Trina Machacek: The couch surprise

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

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Most people will not admit embarrassing things. I am not “most people.” As a matter of fact, most of the people I know are not “most people.” My friends and I are finally at the age that the weirder side of life makes for the best laughter. If we can’t laugh at ourselves what’s left.

Here’s the story. Living alone has many drawbacks. Nobody but the last person standing in the center of the house after everyone has left or passed away gets the honor of being in charge of everything. That too can run both sides of the fence.

Icky stuff to me is having to be in charge of fixing stuff. But. Yes, a self-repaired “but.” This story is not about the never-ending list of things that need fixing. No, it’s more along the line of a tiny bit embarrassing.

One of the first things that happens, well happened with me, when I became a widow was that I was determined not to eat at the sink. Nope. That was so prominent because of all the things I did; I ate every day. A new day, a new meal. A new time to remember how quiet thigs could be.

I had heard or read about things people did who ended up alone. One was they didn’t even sit and eat at a table. Just grabbed a plate, a bowl or even the pan and ate while standing at the sink. Now there’s nothing wrong or right with sink eating.

But no, I didn’t want to become a sink eater. Well, that sounds gross! I mean have you ever really looked at the bottom and sides of your kitchen sink. Ewe. But sitting at our dining room table, by myself, felt just wrong. And cold. Mostly cold. So, I began to eat while sitting on the couch, with my noise making companion, my television, being my meal mate.

That worked well. Of course, every time I sat with something liquid, like soup or juice I heard in the recesses of my head my mom saying, “Don’t spill that it will stain forever.” Some things stick and stain in your brain forever.

Over time I got pretty good at the living room eating. It was years though before I stopped using paper plates. I don’t think I ran the dishwasher in my house for three years. Just eat and toss the plate and plastic ware too. Eventually I gave myself permission to use bowls that held just the right amount of chili or soup and to use my favorite round spoons. Actually, they’re probably sugar spoons, but they just fit my pie hole.

Skip ahead maybe another two years. No three. Now I have an orphaned kitten that until spring, when he will become an outside cat, needs to live in my house. He has become quite independent in his taking over every chair, shoe, rug and the couch. AKA my dining room table.

Well, the little stinker has begun to dig down between the couch cushions for some reason. He might lose his fluffy green mouse or a hair band that I have flicked at him. Flicked him just trying to get his attention to stop digging at the couch.

Now I’m going to tell you what happened, but first I need to say this. I clean my house. I like orderly things. I do not however clean every inch every time. I dust and sweep and wipe and vacuum – occasionally.

I was having dinner, PB&J and chips on the couch, on a paper plate. I’m not all the way back to living as a real person. Then, here comes the cat. I holler for him to get down. He does. Then jumps back up and meows, so cute.

I hiss-hiss him to get him down and continue with my five-star meal. Watching Blue Bloods and eating peanut butter. Life is interesting if not remarkable.

I’m kind of into the show when I realized the cat was digging at the edge of the couch cushion I was sitting on. I mean really digging. Like a dog after a ground squirrel out in the field. I swatted at him to get down. He ignored me. OK, I was not above grabbing him by the nap of the neck. Which I call putting a cat in neutral and setting him off the couch.

Just what he was going after. Timidly, I slid my hand down between the cushions. Like little Jack Horner who stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plumb, instead of dust or lose change, Trina hummed a tune and pulled out – a spoon? Yep, didn’t see that coming up.

Weirdly I do not remember the last time I ate anything with a spoon while sitting on the couch.

Trina Machacek lives in Diamond Valley north of Eureka. Email


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