User avatarFourteen years

What can you remember from 2004? Anything? Could you point your gnarled and ageing finger at anything you could decisively say you bought in 2004? Do you remember your hopes and dreams for the future back then?

I can. In 2004, I bought a comfortable blue chair from Ikea and put it in my room at my student house. It was wonderful. I spent more time in that, with my laptop, than I did sitting at my desk or in the living room downstairs. I wrote my dissertation in that chair. But my room was small, so I reluctantly said no to the matching footstool that would have elevated it from “comfortable chair” to “the best seating in the world”. I told everyone I’d go back and get the footstool when I moved out, and then my life would be complete.

When I went back for it, they no longer sold the chair or the footstool in blue. And a year after that they stopped making and selling the chair altogether. But I don’t give up easily, and every now and then I’d rummage around on Gumtree and search through eBay listings to find a matching blue footstool. None ever came up. The chairs did come up sometimes, but very rarely in blue. The chairs sometimes came up with a footstool, but I didn’t want another chair and I never found a pair in blue anyway. The footstools on their own never came up at all.

Until, that is, Monday the 26th February 2017, when I had a look on eBay for probably the first time in a year or more, and this came up.

A blue footstool. On its own. Clean. Fully intact. £20. Collection only from a London suburb.

I can’t tell you how excited I was. If I hadn’t been sitting at my desk at work I think I would have screamed. After I had danced around the room for a little bit, I bought it.

I went to collect it – an hour and a half’s drive from my flat, but irritatingly ten minutes from where I used to live – and then brought it home. The reunion of chair and footstool was moving and emotional for all present (by which I mean me).

My blue chair is fourteen years old this year. That’s very nearly half my life. Fourteen years alone. Fourteen years dreaming of the matching footstool I very nearly bought with it and that I had come to believe I would never own. Fourteen years as half of a pair. And now, unbelievably, I’ve got what I always wanted.

I think my life is complete now. I think I have everything I need. And I’ve certainly learned that, if your life is missing something, you sometimes just have to be patient.

18 comments to Fourteen years

  • Is this what your life is now?

  • Not anymore, he’s now wandering around like an empty vassal, lacking the direction of a quest.

  • That’s half true. I am certainly suffering acute questlessness, but I am certainly not wandering. No, I’m sitting down with my feet up in great comfort at every opportunity.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    I am torn between congratulating you on a job well done and how refreshing it is to see this level of patience, and also ridiculing you for becoming IKEA boy, obsessed with soft furnishings.

  • Why not try both. At the same time. Mixed together if necessary.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    What a great achievement, mate. Stop fucking wasting my life with your petty bollocks. I’m sure you’ll feel so much better now you have both items of furniture.

  • This is a rollercoaster of emotion, mate.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    It was difficult to put into words however I think I managed it. It’s not only you who’s emotional about furniture; it’s clearly had some sort of effect on me.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    ME too. ME!

  • You! Look at you. YOU and your massive EMOTIONS.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Look at ME with my MASSIVE emotions. They’re so big there’s no room for anyone else in this office!

  • That’s why I’m out here, in the hall, squeezing past the doorway where your emotions are bulging out.

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay (what?)

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Can you make it past? Should I call the fire brigade, like an old person?

  • If you can just suck your emotions in for a minute I’ll be fine.

    (wheeeeeeeeeey!)

  • That seems like a pretty tall order. Without want to sound too sexual, once they start pouring out it is very difficult to stop them.

    (waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!)

  • Eww. Can you at least mop up afterwards?

  • Ian "Mac Mac Mac Mac" McIver

    Mopping up emotions? If I was trying to be clever, I’d attempt some sort of mop/mope pun slash joke slash effort.

    It’s a good job I’m not clever.

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