining!

      Like

  14. Elyse says:

    Maybe you should take up kickboxing. It might solve all the problems. Not that I suggest kickboxing the dog. But a husband is fair game.

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  15. “suitable for covering nakedity in the workplace”. haha!

    Have I ever had moments like that? Does a bear…well you know the rest….
    Lately those moments are all I have! I have one every time I try to turn this stupid new-fangled laptop on, you are so right about the “sweet spot”–I end up turning it off and on like an idiot, then it takes a whole lot of deep breathing for me not to chuck the computer out the window. Technology in general is grating on my last nerve. I think I need an intervention and take a long break from it all. I’ll meet you in Aruba on the beach, you bring the margaritas?

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  16. Tar-Buns says:

    I hear ya, sista! When it’s muddy outside and the dog comes in, I’ve got to keep her in back until she dries off. Sometimes I catch her. Then there’s hubby getting chocolate on our king size comforter days after I lugged it to the laundromat to be cleaned. Aarrghhhhh!
    Hang in there, Peg! This too shall pass 🙂

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  17. Mary K. says:

    I feel your pain. Hang in there. I got my slip covers from Target and those things have held up great with dog and cats. They are heavy, almost canvas like and wash nicely.Drink heavily!

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  18. We finally broke down and bought a new couch as the old one was getting harder and harder to climb out of. We made sure the new one was well-Scotchguarded and it comes with a warranty for fixing or replacing if one of the dogs has an accident on it or Steve drops food on it and the stains don’t come out. And we bought a waterproof cover, which is essential since little Spud sometimes likes to mark the couch as his own. Oh, and we still have lots of Bac-Out, an enzyme cleaner that works wonders on stains and odors! So we’re all covered.

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  19. This is such a familiar story to me. It could be almost any day in my life. I often feel that I am teetering on the edge of postal type rage. I’m embarrassed to say I have succumbed upon occasion, usually sitting in a parking lot in my car (turned off), alone, banging my fist on the steering wheel turning the air blue with language I didn’t even know I knew. Someday someone will see me and the men in the white coats will be called.
    I hope tomorrow is a better day for you Peg.

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  20. pattisj says:

    To answer your question, only when swinging limb to limb on a phone tree.

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  21. I can feel your frustration from here. I use to have a heavy bag hanging in my garage, it took a regular beating; scared the bejeezes out of my kids when I went to the garage. It was a great workout for high intolerance days though.

    As for slip covers, best bet; try Amazon.

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  22. Congratulations on keeping yourself under control. Also, kudos on choosing to title your post as you did – a less classy writer might have tried for some sort of play on “Broke-back Sofa”

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  23. speaker7 says:

    I find I can solve all my epic explosions through dance offs like in “Beat it.”

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    • pegoleg says:

      Don’t you hate when your wrist is tied to a combatant’s wrist, knives in hand, and he executes a pirouette in the opposite direction from you? Dance-fighting can be so hazardous that way.

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  24. AY! You poor thing! Lately when I have a day like that I just sit down and cry, for a bit at least. Maybe you should replace the water in your water bottle with vodka and make sure you have it with you when you go to the Y. Good luck with your new slipcover. 🙂

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  25. Oh, honey. When I reach that point, I call it “throwin’ my fuckit flag.” It’s like you’re giving the whole day a red card.

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  26. Oh boy, have I been right there with you! And I just got slipcovers at Target for a sofa and love seat. The slipcovers completely changed the look of the room (thank heaven) and put a big smile on my face! 🙂

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I actually have a slipcover on that sofa, and now it’s more trashed than the furniture underneath! At $100 each, maybe I’ll wait on a new slipcover. SIgh.

      Like

  27. Sandy Sue says:

    Oh, the scream would have been so much more satisfying. Damn our midwestern genes!

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  28. Margie says:

    The treadmill of life – I can sure see why it makes you want to scream sometimes.
    There should be an “On the Edge” app for that!

    Like

  29. Slipcovers are such a good idea, but so terrible in practice. Unless you want to spend half your life readjusting the damn thing. Yeah, I have one…

    Like

  30. Go Jules Go says:

    ha! Sally must think that sofa is juuuuuust right. Don’t worry. I’m on the hunt for your Second Husband and he likes leather.

    Hmm. That came out wrong. Please don’t yell at me.

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  31. Pleun says:

    I applaud your constraint! Don’t know if I could have managed. While reading your article I felt frustration building up in me. Weird really, coz right now there is nothing to be frustrated about, my Saturday is turning out super-mellow. Even so, I may have to go for a drive and have a screaming session by myself. Although, I could just go sit in my car and forget about the drive. Just scream. Just in case…

    Like

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