A Woman’s Guide to Couch Time: Just Don’t Take a Selfie!

“Reading Woman on a Couch,” by Isaac Israels

Freelance writers are dilettantes.  Rule No. 1:   Fake expertise.  With a little research and imagination, you can become a women’s lifestyle writer.

In 2019, there is a surfeit of “self-care” articles, which usually recommend bath bombs, yoga, and designer candles.  Alas, a woman of a certain age is less amenable to women’s mag advice: she worries that the cat will knock over the candles, the bathtub is dirty, and she already has a fitness routine.

So here’s what women want.

A day to collapse on the couch.

Here’s what we need.


  1.  CLAIM THE COUCH.  Nix the weekend togetherness planGently break the news to your husband that you can’t go snowshoeing because you can’t find your snowshoes.   (You threw them out, but he doesn’t have to know that.)  Off he goes to the woods!  Yay!  Now it’s couch time!

2.  CHANGE INTO APPROPRIATE COUCH-WEAR.  Setting the mood for couch time means feeling good about yourself!  So don the silk pajamas you bought on sale–no matter that they’re a size too small.  Top them with two or three sweatshirts because  the wind is gusting through the leaky windows.  My own preferred couch-wear is a blue workshirt I’ve had since high school and stretch pants.

3.  SNACKS.  Fill a thermos with herbal tea and crackers or whatever in a Tupperware container.  Put them on the coffee table.

4.  READ!   YOUR BACKGROUND IS IN LITERATURE, BUT THIS IS COUCH DAY so try a fast-paced best-seller.  Finish Herman Wouk’s best-selling novel The Winds of War, which you started at the gym after a Wall Street Journal writer claimed  it was the American War and Peace.  (It’s actually a fascinating novel about the outbreak of World War II and its effect on an American family.)

5.  CAN COUCH TIME MAKE YOUR SKIN RADIANT?  Self-care always involves skin care products.   Slather on that miracle cream you always forget to put on at night. Perhaps it will work better if you’re lying down. Take a 15-minute nap.  When your wake up you’ll be gorgeous.  Or… really who cares?  Just don’t take a selfie.

5.  WHEN YOUR HUSBAND RETURNS, ASK HIM TO MAKE MORE TEA.   I have trained my husband to make tea on demand, and then I share the couch with him.


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