Schrodinger’s Rocking Chair

Right now, at this moment, there is a rocking chair outside of my garage. Or maybe there’s not. For the past few days I have been trying to give away–for free, you know–a bent wood rocker with a seat that needs a complete recaning. It’s a rocking chair that’s been around in the family for most of my life, and that ended up in my possession (sans seat) when I was expecting my first child. It’s a nice chair when you can sit on it, but it took up a lot of space in its bent wood, rounded way, and it never rocked that well on our carpet, and the workaround for the missing seat (a piece of 5/8 inch plywood–a thickness I can spot immediately now after having quartz counters put in–covered by a 2 1/2 inch foam cushion, wrapped in calico) made it too high to sit in for someone who wanted to use some muscle to counteract the friction on the carpet by planting feet firmly into the ground to rock.

Seatless Chair

Schrodingers Rocking Chair

It’s a chair that I actually investigated how to fix, anyway, but the cost of buying the tools and the materials and learning the hard way by following online instructions were discouraging. Then, I was going to try to find a craftsman locally I could take it to (it seems like a pretty straightforward job), but the rigid roundness of this chair was just not going to fit in my car, no matter how many seats I bent down or slid forward. After years (yes, years) of dithering about it, I finally took pictures of the damn thing and posted it to Craigslist when I was listing a microwave that I was asking money for. Shockingly, I got three people inquiring about this chair between the hours of midnight and 8:00 AM the next day. I thought I had everything set up with the first person, who was going to come by around noon and get it. I put it outside the garage. Noon came and went, I came home, and observed the chair exactly where I left it. Drat! A text message to the interested party revealed that she’d been called to work unexpectedly and would send her husband for it later. I left the chair out all night. Did the radioactive particle decay? Yes and no. Did the vial of poisonous gas open? Yes and no. I had the chair and had given away the chair until it was time to open the garage door in the morning and all these amazing multiples of possibility collapsed into one reality.

The chair was still outside the garage. Damn it!

So whatever. I waited a few more hours to see if the person would contact me (she did not). Either she came and saw and rejected the chair or forgot again or remembered too late and said screw it or realized she didn’t want to go through the hassle of recaning the chair, either. Yesterday afternoon I emailed one of the other people who had expressed interest to see if she still wanted the chair. (She was technically the third person to ask, but the second person–the rightful heir to the chair–required a phone call and I didn’t know his name and didn’t feel like looking up the number on my cell phone when the computer was right there, plus she’d said it was her life’s dream to have a chair like that.) She did. A flurry of emails between us revealed the fact that she thought she could come over in her Prius right away and get it. That wasn’t going to happen; the chair didn’t fit in my large and roomy Camry, no way was it going to fit into some chic HUV (hippie utility vehicle). She mentioned that her boyfriend had a truck and he could come by later after a music recording session if I didn’t mind. I didn’t mind about the later, but where did that leave me yet again?

Alone in the house with Schrodinger’s Rocking Chair.

Because I could, I ended up stalking her on Facebook. I mean, she was emailing me from an account with her real name, so it was only natural that I would look her up. I mean, we’re talking physics here. And she’s the one with a public profile, so I was able to confirm that, yes, she has a boyfriend in a band. She even formally attaches herself to the boyfriend’s Facebook profile, so it was easy for me to spot which person he was. They seem very cute, although she’s pretty young. Not for him–I’m not saying that–but she just graduated from high school last year! You don’t hear a lot of nineteen-year-olds saying that owning a bent wood rocking chair is a long-held dream. He’s wearing a black bow tie with a white sport coat hovering over a piano in his picture. It’s adorable. I’m so glad this chair is going to a good home.

Schrodingers Rocking Chair Owner

Schrodingers Rocking Chair Owner

Or not to a good home. I don’t know. Even though it is noon already, I have not yet gone downstairs to open the garage and observe the rocking chair and collapse its multiple states of being into one unchangeable reality. I think I heard them come by last night and pick up the chair, but all I heard through the windows was some doors opening and closing; I didn’t get up and peek because it was late and we don’t have blinds up yet in the kitchen. (Although they did arrive just today, the day that they were originally expected to ship on. That bodes very well for I haven’t seen the blinds yet, but I have very high hopes. I was happy enough with the samples they sent me before I ordered, and I am very happy with the prices and the online shopping experience and the first customer discount.) And then, she didn’t send me an email in the middle of the night to say that she’d picked up the chair, which is something that she mentioned doing earlier in the day.

It’s all very exciting and frustrating at the same time. If I’ve successfully given away this chair to a nice, cute person, I’ll be so happy! If she is the second person to flake and I have to contact someone else, whether it be the second person to inquire or a charity who may not want a bent wood rocker that needs fixing, I’ll be annoyed. Until I know for sure, I am experiencing both emotions. It’s a real rush.

Addendum: This message is for Christina Hendricks. Ms. Hendricks, I just wanted to know that one of my Friends on Facebook is a swell guy who hopes you’ll give him a chance–just one chance–before you get married this autumn. I figured you’re reading this blog for my Mad Men reviews, so posting this third-party statement of interest is probably the fastest and most direct way to reach you. I know we’re technically in the middle of summer, but October is not that far away. Time is of the essence.

Engaged Ain't Married

Engaged Aint Married

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  • Emma  On July 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm

    It’s been almost a week… I may be the craziest one here, but I need to know (once): is the rocker still with you??

  • Karen  On July 28, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    When I finally opened the garage door that day, the rocker was gone. And I was a tiny little bit sad.

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