Owning your own couch is a milestone moment on the path to adulthood, not so much for the couch itself, or the place to sit, lounge or nap that it provides.
A couch is a benchmark because of all it represents. Think of what it takes to own a couch:
Time to shop around at fancy places like Walter E. Smithe or Penny Mustard, well-known names like La-Z-Boy, shops around the corner, those cheapo discount places, IKEA and even the all-American favorite – department stores.
A plan for decorations and interior design (or at least a few ideas about color schemes, and how to avoid ending up with a brand-new couch that clashes too much with your other second-hand and scavenged furniture).
Money. More specifically a credit card, which isn’t easy to get these days.
A place of your own. You know, somewhere to put said couch. Somewhere that lacks a couch already purchased or inherited by your parents or roommate.
A steady residence. Couches, along with being flat-out expensive, are heavy, and therefore expensive and difficult to move.
A TV, record player or some interesting art. Why own a couch if there’s nothing to look at or listen to while sitting on it?
Beyond all that, owning a couch somehow seems to represent that final switch from the indescribable, post-college, no-man’s-land years into true adulthood. It’s a staple in turning a dwelling into a true, welcoming home where you can entertain friends and even host family – instead of a place to crash suitable only for your own use with the occasional appearance of your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner and/or friends who have been warned of the place’s possible lack of comforts.
Owning a couch is a bit of a frontier for twenty-somethings. It requires commitment and responsibility. Couch-ownership is not something that should be entered into lightly, as it represents a step toward even scarier ownership feats, like homeownership.
But when you’re ready, and you finally buy that first couch, you’ll know what you are and it’ll be official. Welcome to adulthood.