Remember that old TV show Bonanza? It had the Cartwright's working hard on their mega ranch, the Ponderosa, and saving the day from week to week from greedy, no good, evildoers. You remember: the fancy pants big brother Adam, the feisty and impetuous Little Joe (his Pinto horse was the best one), the honorable Dad, Ben (Mr. Cartwright to you and I), and of course, the gentle giant Hoss with his big ten gallon hat. Doin' deals and workin' the doggies. Eatin' large and relaxin' big.
Well, lets think about their enviable life for a minute and the role that leather furniture played. When the day's work was done, where did they relax? That's right, on a big leather chair and couch. When Ben needed to celebrate his latest victory over evil, what did he do and where did he go? That's right, he retired to his big comfy leather chair and lit up a big ol' stogie. I'm sure that he didn't even realize the subconscious impact he was having on millions of viewers and the way they came to think about leather furniture. He was a subtle man.
Now fast forward about twenty years. I didn't realize the influence that Ben had on me personally until one day we went to a furniture store looking for some new living room furniture. As we tried out every sofa, couch, love seat, recliner, and sectional in the store, it quickly became clear to me that I wanted leather furniture. I had to have it. The fabric stuff just wasn't doing it for me. When I sat on the leather I experienced an allure that triggered all that positive goodness from watching Mr. Cartwright luxuriate in his favorite chair.
At first I thought the leather appealed to me because of the sense of quality it gave me, or the subtle yet satisfying sound that leather furniture makes, or the feel of it on my skin, or even the smell. Then I realized it was none of those things. I realized that I liked leather furniture more than fabric furniture because I associated the good life (Ben and his Ponderosa livin') with it. That was it! If I was going to feel successful and truly wealthy I would have to have leather.
So I had to find out a little about leather. Here's the skinny. Leather is expensive, but if you buy the right kind you will have it for many many years. If you buy cheap, don't expect it to last near as long. The highest quality leather furniture is made from top grain leather, which is the outer layer of the hide. The bottom part of the hide is referred to as split leather. This is not as durable and feels stiffer and tends to crack more easily, but is less expensive. There are all sorts of artificial or fake leather products that may be just as satisfying to you. For me, I just want to be like Ben I guess. It's leather furniture or nothing. I don't smoke stogies, but I sure like curling up on my big comfy leather chair after a day of dealing with bad guys.
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