Go ahead: Empty this chair

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ever since Clint Eastwood delivered his unscripted, unorthodox talk at the Republican National Convention, I’ve been thinking about empty chairs.

No, I didn’t want to have a one-sided conversation with the president or any other imaginary friend.

I was thinking, instead, about the comfortable club chair in my bedroom and wondering if there was any possible way I could have an empty chair of my own.

The very un-empty chair has come to be the receptacle for many things. Rejected clothes on mornings when getting dressed for work requires what I like to call “the great try-on.” Purchases I wasn’t quite sure of once I got them home that needed a place to live while I finished making up my mind about them. Books I intend to get to one day. Clothes that needed to visit the dry cleaners. Ironing.

I’d feel bad about it, but other women tell me they have similar spots. Honey has a chair of his own, and we’re not talking about the one from which he controls the remote.

Every time we have company I intend for my cleaning efforts to include the chair, but somehow, I always save it for last and rarely get to it.

For two weeks after Eastwood’s talk – he very pointedly said he gives “talks,” not speeches – empty chairs were in the back of my mind. After five days of budgeting and total analytical thinking, I was convinced I could conquer it.

So I emptied The Chair.

I found two books, two purses, a pair of running tights I ordered and forgot about, a brand new beetle clip (sunglass holder) branded with PowerSouth’s logo, two pair of socks, two brand new shirts that still had the tags on them, my T-shirt from the Three Notch Market 5K that had been there since May, two pair of white pants that needed to be tucked away until next Easter, a suit that needed to go to the cleaners, and three outfits that just needed to be hung up.

Whew. The chair was as cluttered and confusing as Clint Eastwood’s rambling talk. Now it looks so ….. empty.

In an interview after his speech, the 82-year-old actor and former Carmel mayor said he had three points he wanted to make and that he felt like he delivered them. I listened to the speech again. I missed them. But he got thunderous applause when he made fun of Vice President Joe Biden and when he gave in to crowd pressure and uttered his most signature line: Go ahead, make my day.

Seeing a chair free of clutter made my day. Getting all of the clutter out of political speeches and focusing on real issues would be nice, too.