Friday, June 15, 2007

Ode to a chair

Farewell to the Khaki Chair. You have served us well.

Your association with this family goes all the way back to the 1960s, when you were golden and your nubby material was fresh. Your cushions were firm, your upholstery was clean. You were, dare I say it? You were nice. Pete's parents were brave enough to buy a new chair for a house with four rambunctious children and I am certain your newness didn't last long.

Flash forward 20 years and you were clearly showing your age. Your once firm cushions were flat and worn. Your seams were splitting. You smelled a bit like dog, but we can't blame you for that. You wore a slipcover made for you out of a Laura Ashley inspired fabric in blues and oranges. Lots of continued loafing and relaxing in your comfortable cushions ensured that the newer slipcover would eventually be as worn and tattered as your original upholstery.

When we got you about ten years ago, we were happy to have a new chair, but oh were you ever ugly. You were relegated to an out-of-the-way spot and rarely used.

About eight years ago, we ordered a khaki colored cotton slipcover to cover the ugly and moved you into a more prominent location in our house. The slipcover was too big, but it was the best we could do and it worked for us. Especially since we had small children and didn't dare have any nice furniture.

But I longed for a nicer chair. One that didn't show stains. One that didn't need to be straightened out daily. One that didn't collect small items in its nooks and crannies. One that didn't shed strange fibers on the carpet.

At the same time, I couldn't resist your seductive embrace and would nap in you every weekend. Other people felt the same way:

When my children were smaller, they would play behind you and use your slipcover as a tent.

You were perfect for reading...

... and phone chats ...

You were in the backdrop of family events -- birthdays, holidays, and other special times:

You were the right size to hold two little girls when I took photos, which I did regularly:

And you were always available for hugs and snuggles:

But I still longed for a nicer chair. We debated many times having a better slipcover made for you or even having you completely reupholstered, but the cost would have been prohibitive and it would have been cheaper to just buy another chair.

Finally, yes finally, Pete agreed that it was time to get something nice. We ordered this:

Yes, Khaki Chair, you have been replaced by a sleeker, newer model. You are the first wife with stretch marks and saggy boobs. The marshmallow sofa is the trophy wife with a taut stomach and implants.

But you are not doomed to a life of ignominy. No, we could never do that to such an old and dear friend.

You are going to a new home with a different family. A family who is already familiar with you and appreciates your charms. This family has a baby, one who too will love you and play under your slipcover and appreciate you as much as we have.

Well, one day.

Farewell old friend.


Julia said...

Hey! That is some crazy chair. I'm sure it has design significance that I, as an ex-designer, am ignorant of! I am ignorant of a lot of things, don't worry!

Khaki chair owes you nothing. Those girls are too cute, especially the one with the feet sticking out. Ooh, is that my clock talking?

Okay - MUST SAY - thank you so much for your post about the anomaly of housing in Houston. I was having a WTF? moment over those houses, feeling I had been duped by my city AGAIN. I've already been duped by the climate and was 'right pissed after visiting California in February, but that is another story.

Our city is FILLED with the ugliest housing. There are some gems, but they go into crazy bidding wars. The rest of the housing looks like they have been built with ugly sticks. Your comment on the anomaly makes me feel better. Thanks!

casapinka said...

Great new lounger. Even cuter baby!

Jennifer said...

The marshmallow sofa was originally designed by George Nelson, who did so many other mid-century modern classics. It's still be produced by Herman Miller from the original 1950s design. You can get it in all sorts of great colors and it's the white that gives it its name. Ours is a reproduction, as there's no way we could afford the real thing. And... it's super comfortable. We've had it only three days and everyone wants to sit on it.

The khaki chair has been delivered to my brother, whose family moved from our town today, taking the cute crying baby with them. They'll be an hour away, so we'll still get to see them and watch my nephew grow.