Dear Smelly Chair:
It’s hard to believe it’s been five years already. I remember when we first met… I’d seen you so many times, passed you by without a second glance. Thoughtless, I know, but it’s the truth. I was trying so hard to make a statement, to be someone more trendy, I suppose. From the arm to arm I went: one black and dashingly handsome, another a supple bronze with an intoxicating smell. But no matter how hard I tried or how much I wanted it to work, none of them were right.
I’m not sure what finally made me come your way. You weren’t my type, and I didn’t see myself as your type, either. Forgive me for being frank, but there wasn’t much about you that stood out: pale, sort of awkward, a bit misshapen from some kids that had been climbing on you. But from the moment I nestled into your arms, I knew I was home.
It’s possible that we moved too fast. Perhaps I should have visited with you more – we could have gotten to know each other better and thought more carefully about how practical a match we were. If I’d done that, I might have seen this day coming. Then again, maybe not. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.
The first couple of years were perfect. Sunday mornings were my favorite – remember all the great times we had, reading quietly next to the window? Especially in spring and fall, when the breeze would be glorious and the air so sweet? I feel badly now that I didn’t notice sooner when you were beginning to come apart, back when I still might have done something about it. By the time I saw that you were changing – becoming angular and pokey where before you’d been firm, maybe even a little plump – it was too late. Even then, though, I still loved you.
But now I fear that there is something more that’s wrong, something too much for me to cope with. I’m just going to say it outright – you stink. Like, really bad. This shouldn’t be news, we’ve talked about it before. And please don’t forget how hard I’ve tried to keep things going, all the effort I’ve put in to make this work: the $100 I spent on a special fabric-cleaning machine, the enormous jugs of cleansers, the endless vacuuming and sniffing and washing. I’ve asked you before, “Where is that smell coming from?” but you’ve never been able to tell me. It’s been hard, so much harder than I’ve let on. For at least a year I’ve defended you when everyone around me has asked why I don’t just kick you to the curb already. Over this summer, though, it’s become too much. The smell is unbearable, and I’m exhausted from trying to find ways to fix it, to fix you. I can’t even have friends over, because I’m so embarrassed by you. This just… it’s not working anymore. And if you’re honest with yourself, you know it hasn’t been working for you, either.
I didn’t mean for it to happen; it was really just out of curiosity that I even went back to the same place where we met. I’ve been there several times, actually – I couldn’t help myself, I’ve felt so unsupported by you. And… well, I happened to sit on a chair that is everything I’ve ever hoped for. We’ve met a few times now, and last night I finally committed: the new chair will be coming home in about a week.
I’m so sorry. But there’s just no room for you here now. I still care about you, but I can’t have you in my life anymore. I hope you understand.
I’ll always remember the good times, and I hope you can, too. Try not to hate me too much. Maybe after a good airing out you’ll be better, and can find someone new, someone who will know better how to take care of you so that you don’t smell like rotting feet.
Goodbye, Smelly Chair. I will miss you.