Last year I attended the wedding of one of my dearest friends. She’s one of the first friends I made when I moved to California, and 23 years later, even though I don’t see her as often as I’d like, she remains an important person in my life.
After the ceremony, I chatted with a group of guests, sharing stories about the bride and groom. One guest recalled how my friend had once gone through a series of couches, ordering first one couch and trying it out in her home, only to send it back and order another. She did this until she finally found the perfect couch.
A guest of the groom, who was only just getting to know my friend, was shocked that she would be so particular. But to me, it made perfect sense.
My friend isn’t a difficult person, but as an artist and architect, she has an inner sense for when something belongs. Her apartments have always been sparsely furnished, but they were places I always felt at home.
“But once she found the perfect couch,” I told the guests, picturing my friend sizing up the last couch and knowing this was the one. “She would have kept it forever.” The first guest nodded in agreement.
I met my friend’s new husband for the first time at the wedding, and I knew right away that he was the perfect couch. My friend has tried out other “couches” over the years—the cerebral couch, the fun couch, the handsome, the creative, and the successful. Each was a perfectly good couch that fit her in some way, but I always had the sense they were “not quite right”. They matched, but they didn’t belong.
“You know how you just know?” she had told me, when she announced she was getting married.
I do know, and when I saw my friend walk down the aisle (at least what I could see of her through my tears) and take the hands of her beaming husband-to-be, I knew without a doubt that she and this kind, funny, handsome man belonged together. After years of shopping and returning, she had found her perfect couch.