I sleep on a couch. It’s apparently something people have a hard time understanding. “Why do you sleep on a couch?” is one example of a question I hear a lot. “Where is your bed?” is another one.
A few years back I lived in a studio apartment. It wasn’t a big place, but I lived alone. I was getting tired of sleeping on the floor and I had a minor cash surplus. I didn’t have room (or money) for both a couch and a bed. I figured I’d be having friends over once in a while, and rather than walking into my bedroom, I preferred to present the feeling that they were walking into my living room.
And that leads us to the inevitable next question: “Why didn’t you get a futon?” Which provides a segue into what this post is really about. Industrial design.
Let’s learn a lesson from our friend, the spork. Half-spoon, half-fork, genius! We just eliminated 33% of silverware! Except that in reality, it’s not quite as clever as it is in your brain. Sporks are awful. The tines are not long enough to hold anything substantial, and they cut out a huge portion of the liquid holding capacity of a spoon. Instead of an unstoppable hybrid utensil, what you really end up with is the worst of both worlds. It is a terrible fork, and a substandard (at best) spoon. I have little doubt in my mind that it was conceived as a result of budget cuts, not a passion for cutlery innovation.
To me, a futon (or hide-a-bed) is just the furniture equivalent of the spork. When I go to sleep on a futon, I do so with the assumption of back pain tomorrow. It’s not any more comfortable of a couch either. It’s schizophrenic furniture with low self-esteem. No thank you, I’ll take one couch please.
So that’s what I did. I marched up to IKEA and bought me a couch, and I sleep wonderfully, thank you.
Update: Since getting married, I’ve been sleeping in a real bed. As of yet, I haven’t had to spend a single night on the couch. Thanks honey :)