My mom has a chair problem. By that I mean to say she hoardes chairs. Or perhaps I should say she “collects” them. Hoarding implies she’s just days away from suffocating under a pile of dirty laundry and banana peels. It’s not that bad. She only has 24.
I began noticing we had an inordinately large number of chairs when I first moved in. Since then, she’s acquired three more. Mind you, these are only the outside chairs. I can’t begin to think of the inside chairs.
In her defense, most of them were free. Usually, they’re in someone’s trash by the side of the road. While I think, “they must be throwing them out for a reason,” Mom maintains that they’re perfectly fine. She watches all the salvage shows on HGTV. And you know the saying: One man’s rusted wrought iron is another man’s home-improvement-project-that-never-happens-so-it-sits-by-the-pool-growing-rustier.
The pretty red ones were acquired last week on a rare shopping outing. My mom agreed to take me to that OCDer’s heaven — Bed, Bath and Beyond. I could spend hours in the place just daydreaming about reorganizing my closet or checking out shelf liner. My mom, on the other hand, hates it and spends the entire time waiting on me up front, sitting in displays of patio furniture. This particular day, I’d only made it halfway through the kitchen gadgets when I received her telepathic message of distress. “Let’s go. Now.” She eyed the rainbow of magnetic bag clips in my hand, but refrained from saying, “Do you really need that?”
“What?” she said when I looked incredulous. “They were on sale.”
“You can’t count the cheap stackables! Don’t count the outdoor dining chairs. Those are part of a set.”
We’re ready to host a party of 50 at a moment’s notice.
When I went to take a picture of the chairs poolside, I noticed they’d all been moved. Much like a kindergartner moves food around on his plate, my mother had spread chairs all over the yard in groups of two and three, hoping to disguise the sheer volume of seating choices available. I guess that she’s aware enough to try to hide this is progress. And after all, the first step is admitting you have a problem.