Monday, November 11, 2013
Our new red chair
Observe: Roscoe hangs on the red velveteen chair in the living room. There used to be two, but we had to ditch the other because one of the cats kept peeing on it and it reeked. (Sidebar: Yes, we put it out on the tree lawn. Yes, it was gone before the garbage truck came. People are strange.)
The red chair has been in this house since 1998, the year we moved in. It was part of a grand celebration of redecorating during which we killed the terrible style that came with the house: the foil wallpaper with Chinese fans and the mirrored wall and the black leather par-tay sectional and replaced it all with some combo of respectable elegance and quirky art. The pair of red chairs gave the living room, with its cherry-stained book case, a warm, clubby feeling that I wouldn't have arrived at without the help of my designer friend Chris, but which definitely balances my quirky-art tendencies.
Everyone has loved the red chairs, but the dogs have loved it best. Ramona, our beloved basset hound, perched on the one by the window and rested her drooly chin so often that a dark, shiny patina bloomed on the armrest. Pearlie, the Newfoundland, was too big for the red chairs (which wouldn't stop her from coming over and resting her butt on your lap if you were sitting in it), but now Roscoe has claimed the remaining chair as his go-to spot. I wonder if his nose picks up latent basset hound molecules.
The point is that -- well, this is pathetic, but -- part of my brain still thinks of the remaining red chair as half of "our new chairs." Put another way, when I look around the house, my eyes are burdened by signs of age. Every room cries for a paint job. The bedroom carpet is a wreck. Nothing, really, is new, except for the recliner I bought Carlo for Christmas last year.
Yet I can't account for how quickly the new red chairs became the one old, remaining chair that has been present as three dogs came and two went; as two girls turned from little kids into college women. The guy who painted this room green, who was a buoyant combination of cheerful and bitter, who I'd love to hire to repaint it now? I happened across his obituary a while back.
The remaining red chair has the bits of fabric hanging shredded underneath the seat, where the cats have turned it into entertainment. Like its partner, it really should be tossed. But I probably won't do that. Roscoe finds comfort in it, as you can see. And of course, so do I.