Giving up the Ghost: The benes of being visible

“On-line dating apps have ruined dating and the opportunity for it to develop over time into something meaningful”. Violet – not her real name, said. She stood at the elevator bank, her rich milk chocolate complexion glowed with the dewiness of youth, her dark almond eyes framed in lush black lashes, her lips, which moved incessantly, were coated in a glistening peach hue. She held court to a sea of affirmative female shaking heads. They wanted more. They wanted validation that it was the app – not them. They wanted the belief that having more was not better. They wanted it to be eradiated. They wanted to be seen. They wanted engagement that required the social norms of proper introductions, greetings, and good-byes. When those good-byes were of the forever sort, they wanted them to come with the dignity of a face to face conversation, a thoughtful explanation, even a trite missive would do. When relationships end, there may be a lot to say about it, but it can be said simply- “I have enjoyed our time together, but as difficult as it is to part ways, I think that out there somewhere, a better fit exists for you and for me”.

“Ghosting” as the terminology goes for stopping all communication, is not ok. It is a digital sword that wounds the recipient. It’s your name forgotten by someone you’ve met several times, it’s the conversation with another who looks over your shoulder to ensure they aren’t missing a better opportunity for conversation with someone more influential, interesting, fashionable, or who all knows what else. It’s poor manners. In the end a fundamental part of our humanness, is the desire to be acknowledged, to be known.

All the talk of “ghosting” of not feeling seen, not being recognized for one’s worth got me thinking about my Louis Ghost chairs. Designed by Philippe Starck and manufactured by Kartell, these lucite chairs landed on the scene in 2002, which is a relatively short time to have reached iconic status, but reached it they have, and their visibility has a whole lot to do with our ability to see through them.

Designed in the image of Louis XVI’s Gout Grec Chair, it is the epitome of restraint. The irony being that XVI’s Neo-Classical style which followed XV’s was in it’s own right austere in comparison to that of Rocco, which was in fashion during his Grandfather’s reign. While historically interesting, it is not what makes this modern version innovative. The polycarbonate plastic is poured into a mold and out pops the chair in a single piece – astounding. It can be stacked six high for easy storage, it can handle a 300 pound person, and for plastic is incredibly comfortable.

It’s a small space wonder as its translucency allows you to see through it. It is both there and not there. It’s a modern day illusionist giving the appearance of space where little exists. I received my first Louis as a Christmas gift when I was still living in the North End of Boston. I coveted that chair, and it was out of my financial reach. $300. has now turned into $540. Ouch – icon status has it’s price tag. When I purchased my very first condo I got a second Louis, and then two Victoria’s – the Ghosts armless version, to accompany my small glass topped dining table. A veritable disappearing act allowing you to see beyond them, through the long flowing latticed curtains and out onto my private, ballast stone paved way, and into the great wide world beyond.

They have stayed with me, when I have gifted, sold, or left on the street so many other pieces of furniture that no longer fit into the style or the space of my next or new place. Louis and I have gotten very comfortable with one another, and while I am not opposed to comfort, a little excitement never hurt a relationship. It got me thinking about a change – the kind that doesn’t require me disposing of too much more of my income, and will allow me to see them in a whole new way. Dare I? I am considering having an oval medallion upholstered piece created to adorn the back of the chair, maybe a seat cushion too. Wherever did this idea come from? Divine inspiration, the muse? I dreamt of it last night – it seems fitting that it should come from some invisible force. Our quiet creativity is a wellspring if only we will listen.

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