I’ll be the first to admit it: there’s nothing better than finding time to laze it out on the couch. Off-seasons spent thumb-twiddling; evenings cuddling with the lady; sitting back and watching good movies…anything I can do to kick my feet up and sink deep into the cushions is always in the mix. I’ll even find myself sleeping on couches in spite of perfectly good beds available during my travels.
It must have started back in high school, when I realized my bedroom was better off as a meeting room for friends. We lived in town and it was a central location for our teenage activities (read: chasing girls and passing time). I successfully convinced my dad to let me replace my childhood bed with some second-hand couches…yup, TWO couches…and life couldn’t have been better. He was happy because I traded out my favorite place to stash those horrid vegetables from dinner; I was happy to have a ‘grown-up pad’ for entertaining. The Simpsons opening credits even served to perpetuate the allure of ‘couching it’, with the whole family finding their way into their trusty brown cushions in so many hilarious ways.
During college, couches became a mainstay for long nights and even longer hangovers. Many days were spent with roommates lounging on saggy, stained cushions, waiting for pizza delivery and playing video games. Late at night, after house parties at friends’ pads, the couch became a highly sought after crash zone for obvious reasons. Funny how no one ever fought for the right to doze under the coffee table, free from injury by clumsy, stumbling, inebriated co-eds.
But it was my time on the Freeskiing World Tour when I really logged some solid couch time. On the coldest of nights when my parents thought I was freezing in the TatsVan, I had talked my way into a new friend’s house and taken up domicile on their living room couch. To think, by this point, my van had become merely a mobile closet and ski locker, rather than sleeping pod. At this point, I realized that in order to extend these types of opportunities, I had to become a ‘low-impact’ couch surfer; taking on new responsibilities like washing dishes and cooking meals helped alleviate the potential annoyance factor. I was a certified transient.
These days, with a solid lady in my life, the idea of sleeping on the couch is a slowly fading activity. Yet, as any good ski bum knows, the promise of a stormy night followed by a ripping powder day can awake the couch surfer in anyone who lives more than a 30min commute to the ski hill. (Thank you Skier Chalet!)
Although I absolutely condone couch surfing for any worldly wanderer, be warned: it is not for the faint of heart. Some tips for the aspiring couch crasher include, but are not limited to:
1. A spare t-shirt can serve as a great pillow case; drool stains can be embarrassing.
2. Don’t sleep naked. Don’t even bother asking about this one.
3. Set your alarm and wake up before your gracious host(s). Make breakfast if you want to score ‘core points’. Coffee is even better.
4. Bring beer. Hell, your host(s) might even be so stoked they’ll give you a towel and point you towards the shower.
5. Find the sleep timer on the TV. Late-night infomercials can make for wicked dreams.
In any case, don’t forget, you are a guest, so be respectful, wash your face, and fold the blankets. You’ll know you did it well when you get the invite back. And if you’re single (and extremely lucky!) you may just find yourself trading the couch for a spot next some warm body in a real bed. Just maybe.