Photo Credit: Jewish Press

My grandparents’ couch might have been green, but there’s an equal chance that it was blue, or brown, or even fuchsia, because the only thing I remember about it was the thick layer of clear plastic that strangled the fabric and stuck to our little legs like glue.

Years later, when my husband and I bought a dining room set, we tussled a little over whether to put plastic on the ivory embossed seat cushions (ivory? really?) and compromised by buying ivory towels that the kids would sit on when they ate at the table. Eventually the towels weren’t needed anymore, and although the chairs are twenty years old, they mostly remained stain free and we were spared the sticky indignity of the old school plastic covers.


Our luck ran out the first time our grandson tried sweet potatoes in our house. He was sitting in a booster seat strapped onto a dining room chair and he expressed his disdain for this food offering by spraying orange goo all over the ivory fabric, a stain that would laugh in the face of all types of cleansers. Part of me is sorry that we didn’t get plastic covers, but the other part embraces the stain, a reminder that life is messy and sticky and imperfectly beautiful.


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Dr. Chani Miller is an optometrist and writer who lives in Highland Park, N.J., with her family. She is a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press.