The big pink chair and the white hot rage

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The Big Pink ChairWhen I was pregnant, I bought this rocking armchair I’d been lusting over for years. It was my special gift to myself! The chair has modern lines and a wide base, and it was going to be my special breastfeeding island… the magical place where I rocked the baby to sleep in a happy haze.

Things never quite turned out that way.

Truth be told, the big pink chair was never quite as comfortable as it looked. It was a little too hard, and not quite the right shape for my butt. I did most of my nursing on the purple couch, where I could have books and a cup of tea next to me. You can’t predict these things: the chair just wasn’t my preferred space for nursing. After my son weaned, the chair became a reading destination for my husband. Sometimes we’d drag it across the living room (scratching the floor with its wooden rockers) to set a laptop on it to watch movies. The chair was barely used, but relatively inoffensive. Mostly, it just sat there, mocking me for having purchased it.

At some point, my husband got into the habit of pushing the chair flush against the wall to save precious living room floor space. Smart, but then when you sat in it, it would rock forward for a moment and then when you leaned back, it would make a deep but muffled THUMP! as its uphosterly-backed wooden frame slammed into the wall.

Then, my son discovered the the THUMP. Now he likes to stand in front of the chair and rock it into the wall: THUMP, THUMP, THUMP. On the mornings when it’s my turn to sleep in, I get woken up by the deep THUMP, THUMP, THUMP of the chair slamming the wall. Please, whatever you do, don’t ask our poor downstairs neighbor about the thumping. It must sound awful.

The THUMP took the chair around the bend for me — no longer was it just a purchase that didn’t get used in the way I’d intended, it had become a pink upholstered liability. Every time I hear the THUMP, I feel the rage rising in me. FUCKING PINK CHAIR. I know the frustration is petty and the definition of first-world problems. I’ve spent a couple months trying to reason away the rage: it’s just a chair! It gets sat in! The THUMPing isn’t that bad! Who has energy to hate a chair? What would I put in its place? I don’t have the time or budget to replace it with anything right now. I’ll just deal with it. But the rage remained.

And then I realized: I can just get rid of the pink chair.

I don’t have to replace it right now. There are other places to sit. No one will miss the chair, and while yes: it would be nice if I could just get over the rage, I can also just remove the trigger.

The realiziation (is this a basket moment? It might be!) was a break-through. I want less rage. I want more space. I will just get rid of the chair. Silly me: I can just get rid of the chair.

So, as we head into the last days of 2011, I ask you: what rage-triggers in your home could you just, you know, get rid of. Obviously, something like a broken fridge has to be replaced, which requires saving money to buy a new one. But that pile of crap on the table? What would happen if you took an hour out of your New Year’s Day to finally go through it? That box you’ve had sitting behind the bedroom door for six months? What’s even IN there?

What white hot rage-triggering piece of your home can YOU get rid of?

Comments on The big pink chair and the white hot rage

  1. Dishes! My husbands ginormous dishes from when he was a bachelor. They are so heavy and awkward. I always put them in the very back of the cabinet and they whole family knows they are in trouble for not keeping up with the dish washing duties if I have to use one of them for a meal.

  2. In October i started hosting a weekly potluck for around 20 people…At the time I only owned about 6 mugs so I asked my MIL to keep an eye out at rummage sales for 10cent mugs and she brought me this HIDEOUS Norman Rockwell china mug and suggested that I hide it when people were over so it wouldn’t break.
    I have no clue why it enraged me but it drove me crazy having that mug in my cupboard. I seriously offered to pay people to break it for a few months and then just brought it to the white Elephant exchange 🙂

  3. My entire apartment was a source of rage for me over the Christmas holidays (while we were with family) so my partner and I did a massive purge when we got back. Including a rage chair! I read this and laughed. I had been lugging this hand-me-down giant brown pleather monstrosity around with me for 4 years from apartment to apartment. It looks like crap, its a strange size/shape and it took up too much space in our living room. Then we just got rid of it. I came home one day, and it was gone. Such a relief. Along with an entire closet of hand me down sheets (that don’t fit our bed) pillowcases that we don’t need, video games we don’t play and books we don’t read. We are still on the purge cycle as we get ready to bring a baby into our one bedroom apartment. The transformation has been AWESOME.

  4. We’ve got a garage full of shit at both our house and my parents’ house that is mine. It’s stuff that my parents packed up and removed from my bedroom when I went off to uni 7 years ago and stuff we packed up when we moved into our current house 3 years ago but have never unpacked. I get stressed just thinking about all that crap. I’m honestly tempted to not bother going through it and just sling it- how important can any of it really be if I’ve not needed it for so many years?

  5. “Mostly, it just sat there, mocking me for having purchased it.”

    My favorite line in the whole article! My comment is rather late, but I wanted you to know that this coming weekend I’m going to an annual Spring Swap party, where we bring our own Big Pink Chairs (or things we’re just tired of looking at) to exchange for OTHER people’s stuff. Their White Hot Rage just might be my treasure.

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