Well, now that I solved the problem of the ratty swivel chair with an $86 cushion, there’s no ignoring its ratty cousin, the love seat. The rattan love seat has endured forty years of nearly continuous abrasion by butts in jeans, and the pointy parts of two cats and a dog, and it once hosted a colony of kitchen mice who drilled into the dust cover on the bottom to store their little mouse doots for, apparently, weeks. It’s tidy of them, in a way, but not in a way we fully appreciate.

We have a relatively commodious kitchen for a house this old and we like people to be able to lounge around in it. The whole point of getting the rattan love seat in the first place was that it fit perfectly between two windows in the kitchen, and most sofas don’t, even most love seats. After the mouse incursion I was all on fire to ditch the sofa and replace it, but I couldn’t find anything small enough, so I just went with my three-point plan: bleaching, gagging, and not telling a soul.

Clearly, though, we can no longer countenance the thing now that the swivel chair is spiffed up. It doesn’t even match anymore. I decided to look into reupholstering. There isn’t really a lot of upholstering to do; it’s mostly just a hodgepodge of loose cushions that slouch around like boys in a frat house. I sent some pics to an upholstery outfit and got my estimate.


Damn thing probably cost $300 to begin with and yes, that was when you could rent a whole house for less than that a month, and gas up a car for a fiver, and Ronald Reagan was only starting to get traction with his project to suck all the money out of the little people and give it to the financial sector. But it’s just not a $2500 sofa. I went to a real store and started looking around.

A nice lady wanted to know if I needed any help.

“I need a sofa, but it has to be really small.”

Love seats! Here, and here, and over here.

“Yeah, actually, it can’t be any longer than 51 inches.”

Evidently there’s a range of sizes even in the love seat category, appropriate to the fanny width of the seated people involved, and the degree of their affection for each other. But 51 inches was pushing the limit. I told her I guessed I was out of luck.

“Nonsense,” she said, but politely. “What you need is a Cuddle Chair.”

I will be go to hell. In the vast world of furniture between Galloping Sectional and Old Lady Wingback there are named increments to put a blender to shame. And she could design me a properly upholstered Cuddle Chair to fit two.

“They have to like each other kind of a lot,” she said. “Or you could seat one wide person with a healthy self-regard.”

Who knew? We didn’t need a love seat. We ordered a Cuddle Chair in nubbly fabric that might match a teddy bear and it’s going to fit in beautifully. It’ll be right cozy. The next size down comes with a pregnancy test.