It's fitting that just as I put up a picture of Ralph Lauren waving goodbye, a major fucking Ralph Lauren coup would drag me back to the blog for a stop-in. Basically what happened last week was that I wrote a very, very long, involved post about my thoughts on the Ralph Lauren women's Spring 2011 collection, and when I went to hit save, my blogging service deleted the whole thing. I became very emotionally exhausted in that moment not only because that post had communicated some spot-on commentary about WASPs, yuletide swags on banisters, boating off Connecticut, the American fantasy of the open frontier, and romance, but also because lately I've been experiencing a general fatigue with social media, this blog included, and I've become somewhat consumed with my own fantasy of taking off for a historical colonial in Savannah, Georgia (though I've never been there, it looks GREAT on House Hunters) and disappearing from the Internet and returning to writing things for which I might get paid, so I could restore the chimney in my hypothetical colonial to its original splendor.
In short, I've got my fucking Twitter, I've got my fucking Facebook, I've now got my fucking VYou, and I've been feeling like the blog, going on over 7 years now, is just another distraction. So I'd written the original Ralph Lauren post about his daring vision for the spring, and then I had ended it with a note about how I'm stopping the blogging in its regular incarnation, and will only be popping in from time to time when I have something truly spectacular I want to document (e.g. my holiday wrapping theme). But all of that got deleted and I was too tired to try to recreate it, so I stuck up the picture of cowboy Ralph and intended to move on with my life.
BUT Ralph had a cosmic surprise in store for me, not that I believe in cosmic surprises, but the fact is that the chair I was always destined to have finally made its way into my home this week. If you're a regular reader of the blog, you know I've had a longtime hard-on for Ralph's furniture, and while I don't think you're supposed to fill up your home with one brand the same way you're not supposed to wear a designer head to toe, I would. And I would love it. And when you came over, I'd make you love it too.
For the past few years, there has been one chair in particular that I've wanted in my life more than I've wanted, like, a job or a sense of well-being, and that is the Ralph Lauren Writer's Chair. I'm not going to lie because obviously the name really clenched a hand around my gut and twisted my intestines, giving me ideas, ideas along the lines of, "Whoa, I could write in that." But it was more than just the name because I also have a big, big thing for tufting, and the first time I saw this chair I just said to myself, "That is the most brawny, beautiful, and bold tufted armchair I have ever seen." (I was already writing things in my head- look at that alliteration!) I talked about this chair to friends and family. I looked at this chair regularly on the Internet. I thought about it when I lay in bed at night on my Ralph Lauren herringbone sheets I got from Ross. But the chair alone started at around 6.5k, and I couldn't imagine that I'd ever have that kind of cash to throw down on a single item of furniture. And I never even dreamed of owning the ottoman (which started at 3.2k).
But hark! A little hopeful fire must have stayed lit in my heart because every morning since becoming acquainted with that chair's existence, one of the first things I'd do was search "Ralph Lauren" on Craigslist furniture. Over the years a couple of Writer's Chairs appeared, both hovering somewhere in the 1k-2k range, which was good, but still not totally realistic for my book contract to book contract lifestyle. Then, on November 10, 2010, I performed my usual search and an ad with BOTH CHAIR AND OTTOMAN appeared in my list and I held my breath when I saw the price sought for these items together was...$350. My scalp tingled. My intestines clenched again. My head nearly popped off. I immediately wrote to Geoff and Brent, Geoff because he knows that I've wandered in a mental desert for this chair, and Brent because we live together and so I've got to respect his wishes too, although if he hadn't understood how amazing this chair is, then I don't know what would have happened to our relationship. Next I wrote to the seller and said, "Can we come see it."
The following day, as Brent and I were standing outside the building where this chair was located, I was becoming extremely nervous because the whole thing seemed too good to be true and I just couldn't grasp that I was about to own this chair that I had pined longer for than any guy in my life. Brent and I, both being kind of paranoid people, began to arrive at the conclusion that we were about to be led up into an apartment and shot for $350 cash. That's just who we are. But the way this story ends is that we were NOT shot. We were shown the chair and the minute we saw it, we were both done, just done. I'm sure Madonna felt the same way when she saw Mercy in the orphanage. And ever since we got it home, I can't stop staring at it and just feeling this immense pride, which I know sounds kind of ridiculous when all I did was purchase a chair, but I truly believe it is the chair that I was meant to have and that it speaks to the power of patience and tenacity.
So anyways, it felt important to me to share that for now. In the middle of writing this entry Brent came in and said I'm the Brett Favre of blogging, but I'm not saying that I'm going away for good; it's just that appearances are just going to be more rare. Like maybe I'll be back when we locate a used version of the elegantly molded electric fireplace we've been eyeing.