Full disclosure: I wrote the majority of this post almost a year ago and then panicked and couldn't share it. I wasn't ready. But today I must accept my fate. It is time.
I talk a big game about buying on Craigslist, but I very infrequently discuss selling on Craigslist. Why? Because I have trouble parting with things. Maybe it's some form of Only Child Syndrome, but once an item finds its way into my home, it becomes a sort of member of the family, an always-there friend, a part of the home. And it's very hard to say goodbye to friends.
When I first moved to New York and got my first apartment, my mom took me to Macy's so we could furnish the apartment with some adult-quality items upon which to sit. At the time that we went, I had already acquired an off-white Ethan Allen sofa via Craigslist (that I thought looked like the one from Monica and Rachel's apartment on Friends) and a painted armoire (featured in this post here) also via Craigslist, so I was in need of a chair and an ottoman/coffee table to accompany these two pieces. While at Macy's, we happened upon an oversized chair -- a chair-and-a-half, if you will -- and my mother pounced.
"This is it," she said. "It's a must-have item. Everyone will want to sit in it. And it's Kate Hufft Pink."
At the time, I thought, "Good god, Mother, that's the size of an elephant. Have you seen my tiny, single lady, New York living room (of which one wall is the kitchen)? We are not in Texas, and this is not Nebraska Furniture Mart. It will never fit." What I said was something like, "Oh, well, that's nice... Where do you think we could put it?"
The thing is, the chair did sort of speak to me. "Kate.... pick me.... please, Kate. I will love you forever..." And it was sort of KHP. And it did sort of look like the club chair in Monica and Rachel's apartment on Friends. (When one grows up in the Midwest and dreams of moving to the Big Apple, one also dreams of having Monica and Rachel's apartment -- one just does not know that no affordable apartment could ever be the size of Monica and Rachel's apartment on Friends.) It was sort of like trying to choose a puppy out of a litter and eventually knowing that you need to get the one that looks like no one else will want it, because that's the one that needs the most love and that will love you the most.
And so it came to be that the elephant-sized KHP-colored chair-and-a-half came home to live with me.
Over the course of nine years, four apartments, a move-in with my manfriend, an exchange of vows with my manfriend and many, many gatherings with friends and family, the KHP chair has truly been the elephant in the room. And strangely (or not?) at the center of everything. It is a very welcoming elephant, and as elephants in rooms tend to be, it is hard to ignore. It has always been too big, lurking there wherever we have decided to place it in a given space. It knows this and has accepted its fate. But it also knows that it's comfortable. It is the coveted seat at a cocktail party or as a dinner party starts to wind down; the seat you take when you need some comfort after a rough day or when you just want to be lazy on a Sunday. The KPH elephant has a gravitational pull. If someone walks into the room and wants to sit down, they are drawn to the KHP elephant. They may joke about it, they pretend like it's ridiculous and huge and why do you have this ginormous chair in New York of all places, but, secretly, they love it.
In fact, it will fit two slender friends or a slender couple:
But to answer that question -- the elephant in the room question -- that why do you have this ginormous chair in New York of all places question: Love, of course. Isn't it always love? When I get home after a long day, I immediately plop down in the elephant's welcoming belly and curl up in its comforting arms. It loves me. And I love it back.
The chair and I have been together for my entire adult living-in-the-real-world life. It has been a love-hate relationship -- I gripe about how large it is, how it doesn't fit, how it's wearing thin in places, how it's stuffing is starting to burst through, how I can't seem to get the wrinkle out of the skirt (not that I've actually tried)... but really, despite all that -- no, because of all that -- I love it. And when others criticize it, I get defensive and a little bit sad. The chair is my KHP elephant, after all. And it has been a very loyal friend.
And so, now that it has come time to part with it (after the purchase of my Cordova chairs last year and my realization that it's just time to grow up (just as Monica and Rachel do at the end of Friends) - though Taylor Swift, who will always be younger than I, advises against it), I feel a sense of sadness that we must say goodbye. I've always loved the chair. But now I love it even more. It's the end of my twenties! The end of an era! The end of a love affair with a really, really big, KHP-colored chair! That brought me comfort during my first few really confusing years in the city! That my mom bought for me! That we shopped for together!
And while I am ready for the new grown-up look that we will eventually have in our living room, I am sad to say goodbye to this piece of my past and this chapter of my life.
And so I find myself being that type of Craigslist seller who wants the owner to understand the chair I am selling and to promise to love it. A difficult task indeed. I posted a listing last year and have received only one email, and I have deemed the potential-purchaser completely un-elephant-worthy (and possibly a killer).
Body: When can pick up be set up??let me know.
Seriously? No. You may not have my elephant. Nor may you have my address.
As you might expect, I didn't respond, I removed the link and I decided to keep my elephant chair for one more year. But, alas, a year has passed. And it's time to say goodbye. Here is my new posting http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/fuo/4857090388.html
I tried to keep it, you know, light and not like, This is killing me to do, but those of you who read this blog and know me know... This is killing me to do. Over the past year, the chair moved over next to Buddy the Buffet and has become my favorite reading nook. I love it. It's actually my favorite space in our apartment now. It's the first place I go when I get home at night from work, and I sit there, just soaking in the comfort and letting the day melt off.
But it is time. The weight of this apartment must be shed -- Buddy needs some freedom -- and we are ready to renovate soon and bring new life to the space.
So: here's the question.... Do you want my elephant chair? I can promise you it will love you more than you will ever know.
And here's the other question: what furniture do you love like I love my elephant? I'd love to know!
Hope you're staying warm in the blizzard!!
Happy chair loving :)
I am a designer and financial professional with a background in comparative literature, business and design. I live in New York with my overworked lawyer husband and sweet, art-and-design-loving toddler son and spend much of my free time dreaming about how to enhance the aesthetics of our little world. I am endlessly inspired and always in search of something new. This is a blog about my search, my inspiration and things I just really, really like or want.
Blogs/Sites I Love
A Lovely Being
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Little Green Notebook
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SF Girl by Bay
The CHICago Life
The Pink Pagoda