Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Declining The Recliner

There are three authorized house mammals here, and only one of them wants my recliner to go away. It's not me or my cat. My recliner is, I am told, disreputable and embarrassing. That's sort of harsh, considering it's only about 34 years old and still works just fine. It's arguably a little worn, but who isn't? You don't abandon things because they're old. You don't just give them the heave-ho. Even the President won't get impeached merely for being massively ugly. The chair works just fine.

People of a certain fancy sensibility find it unattractive. It looks like it belongs in a mobile home four feet from a TV playing a Golden Girls marathon, and that was fifteen years ago. Now it looks like it got relegated to the front deck made of pallets under an awning of corrugated plastic. Our first cat (Saint) Larry loved this chair to ribbons. Our current cat Tater figured she'd finish the job. There is some double-sided tape that was pressed onto the fabric about 25 years ago to annoy the cat, but it's no longer sticky on the cat-side, due to the accumulation of mystery lint. It's plenty sticky on the chair side and I can't peel it off. Larry preferred to love the front end and Tater has picked up the slack on the back, sides, and top. There's wood poking out of the top corners. The top is particularly cushy and wide and she likes to drape herself on it. This is why we call her the Chair Leopard.

So there is also a stratum of cat fur in all the creases and the top. It resembles felt due to the binding effect of the millions of dead skin cells I have contributed. You lose 500 million skin cells a day, or eight billion trillion, depending on whether you believe the Mayo Clinic or the mattress industry. The skin cells are, however, already dead of natural causes, although there should be a small concentrated paste of thigh cells somewhere that were murdered on the spot the day Tater was on my lap and a German Shepherd walked in unannounced.



Additionally there is a sedimentary layer of crumbs and food items which bounced freely off my chest for the first twenty years or rolled straight down without impediment for the last ten. This chair has been with me through thick and not-quite-so-thick. It would be a treasure trove for archaeologists of the future. The actual living shape of the occupant couldn't be clearer if she were abruptly buried in soft sand and fossilized. Details of diet and clothing will be readily discernible. It's possible an antique flu virus could be reconstructed from the drool zone. Two extinct cats could be cloned and set up in an island park for Jeff Goldblum to admire himself next to. He'll still be around, he's always turning up somewhere.

You get rid of an item with this much legacy in it, you might just as well go tromp all over those pterodactyl eggs they found in China, is what I'm saying.

It doesn't bother me to sit around in a pan of skin cells that I was done with. They're not useless; they're feeding an army of dust mites. All told, there are a lot of us who count on this particular recliner. Billions. Anytime I know I am vastly outnumbered I like to sit quietly and blend in, and this chair is the perfect place to do it. There doesn't seem to be any call for getting a new one as long as I continue to have a cat and we both continue to be deciduous.

Besides, Archie Bunker and Frasier's Dad don't have to get rid of their chairs. Is this a gender thing? If I make a stink can I get someone fired?

Tater hangs on.
Do I trade in the chair just because it has a patina and has been exfoliated and one person is scandalized by it? Assuming I love him? Yeah. Shit. I guess so. Goodbye, old friend.

The chair, not the person.

43 comments:

  1. If you have allergies, your sinuses will thank you for getting rid of the dust mite breeding colony. And the cats will have a new "toy" to scratch up.

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    1. If I had allergies, I probably wouldn't even have a cat! I've been fortunate in that regard.

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  2. My first thought was "Keep the chair just for your cat to continue to use as a scratching post." We have a sofa with the double stick tape on it, so our cats shifted to our 20 year old la-Z-boy chair. Something about those chairs or their love of replacing our scent with theirs? New chair is a beauty. Kim in PA

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    1. I think there is at least one chair in the basement that was retired just as a scratching post. Mine just ended up on the wood pile. [sob]

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  3. It looks like has a few more years (make that minutes) to live!!

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    1. You know what? Tater jumped up on the top of it and slid to the other side (having expected a fatter landing zone) and hasn't been back since. I'm keeping a water pistol handy but so far she's shown no interest. Sneaky little deevil.

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  4. If it was HIS chair, you would let him keep it as long as he liked, right? That's the way it is here. It's HIS and it's not going anywhere. Ever. I had one that looked a lot like yours (style/color/state of disrepair) and it is long gone. I now recline on the secondhand couch instead. HIS disgusting looking collection of skin cells and dust mites is still here and will be forever.

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    1. Actually, the reason I caved was to make him get a new chair. He had a huge leather recliner with a sprung footrest that only opened on one side and went all slanty, and he STILL wouldn't replace it. I said I'd get one if he did, and here we are.

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  5. Sigh.
    Everything in this house has a patina of fur. And rather a lot of things (possibly me included) are scratched and laden with crumbs, dead skin cells and dust mites.

