2011-11-10 / General Stories

One Good Chair

My bedroom also doubles as my office. We do have an actual office in our house, but my husband’s computer menagerie has been procreating, it seems. He collects computer parts and peripherals like some people collect stamps or coins. Unfortunately, computer parts do not fit neatly into an album. As a result, our office has become our computer parts museum. He has everything from a Commodore 64, still in its original box, to a floppy drive from the Middle Ages.

My bedroom is the only remaining haven where I can write, compose e- mails, and conduct business (like making grocery lists). It stands to reason that I would spend a lot of time in there.

For this reason, I need a good chair. The one I had was okay, but the cushioning had gone flat and I had to place a small pillow in the back for lumbar support. I think that is where I keep my lumbar, anyway.

This situation was okay, but not ideal.

I would have kept my chair if my husband’s chair didn’t break. It was the second chair he had broken in two years. I saw his misfortune as my ticket to a new chair. The plan? He could take my old chair and I would get a new one for my “office.”

Lest you think I was being selfish to suggest this, you need to consider my willingness to take his old iPhone when my contract was up so that he could upgrade to the new one.

We have a give and take relationship. Sometimes he does the taking and sometimes I do.

He wanted a new iPhone. I wanted a new chair.

Besides, men’s posteriors are accustomed to sitting for hours on metal bleachers and fishing boat benches. My chair with its 1/2 inch of padding would be no sacrifice for my husband.

In fact, because he is over 6 feet tall, his lumbar would probably be at least six inches above mine. If my old chair had any support at all, it would fit his lumbar much better than mine.

Finding a chair that would fit me, however, proved to be quite a challenge. Not only was I looking for more padding in the seat and built-in lumbar support for my irregularly shaped behind, but it seemed the more chairs in which I sat, the more features I decided I needed.

The first one that drew my eyes was an executive chair with fine Corinthian leather. It may have been “pleather” for all I know, but it looked like something in which Ricardo Montalban would sit, behind a monstrous mahogany desk. No matter that my “desk” was actually a plastic card table, complete with a calendar, a grammar cheat sheet, a card with the warning signs for a heart attack, various scraps of paper with information I don’t want to forget, and pictures my children have drawn for me over the past 5 years, scotch-taped to the wall behind it.

Yeah, okay, leather was too cold to sit on anyway. I needed a cloth chair. A high back would be nice, too, in case I wanted to rest my head. Truthfully, if I wanted to rest my head, I could walk 5 feet to my left and crawl into my bed. However, writers have to be disciplined. I can’t lie down simply because I’m tired. If I had a “real” job, I’d be fired. So, I decided a high back is a must. I wouldn’t want to be forced to fire myself. It would be awkward.

Armrests are really unnecessary, but they are a luxury I can’t resist. I thought it would be nice to not have to support my arms all by myself. Sometimes you just have to pamper yourself.

When I finally lit on a chair that met my many criteria, I bought it and brought it home. To add extra fuel to the fire of my husband’s envy, I asked him to help me build it.

I could see that he was as jealous of my new chair as I was of his new iPhone, but he took my old chair, knowing that his only other option was perching on one of his 1980’s CRT monitors. Considering his habit of breaking chairs, he wouldn’t want to take that chance with the contents of his computer museum.

Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com.

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