On Being A Couch Potato

For many years, I thought being a couch potato was a function of personality — some people are couch potatoes, some aren’t.  I even felt virtuous about how much more productive I was not spending hours laying around watching tv.  It never occurred to me to ask why I was so virtuous until I got a sofa myself, one positioned in a living room with a screen in front of it.  Then I knew — my previous self hadn’t been a couch potato because she hadn’t had a couch.

Having a comfy sofa to sit on while watching tv is clearly a precursor to being a couch potato.  In my case, it has overcome any sense that I might want to do anything else.  It’s just too easy to watch another episode of something or other.  And so, night after night, that’s what I do.  I tell myself I’m tired, that it was a long day, and other half truths.  But really, it’s the couch.  It brings out my inner sloth, and once ensconced there in that dangerous hour after dinner, I generally don’t budge ‘til bedtime.

Although I’ve joined the ranks of the couch potatoes, I still don’t think it’s a great thing to do.  I would love it if I could find a way to be more productive in the evening and make better use of those few precious hours.  To assuage my conscience, I sometimes knit, since knitting is one of the few things you can do while ostensibly watching tv.  Of course, you end up mostly listening to rather than watching it, but you can add inches to your knitting.

If I can’t manage even that level of activity, I try to watch something educational.  This is a dodge too — do I really need to know about the art of ancient cultures or the history of Afghanistan?  Well, yes and no, but in the end, not really.  Alas, the real story is that my sofa has sucked me in and it won’t let go.

I’m surprised there’s not a support group for this sort of thing, like Sofa Addicts of America or Couch Potatoes Anonymous.   But I think for most people, taking it easy after working all day is normal, not a reason for feeling guilty.   It’s two hours of wasted time, no doubt, but it sure feels good.

Perhaps when the warmer weather returns, I’ll regain at least a sliver of my former virtue and find something else to do in the evenings. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying my newfound normalcy whilst sitting on the sofa watching tv like everybody else.


Comments | 4

  • I would like to be a couch potato

    but Lise has taken over the couch.

    She actually bought it for me years ago, because I was complaining that I needed a place to lay around other than the bed. The plan was to use it on a back porch.

    Fast forward to now and it is an inside, living room couch, and Lise sits there. It’s kind of like her jumbo chair, with extra room for books, magazines, notebooks, knitting, and an occasional cat. I sit on a big chair nearby.

    So, does that make me a big chair potato? Is there such a thing? Do potato people only exist on couches? (That would make for an interesting sci-fi story.)

    I did have a bit of couch envy the other day – I stopped by a friend’s place and they had just purchased a brand new couch. It was enormous and very comfy looking. I’d guess that two adult people could each lay down on it and have a feet fight. Nice and wide, with big cushions. Mmmm. I’m certain I saw some potato sprouts there… : )

  • Chair Potato

    I too, am a chair potato. This past weekend I bingewatched “After Life” and “The Order”. Sometimes total escape and ignorance of the world is the best thing to do for yourself.

    • Chair Potato Dance

      On our radio show Wednesday, we did a segment as a special request called “chair dancing” – someone in a cast called in and wanted some dance music, but would need to stay in their chair due to the injury. We complied. We also chair danced along ourselves. It got a bit messy when I tried to do twirls in the swivel chair while wearing headphones.

  • Ultimate Sloth?

    I don’t have a couch, and the cable (TV) is in the no-comfy-chairs bedroom. ‘Nuff said.

Leave a Reply