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  6. Yeah,the duct tape was the deal breaker. :)

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    1. Ha! That only LOOKS like duck tape. It started out clear. That's fur and lint and God only knows what-all.

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  7. It's hard as hell to find any piece of furniture long enough to make me feel cozily love. I still held onto my 25-year old recliner even after her innards broke making it impossible for her to recline. It wasn't until the chair listed to the left so badly that I had sciatica that I had to start preparing for the worst--chair shopping. It took over a year and a few mistakes to finally find one that fit and I'm here to tell you, it's never going to be anywhere near as comfy as that Berkline Big Man's Recliner.

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    1. Yeah, Dave's was called a Titan. They do make them! Meanwhile, my new recliner is also a rocker and my feet don't quite touch the ground except on the forward part of the rock.

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    2. "...my new recliner is also a rocker and my feet don't quite touch the ground except on the forward part of the rock." My question is: Does the recliner still rock when it is in recline mode? Aah feel yer pain - hate that, when my feet don't touch the ground whilst sitting in a chair. Have my own favorite Comfy Comfy Chair - because it's small enough that my feet DO touch the ground!

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    3. It kinda does, but it feels like it shouldn't. Can't explain it better than that. What I really hate are those giant chairs or sofas they've been making for years now. If I'm able to sit back in it properly supported I look like Edith Ann.

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    4. Poofy everything is why it takes us so incredibly long to find a new piece of living room furniture. That was a small piece of my problem. I'm going to Google the Titan to see what I might have missed.

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  8. We have matching recliners (well, they were when we bought them. The living room really didn’t have room for both plus other furniture so one got relegated to float status in less used rooms. The one remaining became MY chair. We just moved and they are back together. Sad

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  9. You will be glad you moved on. I kept thinking of Frasier's Dad's chair while reading this. It had sections of duct (duck) tape, didn't it? Noticing the color scheme has remained the same after all these years. That in itself is phenomenal.

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    1. Gadzooks, you made me realize I'd misspelled "Frasier." Fixed. I hate when I do that.

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  10. This is so funny. I got Jerry a new recliner that has claw feet on the front and had a pleasing upholstery pattern.... got it at a second hand store. He loves it. I bought two sette's (sp) from the UK at St. Vincent dePaul and used one of those for my sitting. After a year of knee problems I realized that old British furniture has much shorter legs than modern stuff. Even though I had both recovered I am now trading a simple high back chair from the living room to the backroom because I can easily get out of it. No recliner. Seems like I am always on the lookout for a comfortable used chair.

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    1. Have Jerry tell you about the time Uncle Cliff thought he was pushing the TV remote and his chair started to dump him out onto the floor.

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  11. Years ago I tried putting wood corner protectors on the furniture that was used most heavily as scratching posts. The protectors got shredded, too. We have covers over the covers and i think that is what is holding them together. Besides the patina of fur and skin cells.

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    1. I've had this new chair for a week now and the cat is avoiding it altogether. I think she's in a snit, and it won't last.

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  12. Oh, good. You arrived, albeit circuitously and amusingly, at the right decision.

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  13. Uncle Ed is glad that you got a new recliner -- you deserve it!

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  14. It's all new and unfamiliar. Like giving up that old bathrobe or pair of slippers. There will be a period of mourning. Did the Titan make it to the woodpile as well?

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    1. Yeah. They're both out there. Mine's on top. Heh heh.

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  15. Who is the guy Tater is schmoozing with? That's all I want to know. It's a mystery that needs clearing up. Along with the tatty old chair.

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  16. Good luck keeping Tater off the new chair! All our furniture is in one or another state of disrepair from thirty-seven non-stop years of cats. Sob. This is why we can't have nice things. Furniture things, I mean. The cats are pretty nice.

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    1. I will admit we've had nice cats. And that's the kind of thing that can go sour, too, so I guess I should be grateful.

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  17. A couple of years ago I leaned my not inconsiderable weight on the argument for a new sofa. I really wanted two sofa-bed things, but my not inconsiderable weight was pushed back.We got one sofa-bed and on the day friends came to take away the tatty old suite, I spent ages, stitching wadding and some left-over fabric over the 3 x 2 wood shapers.
    And since then I've been trying to get The Man to get rid of the ugliest old futon known to man...

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    1. Maybe you need not inconsiderable weight plus some pointy objects.

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  18. Awww,farewell to your old recliner. May it rest in peace.

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    1. Thank you. You know, in this town you can put almost anything out on the curb and it will disappear, but Dave's recliner didn't and I don't think mine would either. We didn't even try.

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  19. I was all ready to say just toss a throw rug over it, the chair will be fine for a few more decades, then I read about drool zones and dust mites and began shuddering. Time for a new chair.

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    1. I'm replenishing the population as we speak.

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  20. Your conclusion to let it go for people’s sake is a noble one.

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    1. Well that sure puts a shine on it, thank you!

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