Happiness is an egg chair

Heaven is both green and egg-shaped, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Seriously.

Everyone talks about Athens’ rolling hills, or Ohio University’s beautiful architecture, but no one ever talks about the egg chairs on the fourth floor of Alden Library. They’re the real hidden gems.

Students burrow deep inside Alden Library’s egg chairs for the comfort of have their own special place. Photo courtesy of Olivia Miltner

Early spring always brings two things — the rain and a quest to find the perfect spot to sit between classes. You arrive at Alden Library, a solid choice because hey, with seven floors you’d think there’d be an abundance of chairs. There is, but that doesn’t stop students from forming a queue that begins on the second floor and winds up the staircase all the way to the fourth floor, leading up to — you guessed it — the egg chairs.

Repeat this just about every day, and you get the idea that these chairs are a big deal. But every once in a while, you’ll find an open one. That, my friends, is a magical day. First comes the split second of disbelief because you know how popular these chairs are. The fact that one’s actually empty must be a mistake. That disbelief will quickly fade to excitement and then determination, and gosh dang it you’re going to sit in that chair.

Me on the day I found true bliss. Photo by Cat Hofacker

You’ve sat down in lots of chairs before, but this is something else. You don’t just sit down in an egg chair. You sink into it until you’re cradled by a cushion of soft green felt, and you feel safe. Heck, you practically disappear, and here’s where I suspect the real draw of these chairs lie: It’s like you’re in your own little world.

Let’s face it, OU has a beautiful campus, and the students are a large part of what gives the school its unique personality. The Bobcat family is great, but here’s the thing about families, even the ones you choose: Sometimes you don’t want to see them. That’s the beauty of the egg chair. When you sit in one, you’re on your personal island, free to work or nap or watch Netflix in your own little cocoon of happiness.

The one true downside of the egg chair is that once you’re in, you never want to get out. I don’t need to go to class, you think because what is class when you’re so comfortable? A missed class here and there is no real cause for concern, but eventually your friends might start to wonder where you are after three days. And your mom will worry because you don’t answer her calls but keep posting Twitter pics with a weird, green backdrop. The real problem is you’ll eventually run out of food.

The ultimate dilemma: You’re hungry, and low blood sugar really shouldn’t be ignored. However, you know the second you get up, that chair is lost to you forever. So you wait, and you wait, but by now it’s been a week and you really must go. So you tearfully gather your things and reluctantly emerge into the real world. As you leave, you turn back for one last look at your beloved chair, but someone’s already in it.

Well, I guess heaven isn’t made for mere mortals to grasp.

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