My Inspirational Beach Chair

Today my daughter found a box of my old journals (note to self: I must burn my old journals before I die).

An entry from May 19, 1996 had us laughing out loud.

According to the journal, May 19, 1996 was a gorgeous, 82 degree sunny day that found me sunbathing on my 80th Street terrace and, of course, writing.

In 1996, I did not own patio furniture. I had one yellow beach chair that I would schlep with me to Fire Island and to the Hamptons in the summers. And, boy did I adore that beach chair – but apparently just not enough to shelter it inside my apartment.

All year long, I stored the beach chair on my terrace.

For those who don’t remember, the winter of 1996 was a historic one for NYC. That January, the city experienced one of the biggest snow storms of the last century. In fact, for weeks the city was buried under mountains of snow. Manhattanites even skied to work.

1996 blizzard

All winter long, from my bedroom, I thought I could hear strange cries coming from my balcony. But I naturally assumed that I was hallucinating and just ignored them. However, on May 19, 1996, I discovered that those shrieks had been my favorite beach chair getting tortured by Mother Nature.

Although it put up a good fight, the winter of 1996 was intent on destroying my yellow beach chair. When I discovered the beaten chair on May 19th, it was so broken that it was barely usable. In fact, the part where one would sit was completely gone.

But there was no way in hell that I was wasting a picture perfect Sunday morning combing Manhattan for a new beach chair. No. I would wait until Memorial Day weekend and pick one up in the Hamptons for three times the price like any rational New Yorker would do.

Instead, on May 19, 1996, I found a way to make use of the yellow beach chair with a giant throw pillow. As I sat on the battered – yet resolute – chair, taking in the sun, I wrote.

The following excerpts were inspired by this Stoic of a beach chair.

“I once again find myself honored to be sitting in this invincible, headstrong chair that is determined to stand the test of time. I will never throw out this chair. If it should happen that one day its arms fall off, I will rest my elbows upon my legs. I will always find a need for this broken chair. One day when my life is filled with a husband, 3 children and beautiful lawn furniture, I will still have a need for my decrepit yellow beach chair.”

Now here’s where it gets good…

“In fact, I am going to take this chair with me wherever I go. It will accompany me to the gym. It will join me on shopping sprees. I will carry it with me on my journey to the Dry Cleaners. I am even going to take it to work with me.”

Notice that the chair wasn’t joining me on dates, though. Because, now, that would be weird.

“After hanging on to dear life, dangling 19 stories during 30 blizzards, this chair is in for the ride of its life. This rusting, yet gracefully aging, yellow beach chair is my idol.”

Now, here’s where it gets a little personal…

“If I should ever fall short of my dreams, I will sit on this chair for inspiration. And from this chair, I will find the strength to chase my dreams all over again.”

But I did not stop there. No, I did not.

I concluded by declaring that, “This is the chair I want to be when I grow up.”

Now, 22 years later, through my laughter, I can feel the irony. I did indeed become that yellow beach chair.

79 blog posts down – 286 more to go…

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