Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Farewell, papa-san

Tonight we said farewell to a very beloved piece of furniture: the papa-san chair. In order to give it a proper send-off, I'd like to review a few key moments in our shared history.

We inherited the papa-san chair from Jeremy's parents when we moved to Tucson in August of 2005. They gave it to us for free, and at the time, it was the only piece of furniture we owned that provided seating.

In our first tiny apartment deep in the ghetto of Tucson, the papa-san served us well from the very beginning. We pulled the cushion onto the floor each night and slept on it for those first few weeks until we bought a real mattress. I was 8 months pregnant with Miriam at the time, and I did my best to pretend that it was comfortable, but I'll be honest: it wasn't. Still, we were grateful.

Eventually we bought a kitchen table and chairs so that when guests came over to visit newborn Miriam, they weren't faced with the awkward choice of the papa-san or the floor.

Even after we moved into our house and inherited an additional item of seating, namely the couch left behind by the previous owner, the papa-san retained its usefulness. We even used it as a highchair for Miriam's first few feedings of solid food.

As Miriam grew older, the papa-san became her favorite spot in the house...

...as well as the favorite spot of her friends, who affectionately dubbed it a "boat."

When Magdalena was a newborn, Miriam shared the papa-san with her for the occasional late afternoon viewing of Jeopardy!.

But today, it was time to say goodbye. As much as we loved it, the papa-san was undeniably a supremely awkward piece of furniture. It took up a lot of space in a less than graceful manner, and it wasn't the kind of chair that you could sit in half-heartedly. Instead, it required a full seating commitment - you really had to dive in and get comfortable. A lot of people would come over and, unfamiliar with our strange chair, try to perch neatly on the edge of the cushion, but that never lasted very long. With the papa-san, it was all or nothing.

Perhaps, if we had a large house with one room set aside for lounging, the papa-san could have had its place. But we don't, so we sold it on Craigslist this afternoon.

Miriam's eyes actually welled up with tears when we told her to say goodbye to the papa-san before the lady came over to pick it up. Her only consolation is that it is going to a good home - the lady bought it for her 12-year-old granddaughter to put in her room.

And thus it is that the papa-san joins the ranks of such beloved discarded items as Old Yellow and Big Blue, who also earned a requiem on this blog after being sent away from our household. We may not physically own the papa-san anymore, but we are grateful to have enjoyed it for as long as we did.

For those of you who have personally experienced the awkwardness of coming over to my house and having to sit in the papa-san, please feel free to vent your frustration in the comments section. The papa-san is beyond all offense now.


Kitty Crazy! said...

I'm sad to see the papa-san go, too, Miriam. Lots of cousins, friends, etc. slept on it or on the cushion on the floor in our family room. I was really glad to see it go to Tucson, though, as I was tired of vacuuming cat hair off it! I'm glad you gave it such a good home these past 3 years. I know that it was well-used and well-loved, so I feel better about its farewell.

Liz Johnson said...

Awww Miriam. That makes me so sad. I develop very strong attachments to things like that. I hope it finds a happy new home.

Alli E. said...

I'm impressed by the proper send-off. Goodbye dear papa-san!!

sarah said...

i loved the description of how sitting on it had to be all or nothing. :) very true. my friends and i used to love playing on it and pretending it was a boat too! goodbye papa san! maybe miriam can get her own little one someday to replace it :)

Kristen said...

This was hilarious, but also touching and sad.


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