A voice upstairs yelled down the stairs. “You promised!”
I promised my wife I would go with her to shop for patio furniture but I couldn’t – because I could not get out of my chair. My recliner held me in too tight of an embrace.
Every time I sit in that chair, it seems as if I sink in a little deeper. Each time, the foot rest tilts me back a little further. Each time, the cushions wrap around me a little tighter.
I fear that I have crossed a threshold whereby it is impossible to get up under my own power and I should have seen this coming.
I love the recliner and it loves me and it is perfectly natural for people to form a bond with an object. We do it all that time. But it is unnatural for an object to form such a intense bond with a person that it refuses to let them go. It is unhealthy behavior in any relationship.
Still, the bonds we form with objects are not unlike those we form with each other.
First comes the initial attraction.
Every day we see beautiful people and delightful things and though they are attractive, we pay them no more than a lingering glance – until that special person or thing comes along and then it is electric, it is magic. We just know they right for us.
So it was with my recliner. It was love at first sight. To be honest, it was infatuation at first sight, love came later.
Over time, my recliner molded itself to me in subtle ways. The stuffing compacted to fit my form. The springs adjusted their tension to suit how I preferred to sit. And I changed too. My mind perfectly mapped itself to every nuance of the chair. My muscles learned to relax and my blood to flow to achieve maximum comfort.
And it is this molding of one to another that is the essence of love. It is how we perfect love itself and after being together for years, I can truly say that I profoundly love that chair.
My wife sees it differently. What I claim as breaking in, she insists is breaking down. She says I spend way too much time in my old rotting recliner. I understand her jealousy. She simply does not respect the love I hold for the chair and it holds for me. But now it is holding me in place.
I worry about that. Sometimes relationships become unhealthy and when love keeps you locked away from the world, it is time to reevaluate your commitment.
So at the furniture store, I explore new options. I find a brown leather recliner with heat pads, magic fingers and a cup holder. Plopping into it banishes any thought of fidelity to my old chair. It is about time I got out of my comfort zone and experience something new.
My wife however is not pleased.
She has spent the last half hour searching the store for me.
“You promised to look at patio furniture,” she says.
But I can’t get up.