Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Chair

I believe an entry or two ago, I mentioned that we have a papasan chair...you know, one of those bamboo satellite dish looking things with a cushion in it? They are insanely comfortable, but they also take up a helluvalot of room, and they're very difficult to get out of. Hubs has been wanting to get rid of that thing forever, and I just couldn't do it....until recently.
Let me explain.
Once upon a time, at the mere age of 19 - I made the decision to move in with a boyfriend. We had been together a little over a year, and of course I knew EVERYTHING back then, and I was sick of living at home by my parents rules. I was trying to find a place of my own, but nobody would rent to me because I didn't have any rental history, and my parents weren't about to cosign for me (can't blame them at all for that by the way)...my boyfriend at the time wasn't getting along with his roommate and wanted to get his own place too - so one day, strictly out of convenience it seems, we decided to just get a place together. Looking back on that time, it's all very ODD how it happened because there was never a big discussion of "let's move in together and take our relationship to the next level"....it was more like "hey, do you wanna?" - and "sure, let's do it".
dumb, dumb, dumb - stupid, stupid, stupid
But I digress....anyway, he was a nice enough guy, and we got along great - and despite my parents and family and friends all knowing I'd made a huge mistake...things calmed down after my initial move out and we lived in our first apartment for a couple of years, and then moved to a bigger and nicer apartment...which is when I decided that I really wanted a papasan chair. Back then I think I tried way too hard to be agreeable and avoid confrontation, so I pretty much let him call the shots - and he was completely opposed to getting a papasan chair. I would bring it up from time to time, and it was always a resounding NO from his corner. It was a real sore point for me because our apartment looked like a bachelor pad...seriously - a big ass stereo, guitars, posters, 2nd hand couches, etc, etc - but the ONE thing I really wanted, I wasn't allowed to have - and for some reason I allowed that to happen.
I was with this guy for a total of 4 and half years...and I KICK MYSELF for all things I let him get away with in our relationship. I was way too passive, and didn't stand up for what was important to me as much as I should have. I finally got smart and knew I was never going to marry him, and got the courage to initiate the break up. He took it well, I think he kinda knew that we were going in different directions as well....but then he proceeded to take his sweet time finding his own place (which is what we had agreed on by the way). We lived as roommates for a few months...until we finally found an apartment he could afford and I really had to just PUSH him out at that point. Why would he leave when I was still keeping the place tidy and doing laundry and cooking dinner? And what the hell was I thinking continuing to DO all that stuff? I have no idea...
Anyway - the first thing I bought after he moved out? MY PAPASAN CHAIR. I went and bought the one I wanted, and put it in the living room and did my own little victory dance because I was finally on my own and I had finally gotten smart about my life's decisions. It's ridiculous that it took me so much time to finally realize what I wanted out of life, and do something about it. But that chair was definately a symbol for me - I called it my "independence chair", and it just reminded me how good it felt to finally decide that what I wanted was important...and my feelings shouldn't just be cast aside.
When hubs came into my life, he knew all about the chair and it's symbol to me...and as much as he hated the thing - he knew it was important and never made me get rid of it. He would suggest it sometimes, like when we bought a new couch and matching chair - and then had this huge monstrosity of a chair crammed in a room because there was no room for it anywhere else...but he fully respected WHY I just couldn't get rid of it. That's the great thing about hubs...he may not have liked that chair - but he understood it was important to me, and he cared more about that than anything else. I definately married the right guy!
So last weekend, I was cleaning and getting prepared for company...and I was vacuuming that chair. I took a break and sat on our sofa and stared at it, realizing that I'd had the thing for 7 years. It had been taking up space in my house and remained a symbol of my independence for 7 years. I sat there and I thought about how often I really ever sat in that chair, and even when I'm not pregnant - it seems to be more of a cat bed and a clutter zone than anything...and why on earth would I need my independence symbol when hubs gives me all the independence I need, and what we have is almost a complete opposite from my previous relationship? Now I'm about to have a baby and my life is going to change completely...and I'm at a totally different place in my life then I was at that age. I don't NEED that symbol in my life anymore, you know? I have everything I want and more.
So I resolutely took the cushion out of the chair - decided to give it to Georgia for a dog bed...and hauled that big ole thing out of my house and into the driveway. I took another chair from our office that we didn't really have the room for, and placed that in the living room and decided I really liked how much extra space I had just created. Hubs came home and didn't say a WORD about the chair....so I finally said "so ummm, did you notice what's sitting outside?" - and he said "well yeah, but I didn't want to assume anything in case you were cleaning it or something"
and I looked at him and said "hun, I've decided to let it go"
and he looked at me with huge eyes and said "really? are you sure? you're really ready to get rid of it?"
and I nodded affirmatively - "I'm READY" I said.
He jumped up and said "well allllllright! let's do this!"
and proceeded to make a big sign that said FREE and he dragged that chair down our driveway out to the street. 20 minutes later, it was gone. My independence chair tossed into someone's truck and hauled off to take up space in someone else's house.
Oddly enough, I felt lighter once that thing was gone. After thinking about it, I realized, that perhaps instead of being a symbol of my independence...over the years, it had just become a reminder of a past relationship...and a reminder of some bad decisions I had made...and a reminder that I had let another person make decisions FOR me, instead of with me.

I now sit in a completely different chair, in my now spacious living room, with my hand on my belly, and I think about how different my life is now, and how much I've changed, and how much I have to look forward to. And I smile...


samantha jo campen said...

I'm hormonal and that made me cry.

A big ol' congratuations!

April said...

I had the same chair and the same boyfriend (five years). Never felt better than the day I too kicked them to the curb with a sign that said "please take me" :-)