Rustic bench at Ladder Creek Gardens, Newhalem, Washington. Photo taken 1989 for an Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
My husband and I were arguing about a bench we wanted to buy and put in part of our backyard, a part which is actually a meadow of sorts. . . . My husband wanted a four foot bench and I wanted a five foot bench. This is what we argued about. My husband insisted that a four foot bench was all we needed, since no more than two people (presumably ourselves) would ever sit on it at the same time. I felt his reasoning was not only beside the point but missed it entirely; I said what mattered most to me was the idea of the bench, the look of it there, to be gazed at with only the vaguest notion it could hold more people than would ever actually sit down. The life of the bench in my imagination was more important than any practical function the bench might serve. . . .