A Chair to Sit On

Sit and settle. That’s life happening.

I‘ve been thinking about chairs a lot lately.

There are a few reasons for that.

1. I sold my old table, including its chairs.

2. I bought a new table.

3. I’m unemployed.

The table I bought—it’s beautiful. I never thought I’d say that about a table. It’s smooth and white and Saarinen inspired. I love looking at it.

My cool friend Allison has the same table. It’s from CB2.

Even my boyfriend, who was overseas at the time of its purchase and is extremely particular about how we furnish our new place, was surprised by how much he liked the beauty.

One cold Los Angeles night I drove to IKEA to take a look at chairs. I had been feeling quite blue lately. Sad. Hollow. Aching. Depressed. Alone.

I guess it’s part of the unemployment racket. I’m without purpose. I’m scrounging for a new job. I’m feeling worthless, skill-less, and afraid. I can stay in bed all day or I can get up, wash my hair, put on some mascara and search for affordable chairs. I’ll do whatever it takes to stave off the sort of self-pity that can swallow me up like quicksand.

Podcasts help. Brian Koppelman interviewing his wife Amy.

Marc Maron with Fred Armisen.

Pete Holmes with Elizabeth Gilbert.

So, I listen to them constantly. This particular night at Ikea, I listened to the Tony Robbins episode of The Moment with Brian Koppelman. I trudged through the maze, listening to Tony talk about financial stuff that made no sense to me. I’m shit when it comes to money.

I kept listening because, eh, I was feeling lonely, and I like Tony’s intense, husky voice. Then, in the chair section, something happened.

I tested out each chair…

…and then I started crying….

…and I could. not. stop.

I felt pathetic. I didn’t want to spend time testing out chairs. I didn’t want to care about furniture. I didn’t want to distract my self from my sadness. I wanted to deal with it.

So, I left Ikea and drove home. I stormed into my house, fully intending on sitting down at my computer and finishing the crappy pilot I’ve been working on about being a young divorcée.

I was gonna write that fucking thing. I was gonna figure out exactly what I had to say and how to say it. I was going to sum up all of the pain and sadness and confusion and relief I had experienced over the past year of my separation and divorce and pack it into a 32-page pilot that some cool freckled actress like Ari Graynor or Alia Shawkat might be inclined to attach themselves to and then the next thing I know—I’d have a TV show on the air, a paid-off credit card, and four of the copper “Real Good” Chairs from Blu Dot. (Google it. It was inspired by a pizza box.)

But, as these things go, before I actually opened the damn document to work on it, I decided I needed a snack.

—–

Two weeks later the pilot hadn’t been touched. It was Black Friday, and my boyfriend was back in town.

I like being part of a team. It doesn’t feel like I’m evading sadness when I shop with him. Instead, we’re on a mission and we’re special agents, calling bullshit on the cost of furniture these days. It’s actually really fun. I can’t help but think really corny shit like, “I guess this is what life is all about, the little things, like Black Friday with the one you love.”

We settled on a set of four stacking chairs from Amsterdam. They were supposedly used in a Dutch school. The price was right.

So, now I’ve got chairs. No longer will the hunt for them, the obsession over them, distract me from my existential crisis because really, there are an infinite number of other things to do just that. Today, I’m thinking about nightstands.

Thanks Kindland!

Danielle Leibowitz is a writer and artist who cracks herself up in Los Angeles.
follow me