How I Lost the Throw Pillow War (Or How A Husband Is Incorrect)


I wish to be perfectly clear on the throw pillow issue:  they’re downright silly. Throw pillows are a sub-breed of regular pillows. Throw pillows are used for plush decoration and not for sleep. How could you rest on them when the stitched pattern of a geranium or the words Home Sweet Home is shoved in your face? As if to demonstrate their uselessness, throw pillows are thrown on the floor before you settle down on a genuine pillow. That said, I lost a critical argument with the Wife and now I can’t live without them.

We had real pillows when I was a kid. It didn’t matter if your pillow case was stuffed with goose feathers or plywood:  you took the pillow that God gave you and thanked your mother. Years later, sleep scientists would use NASA technology to rebuild the pillow and make it conformed to the shape of your noggin and neck. Late-night TV commercials would expand the pillow industry with foam bumpers, pillow speakers, aroma masks, and anything else that could help you kick off for seven hours. This was the world as we knew it. . . until a deranged dolt came up with the throw pillow.

My house has since been invaded by throw pillows. They sit happily on the sofa, on the futon, on the bed, and sneak into chairs in every room. I can’t destroy them. They’re in the Wife Protection Program. And like the mythical hydra, cutting off a single dainty throw pillow would only cause two more to take its place. Sometimes I have nightmares about throw pillows. I’m Neo from The Matrix fighting an army of replicated throw pillows. Tank has uploaded enough judo and karate to make me a Norris-Lee wunderkind. . . but it’s not enough to stop the invasion.

If I couldn’t escape them in dreamland, I couldn’t avoid them in reality. They eventually took over the entire house. “Resistance is futile,” say the Borg. Now I’m assimilated into their throw pillow collective. The failure was mine:  in my desire to shun their lack of utility, I made them useful. A throw pillow supports my back when I sit at my computer. Throw pillows prop me up when I read in bed. They support my legs. They make a plain white futon look a trifle more presentable.  And they’re cheery little things. . . but how can pillows be cheery? (The pillows just made me use the word “cheery” twice in a sentence. Now the word has lost its charm. Manipulative little buggers, aren’t they?)

I signed no peace treaty to end the Throw Pillow War. There were no counselors to advise me on protocol. I just folded into their domain and agreed to support the Wife in her sensible steps to decorate the house. The Husband was proven incorrect. I move with acceptance through my home as a sort of annex. There was a period of resentment from the pillow conquest. Sometimes I felt that I was the accessory. But those days have passed. Today I coexist with my pillow brethren, comforted in the knowledge that they will comfort me. And in return, I won’t let the cat rip them to shreds.


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