Seat Cushions 2.0 Revisited

I’ve written before about seat cushions. In fact, after doing a search on my blog I realized I sort of have an obsession about seat cushions. I am guessing that Trina would concur with that assessment as there is not a day that goes by that I don’t mention them. So it really should not have come as any surprise that I packed the seat cushion material when we were getting ready for our vacation. I figured that if I didn’t have a game to go to at Chase Field I could give Trina my undivided attention in helping her construct Seat Cushion 2.0. This was probably the last thing Trina wanted was my undivided attention especially when it comes to designing and sewing but she was going to get it.

DSC_2955 07-09-19With our vacation beginning to wind down and the all-star break now officially half over I found myself with a little time on my hands and no baseball (major league or minor league) to distract me. This meant it was time to unfurl Operation Seat Cushion. With all the preparation of the invasion of Normandy I found myself hovering over sheets of paper where I drew out elaborate plans and contingencies to defeat the enemy. In my case it was not so much defeating the enemy as it was trying to come up with a list of fool-proof comebacks that would disarm Trina to the point where she would actually work on these cushions.

I was a man possessed (or in Trina’s words obsessed) as I drew up the moves and counter moves I would face in this challenge. I began with an air offensive. I praised Trina’s sewing abilities and used every sewing metaphor I could in our conversation. This is a lot harder than it sounds. You try weaving the words “sewing”, “seat cushions”, and “baseball” into every conversation without making it sound too obvious. After my endless air attacks the enemy finally raised the white flag relinquishing their weapons in total surrender. Today will forever be known as “VS Day” in our house and will be celebrated with a gala of pictures and music that represent the day we proclaimed victory over the seat cushions.

Now that I had Trina’s attention and bountiful sewing skills at my disposal it was time to truly work some magic. Ok, when I start using the words “magic” and “seat cushion” in the same paragraph it may be time to admit I have a seat cushion problem and seek professional counseling. That will have to wait though because I was about to unleash my pent up seat cushion design skills. I pulled out the cushions that Trina had built in the summer of 1998 and began my analysis.

I have done this before but now it was for real. I was no longer in seat cushion design spring training. This was the regular season and every stitch counted. Oh sure it is a lot of stitches and you should not get caught up in the first few. I’ve heard seamstresses say the seat cushion season is more of a marathon rather than a sprint. Still the stitches at the beginning of the seat cushion count just as much as the last stitches so you can’t discount them. Besides, getting off to a fast start will hopefully build momentum for the whole project.

I sat down with Trina and began to spell out what I was looking for. I brought out my seat cushion notebook and began describing my design vision. I was impressed that Trina was taking this so seriously. She had her own notebook and was writing notes to herself as I was talking. I am not sure what most of her notes said as I quit reading them when the first sentence started with “find profession help for Jeff’s seat cushion obsession.” I am not sure why that note was there; I think I am totally capable of designing these cushions by myself. Anyway, for the next hour we sat at the table as I went through the two notebooks of ideas that I had. From there I went to the whiteboard and began diagramming the cushions. I felt like a field general planning troop movements.

Once the planning was complete I brought out the raw materials that we would be using for the construction of seat cushion nirvana. I had Cordura fabric, countless arrays of plastic buckles and hardware, thread of every size and color imaginable, a plethora of nylon strapping in various sizes and colors, and enough foam rubber to turn myself into the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man. I am not sure whether Trina was impressed at how prepared I was for this or just frightened. After she got over her initial shock we got down to work cutting pieces and putting them together. This should have been the easy part given all of our pre-planning. Unfortunately for Trina there is never an easy part when I get involved.

Trina would cut a piece of fabric and begin sewing. Within a minute I would stop what I was doing and utter the phrase, “You know I was thinking…” then launch off into some esoteric discussion of something that could be included in a cushion. The design started off as a simple square of foam covered in Cordura that you could sit on. Now it had a folding pocket that you could store treats for the game. Soon it had a pouch for a water bottle. Then it had two symmetrical pouches made of mesh to hold water bottles. Then I suggested a pocket for my scorebook.

That evolved to include an elastic loop to hold my pen with my scorebook. I then needed a pocket where I could put my binoculars or a small camera. Oh, what about my Diamondbacks Season Ticket Holder ID card? Let’s not forget a space where I can store the Kid’s Club cards when I take them to the game. And don’t you just hate when you have to dig through your bag to find a pen? It would be really cool if there was a loop in the treat pocket where I could clip pens. A special pocket for game tickets would be nice so I didn’t have to wonder whether I had packed the tickets or not.

Did I mention that I bought some Diamondbacks jersey sleeve patches that would look really cool sewn to the flap of the binoculars pocket? With everything that we have included on the seat cushion it might be a good idea to have straps to hold the cushion on the seat. We really need a loop to store the flaps on the cushion when they are not in use. Can I get a secret pocket to hold the money for parking for the game? These and countless other disruptions brought production to a standstill.

With each new idea I could sense the tension rise. Finally Trina had enough and put her foot down. I was banished from the sewing room. If and when she finished these bags she would bring them out and let me look at them. I was like an expectant father waiting for the birth of their first child. I paced back and forth in the waiting area stopping every so often at the door pressing my ear against it hoping to hear whether things were going well with the delivery. The wait seemed eternal. Finally after many hours I stopped by the door where the room had become silent.

Then I heard it, a faint cry came from the other side. I broke out in a sweat wondering if that meant what I thought it meant. The door opened and out came Trina holding the most precious little seat cushion I have ever seen. She looked exhausted from the delivery. I slowly approached and finally got up the courage to ask if I could hold it. Trina passed our new bundle of joy to me and for the first time I saw the seat cushion. I nearly wanted to cry it was so beautiful. And as I gently swayed with the cushion in my arms I made one of the biggest mistakes in my life. Without thinking I looked up at my poor wife that had endured more labor than she had bearing all of our children and I asked, “where’s the other one?” I don’t remember anything after that.

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