Everyone has so much to be grateful for on Thanksgiving—family, friends, health, and happiness—I guess it’s easy to overlook me, the old folding chair kept in the spare room closet.
Maybe nobody’s thankful for me because I’ve been so ubiquitous, appearing at every holiday dinner and decade-marking anniversary party since today’s grandparents were seated at yesterday’s kids table. I’ve seen more get-togethers than Uncle Harold, may he rest in peace. He sat his ample frame on me dozens of times. His bum was one of the good ones.
Or maybe nobody’s thankful for me because my age and appearance have made me unattractive and therefore undesirable. Yes, I see you all shuffling around the dining table, offering to plop down next to cousins you’ve been in a blood feud with for years, so long as it means snagging one of those “good” seats with upholstery or armrests.
You know what? I totally get it. Frankly, who would be thankful for what I have to offer which, admittedly, isn’t much? I may be wobbly, my backrest may be pitched at a more obtuse angle than it used to be, and I may have been manufactured at a time when, apparently, people enjoyed cold, hard metal edges jammed directly into their joints. But what I lack in luxuries, I make up for in character. Like how I creak and groan with even the slightest upper body movement. Sure, I’m culpable a good 70% of the time there’s a fart-like sound and someone says “it was the chair.” Hey, I’ll take any laugh I can get.
I’m not saying I need the validation. I’m just saying it would be nice, for once, for someone to choose this seat instead of merely taking it.
Look, I’m just happy to be here. Even if I am shoved awkwardly between two perpendicularly-placed proper dining chairs as I’m left to face the actual corner of the table. Even if, with the leaf inserted, this is somehow also the one edge the tablecloth doesn’t quite reach. Even if whoever eats here now has their wobbly dinnerplate seesawing on the seam of the table runner and their knees straddling either side of the table leg.
Here’s a thought: Maybe it’s not me that’s undesirable, maybe it’s this crummy crevice of the dining room you keep putting me in!
Sorry, I shouldn’t complain. I have a lot to be thankful for.
This is the one day a year I get to fulfill my intended purpose: to be an occasionally-used chair.
I get to commune with other chairs doing what we do best, providing vertical and horizontal support for backs and butts, respectively.
I get to see my pal vinyl card table. How're you doing, old friend? How's life in the basement behind the boiler?
And, inevitably, I get to have the most important job: Offering my services to the person who sits down last. The one who cooked the meal. Yes, today, I'm honored to give what respite I can for the host, the true hero of this meal. In that way, I’m no mere chair. I am a squeaky, folding throne.