My uncle's couch filled up most of our basement. It was moldy and green; legless and obese, but we loved it. The couch was, at various times, the defensive line for the Chicago Bears- (we could dive over it) the Iron Curtain- (we could fight on either side of it) and of course, a castle to climb on top of, until a younger relative got hurt and went upstairs to seek parental supervision.

It wasn't until I was 16 and invited Stephanie Harrison over to watch scary Halloween movies that I realized it might have more personal options. The cushions had become so battle weary that anyone sitting next to me automatically sunk in my direction, which gave me a head start I would have needed hours to obtain otherwise. It also was so low to the floor that it was impossible for animals or younger sisters to hide under it, which was not true of the upstairs furniture. These advantages would come in quite useful during my formative years and I came to think of the couch as a wise relative who was looking out for my best interests, unlike my parents, who seemed intent on keeping me virginal and sweet for years. The "green monster" in the basement, I miss it still.