Edith

I have entered into the next phase of my life and it is a little bit difficult to share this publicly. It’s so easy to think and/or say, “I will never do that” until, I indeed, do the the very thing upon which I previously cast harsh judgement.

I have purchased a reclining chair. There, I said it. It is sitting in my living room. I further admit with a smidge of pride that I am not sitting in it as I prepare this blog post and that somehow makes me feel as if I still have a slight edge over those who succumbed to recliner chair ownership years ago. It is also my way of telling Edith that I am still the one in charge.

As far back as I can remember, my father had a recliner. My father was a very hard worker, no one could accuse him of being lazy; yet when he was not working he could usually be found sitting in his chair, smoking (before he quit), watching sports or westerns or reclined and sleeping. When I was small I liked to sit on the arm off his chair and try to get his attention by trying to be interested in his show. That never worked for long, after about five minutes he would pop the chair, usually with no warning, into it’s upright position and propel me back to the floor.

When we visited homes of friends or relatives during my childhood years I recall many of their living rooms had lone recliners. My theory is that working/middle class men of the 60’s and 70’s were empowered by owning such a chair. It likely equaled higher status and everyone understood the unspoken rule that only the man of the house could sit there. The rule applied to every minute of every day regardless of if said man was home or not. The Women’s Right’s Movement and the ERA should have included talks about women having their own chairs, reclining or not, that were off limits to males.

I admit that I didn’t particularly like sitting in dad’s recliner, but I really didn’t like that it was off limits. I have some, now funny, memories of sitting in the ginormous thing and not having enough strength to push it back into the reclining position. I would get out of the chair and then pull on the foot rest part to get the back of the chair to extend and then I would climb aboard from the side. As I recall it made kind of a cool place for my Barbie dolls to go hiking. It had mountains and valleys and even a few caves which made for adventure when one of them would get lost and the others had to perform search and rescue missions. Unfortunately, I always ended up busted for sitting on the almighty chair since I could never get it back into the upright position and would have to bail out over the arm leaving the extended chair as glaring evidence to my crime.

Later, at least in my mind, recliners came to symbolize old age. I didn’t know any young people that owned one or even wanted one. Chandler and Joey had recliners on the show Friends, but even that didn’t make it cool in my eyes. The character Marty Crane was ultra-cool, and I laughed many times about his ratty chair held together with duct tape, but to me all recliners held that same stigma. Even now that I own one I do not think they are an attractive piece of furniture.

Why did I buy one? I like putting my feet up when I sit down late in the evening to relax. My two year old sectional has a chaise lounge that is great for that purpose. The issue is that sometimes I also want to rest my head which leads to lying down, which leads to sleeping. Maybe, just maybe, my new chair will allow me to put my feet up, rest my head and stay awake. Go ahead and laugh, I am chuckling at myself as I think of me not falling asleep in my new chair.

Edith was delivered yesterday and I sat on her (wide awake) to decide if she was as comfortable as she seemed in the show room. I am rather hyper-active as far as the 50+ crowd goes. It is rare that I can sit through a thirty minute television show with out getting up for something or another. After sitting there for almost two hours the jury was still out on the comfort question. I had to try it again later in the day. I think I will give it another trial this evening and maybe in a week or two be able to make an informed decision.

I want to note that I don’t typically give names to pieces of furniture, only to my vehicles. But after my sister-cousin suggested naming the chair after a not so beloved family member, for reasons I won’t go into, I had to name the chair to wipe away any potentially lingering residue of the suggested name.

I am a little worried that Edith has hypnotic powers. I didn’t want to cook last night, which is unusual, so I made myself a BLT. Except when I have company, I eat my meals sitting on a stool at the kitchen island. I made the sandwich and the next thing I remember is sitting on the chair eating my meal. My dog kept looking at me, not begging for food, it was like she was trying to pull me out of the Edith’s spell.

Later, per my usual routine, I walked into the living room to watch about an hour of television before going to bed. The remote control was not on the end table next to chaise lounge nor was it on the coffee table. I started to slide my hand between the couch cushions when Edith beckoned me. There was the remote control, not quite in the space between the arm and the seat. It was as if Edith was telling me that she would now take over as keeper off the clicker. I am not sure that is a good thing. I am a tad bit concerned that the remote control may soon not be enough and that Edith will start claiming things such as my glasses, books and slippers. Should I be worried?

When Covid-19 is a thing of the past and friends can once again visit I hope you will feel free to choose Edith when you take a seat. I smile when I realize that if my dad were still living he wouldn’t hesitate to sit there, he might even insist on it and he would undoubtedly pick up the remote control and change the channel to whatever he wanted to watch and I wouldn’t try to stop him.

Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Thanks to Isabella and Louisa Fischer for the use of their photo used for the title block. All other photos are the property of yours truly and can’t be used without express permission.

4 Comments

  1. …rest your head and not fall asleep?! Hahahahahhahaha! You have vividly and humorously shown Edith to be a living, thinking, conniving member of your household, Sue. I’d watch putting my noggin on her soft, cushion-y mind-control gurney, which looks deceptively like a head rest. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Suzanne! What sweet memories you brought out to me about my dad and his chair but I have to admit that now that I am almost 76 I have owned my OWN recliner for a number of years. No one gets Gramma’s chair. Papa’s yes! The kids, company or whomever but Gramma’s not so easy to do. Papa’s chair is so worm, patched and ugly but Gramma’s chair still nice enough that if company came it would be an okay place to sit but most always they walk across the room to the couch as if they know that chair belongs to someone that only that person is privileged to sit. Thank you for making memories of my dad and his chair and causes me to think about my chair versus Papa’s chair. At some period of your life everyone has their own recliner. Better now than when you need it for health reasons so enjoy the lost items because believe you me when you lose something, check the recliner first. Loved you story and love you 💕

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    Liked by 1 person

  3. a lovely post to amble through: an ode, in prose form, to the reclining chair: how refreshing, how novel: we have one recliner chair in the house but never would have though to write an ode about it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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