When I got to work this morning, my chair was not at my desk.
There was a chair there, just not my chair. Actually, it appeared to be a nicer chair. It had a higher back, and a wider seat, and did not have the "map of Antarctica" stain on the back that my chair has. Someone had thoughtfully taken my sweater off my old chair and put it on this new chair, so I assumed that the chair fairy had decided I was deserving of a treat.
Those first few moments in the chair were pure bliss. In most chairs, I have to choose being either high enough to type on the keyboard, or low enough to put my feet on the floor. Yes, I am practically a little person -- deal with it. With this chair though, I don't know if the seat was thicker, or if it was just magic, but I was in a comfortable typing position, and my feet (well, my tiptoes) were touching the floor. I was like a normal person! This chair was making me so happy. So very happy.
Then I noticed something strange was afoot.
I was shrinking.
The first time it happened I had gotten out of my chair and come back, so I assumed I must have accidentally hit the lever. I moved the chair back where I wanted it, and went back to work. Pretty soon, I was typing like Tyrannosaurus, with my hands practically right under my chin, and my knees almost on the floor.
I reset the chair again, not willing to give up what I was sure was a prize. I figured with a piece of equipment this nice I just needed to learn how to use it. Then a co-worker came in and asked if I had called in sick because he couldn't see me over my computer. I might as well have been sitting in a hole.
I really wanted to keep that chair. I wanted it's nicer armrests, and it's fabric that didn't smell like moth balls; the seat that wasn't covered with unknown dried particles of food left by the other people who sit at my desk when I'm not there. I thought I could do it. I thought I could put in the work necessary to keep such a nice chair.
The next time I found myself looking over the table though, my nose level with my keyboard, I knew I wasn't woman enough for a high maintenance chair.
I went looking for Antarctica. And when I found it? I smelled moth balls.
It smelled like home.