A Chair Is Just A Chair

Unless It’s An Addiction

When I cook, it's not this pretty.

When I cook, it’s never this pretty.

My extended family gathers most Sunday evenings for delicious food, much vino and many laughs. At this time, the whole gang totals twelve. When we host the celebration, we add table leaves and even a card table to make room for the celebration. Fortunately, I have enough real chairs (no folding) for everyone, as we spend the whole evening at the table.

I share this to lessen your judgement of my condition. See, I’m a junk collector. Specifically, I’m addicted to collecting old, wooden chairs off the side of the road. Now I don’t go for just any old chair. Nothing upholstered. Nothing laminated. I like the older seats, ones with character. Though some consider them trash, these wooden souls still hold value.

Unfortunately, when you shop at Boutique Le Curb, character can include some 1409207276ych27challenges. Like missing seats, missing legs, and okay, sometimes missing backs. But the craftsmanship on what remains is beautiful. Truly.

I currently have twenty-four wooden chairs. I only paid for eight. And that was at the Salvation Army. I haven’t shopped there for a long time, because, come on, after you get free stuff off the side of the road, $6 a chair seems pretty steep.

Thirteen are inside my home, used in various rooms. They’ve been refinished, the seats recovered, some painted and aged.  Three are stored in the garage, pulled out for events. Eight are stacked in the back of the garage awaiting their transformation. They’ve been waiting a few years.

So why am I sharing this today? Today is neighborhood bulk trash day, the wonderful holiday for us collectors that comes once a year. Treasures and junk decorate every other home on the street. As I was driving my son to school this morning, I saw the first pile. FOUR dining room chairs! (Okay, really three and a fourth comprised of broken pieces). But they were straight out of the seventies – Spanish style gone wild. If I had a room with red velvet wall paper and a bronze sword and shield, they would be perfect.

Thankfully, my son is aware of my struggle. As we approached the collection, my pulse racing, he blocked his window and yelled, “Look away, Mom! Look away!” And I did. But after I dropped him off, I drove by three more times. I never stopped. I’m waiting until night, when I can sneak them into the garage under cover of darkness. Help me.

Food photo by MaxStraeten. Chair photo by Dogerton Skillhause