You know those viral social media posts that occasionally launch the Internet into heated debates over inanimate objects?
Exhibit A: The Great Dress Debate of 2015. A photo posted by a woman on Tumblr asking for the world’s input regarding the color of a dress by UK retailer Roman Originals: Blue and black or white and gold? (The designer later confirmed the former, then sold out of them in a half hour.)
Or who can forget 2017’s Vans Sneaker Conundrum: Is the shoe pink and white, or gray and teal?
Don’t even get me started on yanny/laurel of 2018. (You can Google, but it was CLEARLY “laurel.”)
Whatever side people are on — blue/white, gray/pink, yanny/laurel — it baffles their minds that anyone could view or hear something in a different way.
And now I have experienced this firsthand.
A couple weeks ago Mr. Roy drove to a secondhand store on a mission to help with yet another item on my Honey-Do List. While he was en route, I looked up that store’s daily Facebook live video, because what kind of wife would I be if I didn’t micromanage my husband’s store runs?
As the narrator cheerily perused the aisles of paint, tools, decor and household goods, occasionally pausing to highlight a particularly good deal or interesting find, I sat on my front porch 30 miles away with one eye on Tiny and one on the clearance furniture.
All of a sudden, across my screen flashed an image of a boxy 1950s armchair, tantalizingly upholstered in greeny-gold velvet, beckoning me with its $20 price tag. I paused the video and replayed it, then took a screenshot and sent it to Mr. Roy.
“Can you see if this chair is there?”
He later texted with some updates about his actual mission, which he accomplished.
“OK cool, that’s nice,” I wrote back. “Is the chair there?”
Ten minutes later: “Yes.”
Me: (pleading eyes emoji)
Him, five minutes later: “Do you want me to buy the chair?”
Me: (Trying to play it cool) “Well, I mean, if you have room. But if not then it’s not a big deal.” (It was totally a big deal.)
Fortuitously, he had room, and 40 minutes later I was helping him lug Patricia into the living room.
In person she was a little greener than I’d expected, in need of a minor repair, with great bone structure and bursting with personality, tinged with a hint of Old Chair Smell. I loved her instantly.
Once we had Patricia nestled into her new corner, the cat immediately made her acquaintance and I snapped a photo to document the occasion.
I posted it on social media and was inundated with a flood of love/hate responses, ranging from “YOU paid THEM for that thing?” to “I’m in LOVE with that chair!”
Poor Patricia, it’s a good thing she has a thick skin under all that velvet.
In the end, because of structural issues, I had to give her a makeover, and the gold — as much as I badly wanted it to work — is in the process of being replaced with a more practical navy.
She’s getting tons of internal updates, complete with new cushions and batting, but at her core, she’ll remain the same, solid Patricia.
I’ve been reading home design magazines long enough to know that the people who are the best designers are the ones who think for themselves, and while I’ll never be a “Great,” I like to think of Patricia as a personal victory in the statement-making department.
She’s one-of-a-kind, strong and a great conversation starter. And if that isn’t a fit in our home, I don’t know what is.
Welcome home, Patricia. I love you, and that’s all that matters.
Abbey Roy is a mom of three girls who make every day an adventure. She writes to maintain her sanity. You can probably reach her at [email protected], but responses are structured around bedtimes and weekends.