A Chair and A Story

3 Jun

I had to buy it. It was fate. And it will bring joy and happiness to several people (myself included) so that’s a good thing right? That makes my purchase more valuable. It’s like I practically gave the money to charity. That’s it. That’s how I’ll look at it. I gave the money to charity.

If I wrote a blog post today that said I heard about a family who’d fallen on hard times and needed some help and I’d decided to give them $65 and drive 2 hours to deliver that donation – you would never judge me. You would think I was selfless.

Well that’s what I did. Exactly what I did. Except that in return for my donation, I got a really great orange wing-back chair. For $65. And I have to drive to Waterloo to claim it.

See, I have a family photo session this weekend and I’m excited about. Its different because its a family with adult children as opposed to toddlers or grade schoolers. That trips my trigger because most often families stop having family portraits done when their kids get older and move away. But I think its a great time to take the family pictures! The best time maybe!

So anywho…I was brainstorming ideas for these family pictures and making notes of my visions. (If you ever see me looking all perplexed with my mouth hanging open, oblivious to those around me, its because I’m envisioning photos. Not catching flies.)

So anyway I think to myself, “You know what you really need, self. You really need an awesome vintage chair. Not too big, not to small. Nice structure, solid lines. Something people can lean on. Or sit on its arm. And it should be a great color, something vivid. Like vintage orange. Yes, self, that is what you need a nicely structured, vintage, orange chair.”

So I went to Craigslist – land of all things random. I clicked on the first listing that caught my eye “button tufted winged back chair.” I thought the word “tufted” sounded funny so I clicked on it.

And then, there was fate. The chair gods sang from the heavens. I wept with joy.


Seriously. How could that not be fate? I’m meant to have that chair.

I quick checked in with the man of the house. He agreed. I need that chair.

Just picture it…a lovely family all around the chair. A sassy senior girl with her legs flipped over one side! Or! A beautiful newborn baby boy, born in October, perfectly posed on the seat of that chair. (I’m not being really random, my cousins little dude is due in October. October! When everything should be orange and vivid and vintage!)

So I call the seller, ready to haggle a lower price because $65 seems a little steep for a chair, but then again what do I know about the chair market.

The seller turns out to be a sweet lady from the more Southern portion of Illinois. People from Southern Illinois will tell you their life story if they are stuck next to you at a traffic light. So naturally, I got to know this gal quickly.

“Are you pretty firm in your price?” I ask nicely.

“Oh, yes. I am I’m afraid.” replies the kind stranger.

“I assume that’s because its in great shape?” I inquire.

“Oh heavens it hardly looks like its been used. It was my parents…” her voice trails. Uh oh, I think. Here comes the story.

“I’ve just lost both of my parents and I have no choice but to sell their furniture even though I don’t want to. But this was the chair my mother kept in her bedroom and she would drape different quilts across the back. Different ones for the different seasons. It was her favorite chair. And she might sit in it to read for a bit at night… you know… but she was very tidy and….” again with the trailing voice.

Oh jeeze. She’s chokin up on me. Did you hear what she said? It was her mother’s bedroom chair. And she doesn’t want to sell it. Who am I to tell her the damn thing isn’t worth a million!? Nothing worse that being emotionally attached to something, no matter how illogical, and having someone else act like it ain’t worth a dime.

“I’ll take it!” I hear myself say. “65 seems fair.”

“Oh, dear, are you sure you don’t want to come a view it first?”

“Nope,” I tell her. “That chair has a bright future ahead of it and I’ve got a family that’s going to gather around it on Saturday so we’ve no time to him and haw around. I’ll just take it!”

I’m going to make that darned orange chair my signature chair. If I take you’re picture – you’re going to meet the chair. I might make the chair my logo. Yes, I think I will. $65 well spent. And I didn’t get only a chair – I got a story too! How great is that?! People in checkout lines never tell me stories about the jeans I’m buying.

The chair seller lady seemed quite happy. I hope her mother is happy to know her favorite chair is going to star in some fabulously beautiful photos. She probably wouldn’t have guessed it, but that chair is about to hang on the walls of many a happy home. Cheers to you, chair lady.


5 Responses to “A Chair and A Story”

  1. Claire June 3, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    Yes awesome story! You can do my Trash the Dress Session with the orange chair, you totally inspire me miss mags!

  2. Ericaaaaaaaaaaa June 4, 2009 at 5:36 pm #


    • maggieandzac June 4, 2009 at 6:10 pm #

      Good! Because everyone I know is getting their picture in that chair! I’ve decide every photo client I ever have will be shot at least once in that chair (that sounds bad) and then I will end all of my blog posts with that particular picture : )

  3. Molly November 30, 2009 at 2:52 am #

    Just saw this story…super awesome!! LOVE it! Aubree L-O-V-E-D that chair! Can’t wait to see how the chair pictures turned out!


  1. I call her Gladys « The Blog - June 6, 2009

    […] Meet Gladys. The chair to end all chairs. You may recall hearing about here in A Chair + A Story. […]

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