Last time I talked about the gratitude I feel when I use things that make me remember people. I commented that some objects that carry memory are almost too precious to use, lest they be soiled or destroyed. When we don’t use them, they can’t serve as gratitude cues for us.
That reminded me of an experience we have had here with a particular chair.
Right before my daughter was born, my husband found a wingback chair advertised in the local advertising paper and drove out in the country to check it out. He brought it home, even though it had just about the ugliest fabric imaginable and a cat had scratched some holes in it. We loved that chair. It was comfortable to sit in. We propped our babies up in it for pictures – no matter what they did, it couldn’t get any uglier.
Then one year I had the bright idea of having it recovered as a birthday gift to my husband. We picked out the fabric together. We also noticed for the first time that it had really pretty legs — I guess we just got around to stripping old varnish off them in preparation for its makeover.
When it came home, it was too pretty to sit in any more — at least without having a bath first. We didn’t let children play on it any more. We moved it out of high traffic areas so it wouldn’t get stained. I missed the old ugly chair.
Many years have passed, and it has faded slightly. Now my husband keeps it in the corner of the dining room where he can sit and read books in a bookcase close by or observe birds out the window.
It’s just funny to think that we can make things too nice for daily use — and then miss out on the pleasure of using them.