Saturday, May 06, 2006

(Gottfrid) Chair – a love story

I’m not sure exactly when we first met. I know it was after my first roommate moved out and took her re-upholstered kitchen chairs with her. Of course I was heart-broken. My roommate had lovingly repainted and refurbished two older chairs, making them cool. Making them comfy. But now she was gone and so were they.

Naturally she left me the broken kitchen chairs. The ones whose form matched the table perfectly but in function only had three working legs. I knew no amount of glue would ever fix our relationship, it was broken from the start.

So it was with a heavy heart I set out for IKEA, not really expecting to find much. IKEA is the bargin basement of pressboard furniture love. The kind of place where you find Ms.-right-now, not Ms.-I’ll-be-giving-you-to-my-grandchildren-someday kind of furniture.

Some people say love at first sight, but for us it was love at first sit. Oh sure, I had an inkling you were the one when I first saw your curved black form with u-shaped padding. But it wasn’t until I sat in you that I felt my back and my ass just scream with comfort “YES! YES! YES!”

Why do we love the ones they do? Why do we seek to find flaws in others that we miss in our dear ones? I don’t know. All I know was the combination of a curved padded backing, slightly downward titled seating that was wide enough and cushioning enough meant you were made for comfort but your sleek black&white design meant you were still pretty enough to bring home to momma.

There was one minor hitch in our love, we didn’t match styles. You were painted black and white, whereas my kitchen table was a warm chestnut wood. But no matter. I didn’t care if our styles clashed, I was taking you home.

Or I should have. In years since of course I would kick myself for not taking you right there and then. What can I say? I was young. You cost $80 + tax which I thought was exorbitant considering my first chairs only cost $15 at the Goodwill. At best I was only thinking I would be able to buy one of you, an awkward child that would never last in the long-run. The first “real” house or apartment I moved into, the single unmatched chair would have to go. But I wanted you so bad I was willing to buy only one, just so we could be together.

But I waited. Time passed. My fortunes rose and fell, and then fell some more. Spending $80 for a kitchen chair was impossibility when grocery money was measured out by $5 bills.

A turning point in our love

Then things changed. My 30th birthday comes and I am gifted with enough money to buy one of you. Still I hesitate. It feels like I’ve been waiting so long, what’s another few months. A friend convinces me to spend my money differently. To wait further.

And so it goes. I want to make myself worthy of you. I want my large ass not to crack your beautiful frame. I will get in shape. I will lose weight and only then will we be together.

As the date approaches however something goes wrong. Suddenly you are no longer at your usual place, IKEA. All the searching of the globe reveals is that while you remain in England and Canada, you have left America for good.

Heartbreak! It is over. My perfect chair love is lost forever. I consider trips to Europe and Canada. I’m suddenly willing to spend hundreds of dollars to achieve something that cost only $80 once.

Slowly I being to resign myself to our fate...we will never be together. I return to the scene of our first love, Ikea. I flirt with Henriksdal, he has been around forever and is dependable if not exiting. But no matter what I look like, I can’t match your beautiful craftsmanship. Your combination of padding and curves. My back and ass do no welcome other chairs with such job.

In a drunken daze I bring home a $250 filly, marked down to $20 in a liquidation sale. You would think I would be happy with such a high-class chair. One that is normally too rich for my blood.

But alas, all I can think of is you. How happy we would have been together. I weep for our lost love.

A miracle

And then the gods smiled upon us. An innocuous ad in craigslist. “Table and chairs for sale- $100.” How many ads like it have I not clicked on? I don’t know. But I was bored, searching, always searching. And there you were! A pair, bright as day! The ad crucially failed to mention your pedigree, but I knew you on sight. What was one out of reach, what once I would have been willing to shell out hundreds of dollars for was not ripe to be plucked for half price. A pair for $80! I would have even been willing to take the table if necessary to get to you.

And so it was. Your previous owner didn’t need you anymore and I reached her within 15 minutes of her posting her ad. My only concern was that somehow she wouldn’t wait a mere day or two for us to be together. Perhaps another buyer would snatch you out of my grasp once more.

But our love was bending fate to my will. My first paycheck in 4 weeks was direct deposited faster than I expected. I now had the means to buy you.

And so there you both sit in my dinning room. We are as happy as clams together. Although the waiting was cruel I now know that true love only comes from being tested. My back, my ass and your frame will live forever together in harmony.

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