The time has come where I have to bid farewell to a beloved member of the family. A member who has been there through good and bad, thick and thin, and everything in between. A family member who has been present for accomplishments and milestones and mishaps and tragedies. It is time to bid adieu to the stalwart soldier of our household: my recliner.
My recliner wasn’t new when we got it. When it came to live with us, it was a recliner of decent quality that had been well used in its former home. It’s original owner had passed away and his wife had moved and the recliner was up for adoption. Not really needing one, but wanting one, we adopted the recliner as our own and brought him home. He was positioned in a corner of our living room, near a window that shone bright light. Murphy, our elderly cat at the time, chose the chair as hers and would curl on a blanket in the sunlight and nap quietly for most of the day. It was in this very chair that Murphy breathed her last breath and passed away a number of years ago. Cooper, Murphy’s successor, never really cared much for the recliner and it wound up mine by default.
I had never had a recliner of my own, and I can’t really remember one being in any house I grew up in. I guess we just weren’t recliner people. I gave the chair a try and I wasn’t instantly impressed. It was only after we rearranged the furniture in the living room and moved the recliner from the corner that I really gave it a chance. My wife had noticed I was watching television from the couch with my feet up on the coffee table. She “suggested” that I get my feet off the table and try the recliner. Positioned in front of the TV, adjacent to the couch, I found my “spot.” All but one of these columns was written in the recliner. Hours upon hours of television have been viewed while my feet have been lifted on the foot rest. A vast library of books have been read in the chair. I have suffered joy in the chair. I have suffered great loss in this chair. Birthdays and Christmases have come and gone and the chair was always there.
It’s kind of silly, when you really think about it, to be going on about a piece of furniture. It’s a metal frame, with some wooden supports and foam rubber and tan fabric. It’s not made of the finest leather. A fortune was not paid for it even when it was new. There is a reassuring and welcoming groove in the seat from where I have gotten comfortable. This weekend, it goes away. A friend is coming to the house this weekend to help me get it out of the living room and into our minivan so I can drive it to its final resting place in the dump. Sure, I could repair it and maybe get another couple of months out of it before it breaks again. I’ve decided it’s not worth the trouble. To the county dump it goes, it’s usefulness having come to an end.
I’m not going to go shopping for another one. I don’t like the hard sell tactics of furniture stores and I don’t seem to like anything that isn’t expensive. I don’t want cup holders. I don’t need massaging heated cushions. I don’t need the chair to have Wi-Fi or stereo speakers. About a year or so ago, a friend moved out of her house and gave us a chair from her living room. It’s got a patch on the one arm where her cat decided to surgically probe inside and there is a little stuffing hanging out. It’s wide, it’s comfortable and it’s a kind of tan color that is a little darker than my old recliner, but it’s acceptable. The foot rest and its wooden handle work just great. I’m going to move it to my side of the living room and put it in the place of my old recliner. My old recliner, with its wobbly left arm and broken foot rest is being put to rest. I’m hoping the replacement recliner will be up to the task of being my main seat in the living room. I’ve been sitting in the old one still and I have occasionally forgotten that the foot rest is broken — until I work the lever and the chair violently cants to one side and the foot rest comes out all crooked and won’t retract.
The replacement will take some time to get used to. I believe I’ll get used to it as it gets used to me. It came from a home of warmth. I hope it understands it came into one as well.
Baltimore native Joe Weaver is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.