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  • Writer's pictureMichael Pearce

The Purple Chair

I've always liked the color purple. Yes, the novel. But also the color. And all of its different shades: lavender, eggplant, violet, periwinkle, wine, and amethyst. So much so that I once had a purple car. Truly, the purple paint was so dark it looked black except in the brightest sunlight. After the car met its demise, I brought purple into the house.

Now before you go imagining that my home looks like a mash-up of a French lavender field and Prince's closet, know that I'm talking about a purple chair. One single lavender-gray chair. It occupies one corner of the living room in front of a window.

When the winter holidays come, purple chair goes away. You see, it sits in the corner which becomes the perfect spot for the Christmas tree. For about six weeks, the purple chair hides out somewhere else. And that spot is not known to my son Zach.

He can't know where the chair goes, because he'd want to put it back. It lives in the corner, and he likes it in the corner. He does not mind the tree being up, but if he were to see the chair in another location of our home, he'd pick it right up and deposit it where it belongs. Tree or no tree - that chair would be smooshed in the corner any which way he could make it fit.

After the holidays, when the tree comes down, purple chair comes back. Its reappearance, however, must be discreet. Certain inquisitive minds would discover purple chair's hibernation spot. And we don't have endless hiding places.

When purple chair materialized in the living room after New Year's, it sat on a diagonal; kitty-cornered, as they say. I placed an artificial tree behind it and a throw across it (the tree was green and the throw white; just sayin.) I thought it looked good.

Later in the day, when I walked into the living room, purple chair was pushed up against the wall, its side touching the bookcase. The artificial tree was smashed up against it. Hmmm. Unless we had a poltergeist in the house, someone had decided to move it around.

I moved it back...on a diagonal with the tree between it and the window. The throw semi-folded over the back. You know, Feng shui.

The next morning, chair, tree, and blanket were once again intimate with the bookcase. It looked like a strong but tiny wind had pushed everything together.

How had Zach so craftily rearranged this corner? I watch him like a hawk. Yet it had to be him doing this when something diverted my attention.

Chair, tree, and blanket were re-set to my liking. Later, I purposefully walked out of the room and spied on the young decorator. With the silent speed of a cheetah, he got up and swept purple chair and green tree up against the bookcase and into the wall.

"Ah-HA!" I popped out from my hiding spot. He looked at me, unflurried. As I faced the furniture gremlin (stifling my giggle) he faced me. I imagined what he would say, caught red-handed. It would be something like, Mom, seriously, you know nothing about arranging furniture. Eye roll included.

The poor purple chair was caught in this back-and-forth battle for a few weeks. Sometimes I let his arrangement remain for the day, and sometimes my preference for the kitty-corner look won. I figure, he lives here too, and should have a say in how (some) things go.

From a sensory perspective, perhaps he needed to "anchor" the items. Or, perhaps he was sending a message that the Christmas tree would still fit if we just shove these other things off to the side.

I eventually did away with the artificial tree and the throw. Since they were not part of the scene pre-holidays, their presence could have tampered with Zach's sensibilities. As of Easter Sunday, I'm happy to report that purple chair, in all its Feng shui glory, sits kitty-cornered in the living room. At least for another seven months.


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