106. Recliners–For Lazy Boys and Girls

13 Apr

Y’all might not think that my acupuncturist’s office here in Seattle could have anything in common with the average Southerner’s living room, but I’m here to tell you it does. Namely, recliners. In fact, it has more recliners than I’ve ever seen gathered together in one place. That would be eight. I reckon eight is enough.

Most of my Seattle friends would be horrified at the prospect of having a recliner in their home. Unless it was one of the schmancy zero-gravity ones that cost almost as much as, say, back surgery. Nevertheless, we’ll happily pay a sliding scale fee of $15-$35 (and be poked with needles) for the pleasure of napping for an hour or two in a cradle of cushiness.

If there’s a common trait among all Southerners, it’s this: We like to be comfortable. And let’s face it, y’all, recliners are comfortable. But, alas, they are also terribly unattractive. Not unlike some popular wardrobe staples such as t-shirts and “athletic” shoes.

Unless you're a broke-ass college student...

In my first apartment, my roommates and I had a minimalist design aesthetic. Not on purpose, mind you, but because we were A. broke and B. not qualified gimmicky furniture store credit offers.

A month or so after we moved in, our living room furniture consisted of a TV stand/bookshelf fashioned out of milk crates and a seating area that bore an uncanny resemblance to what some would call the floor. Then one day our honorary (but not rent-paying, not that I’m still bitter) fifth roommate showed up with a ratty-old green recliner from I know not where. Despite our protests that we could so be “choosers,” the recliner settled in. If I recall correctly, it had to be supported by the wall because it had the tendency to fall over when one attempted to recline.

It was kinda like this, only uglier.

Despite its hideous and less-than-sturdy nature, the recliner quickly became the coveted prize in our endless game of musical chairs. Minus the music. And also the other chairs.

When my sister was pregnant with her second son, she called to inform me that she’d broken down and bought a recliner. It was ugly, she said. But very comfortable. Except that she couldn’t operate the lever. And then her cat peed on it. But other than that, it was great. Even better once she covered it with a down comforter in an effort to discourage her cat from adopting it as his new litter box. (Sadly, no luck.)

In her cat’s defense, I’ll say that she’d recently switched his ordinary litter box with a newfangled “robot” one, which any animal might develop a healthy fear of, myself included.

Three of my favorite people: Jackson, Jenna, and Eli



When Eli was born, I stayed with Jenna for a couple of weeks, and I have to say it’s definitely one of the most comfortable chairs I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting in. Not because it cushions you with plush pillowy-ness or because it leans back into the perfect TV-watching/nap-inducing angle. But because it’s roomy enough to cradle Eli on one side and Jackson on the other and rest easy in a cocoon of unconditional love.

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4 Responses to “106. Recliners–For Lazy Boys and Girls”

  1. Todd Pack April 13, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    These things are great, but I just can’t bring myself to buy one. On the other hand, I have been looking at a new sectional sofa with a recliner on one end….

    • Kim Holloway June 17, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

      That is called “cheating,” Todd. Which is fine by me if you want to do it, but if it reclines, it’s a recliner. Unless, of course, it’s a rocking chair.

  2. O. Leonard April 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    I had to sell my recliner when we moved and we also had two sofas that were actually four recliners that we gave away. I miss them, and really don’t care what the hell they look like. They’re the only thing to sit on in front of a TV, period, Southern or not. I checked on line a few minutes ago for a Barcalounger and they are coming in at $800 and more. At that price, they better be a classy piece of furniture.

    • Kim Holloway June 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

      I’m going to argue that a Barcalounger could never be a classy piece of furniture. Comfortable? Yes. But never classy. For me, recliners are the sweatpants of the furniture world.

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