By HEATHER MALLICK
Saturday, December 3, 2005
It looks like a chair, it sits like a chair, but it isn't a chair.
Or rather, it's a chair for very tiny people, the type who are all excited because they're going into Grade 2 (hearty congratulations to you, sit here, wish I had a table to match, my little muffin).
The chair is duck-egg blue, glossy and polished. It cost about $100 at a store called Bleu Nuit in Montreal. There used to be a Bleu Nuit in Toronto. It sold chic and beautiful objects whose purpose was not always immediately apparent. Naturally it closed.
I mean, really. The PQ has just elected a fab-looking gay guy. He's so cool I'll give Quebec anything not to separate. If they leave, can we keep him? Ontario elected someone called Dalton McGuinty, whose first name I keep forgetting because he's so clearly a Bob, not a Dalton.
Naturally, Bleu Nuit could not survive in this province.
But back to the subject. What is chic about a little blue chair? All I can say is that if Pottery Barn made it, it would look terrible, designed by someone in Kansas and made in China by someone earning 40 cents an hour.
The proportions of this French chair are perfect. To sum up, it's neat-looking.
You could use it as a stepstool if the object you seek is very low on the shelf and your arms are tired. I use it as a way station on the upstairs landing.
When something displeases me and is being exiled to the basement or a garbage dump in Michigan, I place it there. If it's a book by Adam Gopnik, anything made of Teflon, or a light bulb that makes scratchy noises when shaken, it sits on the chair, mutely declaring, "Take me away, s'il vous plaît."
I have the dumbest book ever written, way before Martha Stewart appeared. It's called Living a Beautiful Life, by a lady named Alexandra Stoddard. She would use the chair as a dinner-table centrepiece or a special table for her reading glasses.
I use it for things I no longer want or need. They used to go into a garbage bag. Now, they sit on a French chair en route to the garbage bag.
See, it's a beautiful life I'm living.