A shiny, velveteen chocolate brown that looks like a puffy shirt if said shirt had been reincarnated into a large chair,
the purchase was unplanned.
We had gone to the nicest furniture store in town for a different reason: to order a new futon mattress, one that
we knew was going to be better made and last longer than anything we’d find at one of those “every day is a sale”
But it was impossible to pass up the recliners because they were purposefully placed right inside the store’s
More than a dozen were lined up, and because they were all part of an after-Christmas sale, all were substantially discounted. The Hubster had talked about buying a recliner for years, so I figured there was no harm in looking.
My spouse quickly settled into the puffy one. He recognized and liked the brand, as well as the fact that the chair was 50 percent off the original price tag. Most of all, he liked how comfortable it was, nearly melting into it.
I appreciated his choice, but also knew we already had plenty of places to park our cabooses.
We’re empty nesters, so there are only two of us. We have a full-sized couch, and meeting that sofa at a right degree angle is the afore-mentioned futon. A few feet away is my spouse’s hickory wood rocking chair with matching stool. Adding to everyone’s comfort are two floor lamps; a coffee table piled with books and TV and Roku remotes, and the white, custom-designed entertainment center cabinet.
There’s also a luxe dog bed for Sadie and Hank, with an old wooden salad bowl full of tennis balls and sun-bleached bones within easy reach.
Then the Hubster spoke.
“Look,” he said, still in the recliner and eyes half closed. “It even rocks back and forth.” He sighed deeply. “It’s more than I could ever have hoped for or wanted.”
That cinched the deal.
Gazing at the recliner after it was delivered, I pondered whether owning one might now mark me as A Very Old Person. But when I told a friend that it didn’t have an electric button, only a hand lever on the side for going forward and back, she assured me that I wasn’t elderly—at least not yet.
But reclining chairs are old.
The forerunners of today’s recliners are chaise lounges and daybeds, which have been around since ancient Egypt, and perhaps not surprisingly, used exclusively by the wealthy. Also, while dentists are not exactly recognized for inventing these comfy chairs, the first dental chair that debuted in 1790 was adjustable and featured a moveable headrest. Less than 100 years later, a British dentist came up with a chair that glided up and down.
Still, it wasn’t until the late 1920s that American cousins Edward Knabush and Edwin Shoemaker filed a patent application for a simple reclining bench that eventually became the recliner seen in millions of living rooms. The manufacturing of that first chair, made of wood and intended for a patio, paved the way for a little company called La-Z-Boy, which still rules the reclining world and today, is worth $1.5 billion.
All of this history is cool.
But honestly, what I care most about right now is that snuggling into our big brown recliner makes me feel safe.
During the day, it’s the Hubster’s seat of choice, but once he heads to bed, I take over the brown velveteen pillows. I’ll adjust the lever so that I’m half lying down, often sipping a cup of tea or glass of milk. Sometimes I’ll read, and sometimes I’ll think about how my days are so much quieter and less hurried now.
I’ll understand, too, that I’ve been given permission to slow down and take a giant pause.
After all, that’s basically what the entire planet is up to right now anyway.