When I was growing up with 1970s parents, I noted two things about my father: 1. He commandeered the telephone late into the night, shouting about his plant’s wood supply; and 2. He spent every other second in his recliner.
A recliner spewed from his butt.
A permanent appendage.
His lost tail.
He refused to budge from his recliner for anything except another phone call.
When he needed a snack? Hey, Linda! LINDA! Get me some ice cream!
When he desired a different television channel before the advent of the remote control? Andra! A-N-D-R-A! Get off that pot and come change the channel RIGHT NOW!
When he wanted a closer look at anything? Hey, you! Bring me that thing! Right there!
Marketers divined an exact image of my father
when they coined the La-Z-Boy brand.
My ex-husband despised my incessant refusal to admit a lounging contraption in our house. But I didn’t marry my father! I don’t want to smell your farts as you zone out in front of the television every night! I was kind of sad about that proclamation when the ex left, because I didn’t have a crummy chair to throw at him.
MTM, my architect-man, possessed more cultured (read OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE) tastes. Every time we visited the home of a fellow architect, he lowered himself into the lap of his furniture fantasy: a Le Corbusier chaise lounge.
(Note: Le Corbusier is another word for “sadomasochistic torture device.”)
I looked at MTM, zoned out in the Corb with sports blaring, and I vowed such an object would NEVER grace our built environment. If he wanted to relax, he could be a slug in bed.
Something shifted when I started to write full-time. I spent hours crunching my spine against our headboard, because the only way I can create is with my feet up. Yielding neck pain. Multiple visits to the chiropractor. Frequent headaches.
My writing habits had to change.
I tried creating at my desk. Upright, like normal people.
I practiced sitting up straight in bed, my entire spine fully against the headboard. As soon as I lost myself inside a character’s head, I migrated downward. I came to in the same smashed-up position, my neck on fire.
In despair, I visited Design Within Reach, thinking I could find an architect-approved sectional sofa with a priced-for-poor-people IKEA knock-off. I fell into MTM’s beloved Corb recliner instead. No neck kink. Adjustable foot height for the perfect creative angle. Easy-to-clean black leather. The Corb chair had one minuscule drawback:
I locked myself in the car and tried to forget Monsieur Corbusier. Here’s how THAT turned out.
I am my father. A Corb recliner sprouts from my ass. I only leave it to use the toilet or go to bed.