I Unapologetically Love My Recliner
A lovely vintage clothing seller in Minneapolis posted a beige beauty of a recliner for the low price of $50 and I immediately and excitedly replied expressing my interest. The next day, I scooped it up and threw it in the back of my Subaru hatchback.
Given the fact that my partner and I now live in second story apartment of a house in St. Paul, MN with a living room the size of our precious Chicago apartment — I’ve been on the prowl for cozy pieces to fill the space. Do I now own a couch, recliner, Papasan-chair-turned-gigantic-cat-bed, and two others for all the nonexistent company we don’t have? Absolutely. But it looks nice anyway.
On the day of pick-up, the seller sweetly implored me to sit in it in her living room to make sure it was comfy. I did. She instructed me how to get it to recline and there I was, masked, and reclining in a strangers’ apartment.
I awkwardly giggled and we carted it away.
Without fail, when I sit in it I immediately waffle between thinking This is SO AMAZING and I feel like my grandma in “her chair.”
My grandparents lived “Up North” in a tiny town in Michigan with just over one-thousand residents. I sat on the brown shag carpet, my mother on a mustard velour sofa, and my grandparents both perched in their respective chairs — with bedside tables for ultimate-maximum storage, of course. My grandfather had his tomato juice, thick-rimmed glasses, and newspapers; my grandmother had crossword puzzles, her Bible, and crocheting. Classic.
Me? I have a laptop desk on my lap, blue light glasses on my face, a book, two plants, and a blueberry bubble water to my side and it feels good.
Doubly so that after electing not to return to work when my job reopened has me writing all day long. I have moved my desk and all my knickknacks to a corner of the bedroom for privacy and then when I need a change of scenery I have my chair.
I have my comfortably functional piece of furniture to lean back and take naps and watch House Hunters and read and work.
This all started when we went to my boyfriend’s parents’ cabin in Wisconsin. It is obnoxiously beautiful and the couple that sold it to them last year left all the curated Midcentury Modern and teak furniture there.
Upstairs is a recliner so fluffy and cloud-like that leans farther back than mine does, admittedly, but looks out onto the lake. We made fun of it at first, clinging to the thought that a recliner would only be acceptable in an Art Van Furniture showroom… but damn. When you want to relax, a recliner is not shabby.
They’re supposedly good for back pain, which I won’t argue. After doing a quick search to find “attractive recliners,” “most comfortable,” and “stylish” options I clicked on an Apartment Therapy article that intends to bust through the ageist myth that they are exclusively for the elderly.
If butterfly clips can come back in fashion, anything is possible.
This is an official petition to make recliners, hideous and fashionable alike, cool… or, at the very least, not uncool.
Besides, they have a rather fascinating history.