The Chair

Jul 28, 2014 by

There’s a chair in my living room which has a long history in my family. It’s been around for so many moments, moves and milestones for our family, we’ve given it a name—the Orange Chair.

The folklore of the Orange Chair goes like this. My parents, back when they were young, carefree, well-rested newlyweds, bought the chair as one of their first home purchases. The chair has endured spit-up from when my sister and I were babies, and likely lots of drool. I remember playing on the chair as a kid, sitting on its sturdy arms, jumping on its cushion. Years later, when my sister and I were going off to college and my parents were once again carefree and well-rested, the Orange Chair followed us to campus. It has been passed back and forth between me and my sister as we move from apartment to apartment, to finally our first homes. Today, it sits in my living room, a temporary home. Despite the memories it holds and its lasting faithfulness, I can’t say that orange is my favorite color or that it matches anything else in our house. We’ll find a home for it, even if it goes back to my parents’ house—my mom made me promise to not get rid of it.

We have a chair in Lenny’s room. When we were shopping for the nursery, I felt very strongly about wanting an upholstered glider instead of a wooden rocking chair. I could envision this chair having a longer life than just sitting in an infant’s nursery. We could use it in our guest room, or in a reading nook in our living room. A regular wooden chair just wouldn’t do. Maybe, without realizing it, I was thinking of the Orange Chair. After searching for the full nine months of my pregnancy for a used chair on the internet, we finally found the perfect chair the weekend before my due date. We picked it up from a nice couple with a sweet baby girl and brought it home.

Now in the corner of the nursery, this chair has become part of our daily routine. Lenny nurses in the chair, we cuddle in the chair, we fall asleep in the chair and yes, he has spit up in the chair. Someday soon, we will read bedtime books in the chair. Lenny will make forts with the chair, and probably spend some time outs in his room in the chair. Maybe, when the time comes, he’ll choose to take the chair with him to college, and then to his first apartment, and then to his first house. Maybe we’ll give this chair a name, too.

So, really, these chairs are not just chairs. They may have all the makings of regular armchairs, but they are more to our families than just furniture. Unlike many of the items in Lenny’s nursery, his chair, like the Orange Chair with its many memories, is hopefully something he will never outgrow.

The chair in Lenny's room.  Photo credit Gena Golas.

The chair in Lenny’s room. Photo credit Gena Golas.

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Gena Golas

Gena is a pastry chef and first time mom. She earned her MBA from Simmons College, is a proud Connecticut Culinary Institute alumna and is a Husky for life. She likes to be prepared at all times and have all the answers, and then she became a mom. When she is not at work, she can be found restoring her 100-year-old house with her husband, chasing her toddler through the construction zone, or scouring antique shops or curbsides for that perfect find.

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  • Randi

    I really enjoyed this post! Chairs have meaning to me too. I have a chair that was in my parents’ living room about 200 years ago. My siblings and I fought over the 2 velvet chairs and the ottoman, and we each got custody of one piece. It’s my clothes chair now, still in great shape even though it’s almost 50 years old! Also, I liberated a chair from Bennett Hall at my university — it’s an old wooden chair painted yellow and did not belong in an English classroom, so I had to remove it. I’ll never part with that chair.

  • Tara

    This is a really nice post. And I know exactly what you’re talking about here. I have definitely given many inanimate objects lives of their own because of love and history. Thanks for sharing this little piece of your family. And that looks like a really cozy chair!

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