Posted by: pendrops | October 26, 2007

laughing at chairs


I’ve been laughing at chairs lately. Belly laughing, out-of-control and often. Before you think I’m off my rocker (no pun intended), let me explain.

Thanks to a recent apartment swap, Jason and I have one of those much-coveted counters perfect for sitting on stools and munching on breakfast toast or enjoying a casual dinner. When I learned that the layout of our new apartment included this counter, I immediately took a stash of mad cash to the consignment furniture shop, watched Jason dicker and bicker for several minutes, and excitedly dreamed of moving day a few weeks away when we would cozy our new chairs up to the counter.

Well, we either bought irregular chairs, shorter than normal, or a really tall person installed our precious overhanging counter, because when Jason and I sit in our chairs, our chins barely clear the counter-top.

“Makes it easy to get food into our mouths,” Jason said the first time we sat down, resting his chin near his plate with dramatic demonstration for affect.

We tried to make the chairs work by sitting on pillows and blankets, but nothin’ doin’. And I had been so dadgum excited. I had known what I wanted, had gone out and gotten it, and had envisioned delicious meals Jason and I would share on our stools at the counter.

Oh well, that sort of stuff happens, right? It’s the stuff of life, you might say. And I have to laugh when I clear piled up mail and library books from the seats of these chairs. But lest you think that’s the end of our chair woes, we happen to have another set of forlorn chairs. Chairs for which I also had such high hopes.

In our old apartment, we had a lovely view of cracked concrete and bump cars loudly parked below us. We relaxed best as we could in our reclining mesh chairs, but in those last days at 13208 we desperately imagined our new apartment where we would have the perfect combo: rolling hills, lush trees, manicured golf course in the distance and our comfy chairs – the cherry on top.

Four months later, I still have yet to use the deck chairs. I laugh when I pass these unused chairs, folded and leaning against the wall of our spare room thanks to the resident spiders weaving webs on our woodsy deck. (Yes, a few brave spiders are still with us.) No sitting on the deck, no deck chairs.

I just didn’t think these expectations were so unrealistic, difficult, or demanding. But the unused chairs scattered throughout our apartment tell a different story. They remind me daily of foundations I build on. Foundations incapable of holding the weight of dreams, desires or deck chairs. Foundations of feathers and fluid. I have lots of these foundations, sadly, where contentment, joy and perspective shake and crumble when everything doesn’t turn out just so.

Still, I hope I get to use all these chairs someday. I have to believe it will be some really great sitting when it does happen. Probably way better than our extra-tall counter or tree-line view. And in the meantime, laughing at chairs is good. I suppose it’s really me I’m laughing at. And laughing at yourself is always a good idea.



  1. That’s funny…and oh so true! But be careful not to belittle those ‘wobbly’ foundations! People who do that too often become cynics–forever chiding perpetual hope and child-like joy because of the chance that said hope may not bring said joy.

    Your Token Optimist 😉

  2. Loved the stories about the chairs. Sat here laughing out loud picturing Jason eating at the counter. Someday I’m sure your little stools will serve a wonderful purpose.

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