Ode to an Office Chair

It is not black, but a rich maroon leather, so soft and buttery.  The support for the back is attentive and tends to hold you upright so that you will “sit up and get some work done”.

But alas, is it the chair or the giver?

It was a association meeting of sorts.  There were the silent auction items on tables around the room.  One was this office chair.  My had decided to retire early.   I was in the market.

So I bid . . . and won.

Then the issue of delivery arrived.  Connecting with the provider, lets call her Kristy (last name withheld so she can, if she so chooses, to stay in the background).   I arrived, she ushered me to the chair I had bought.  I was a short, black secretarial piece.  Rock solid, and so practical.  I am sure my pleading baby eyes were pitiful.  She humored me and suggested, “maybe there might be something else in our inventory of close outs (you can guess that she manages a high value office furniture location)?”

We trekked up the stairs.  There it stood, as if in a shaft of revelationary light.  Maroon, high backed.  Some scruffs, and wear as it is was a return.  But oh what a chair.  Not too soft, not to hard.  To quote Goldilocks, “just right.”

But lasting in my mind, now that my keester is planted in it, is the memory of Kristy’s “gift”.   She did not need to do this upgrade.   She did it because she could.

Ah, the lasting strength of compassion, of service, of gifts.

I remember the coat my brother gave me.  I remember the tube of toothpaste my new bride bought just for me.  So considerate of something so small.   I remember the hand made little collection of letters written by my kids from some 25 years ago, all bound together with a blue ribbon and a special “Merry Christmas Dad.” Those letters might as well be written on plates of gold.

We remember when others go above service.   We remember gifts.  We remember compassion.  Is it because it is so rare?

The paradox of the gift card.  We are glad to get it, but as soon as the dollars are spent, the memory leaves with the clink of the cash register.

Remember! should be the call of the day.   Research shows that our stuff just does not mean as much to us over time as the memories.  No souvenir has near the value as the memory when we bought it.



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