The Old Recliner


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Yeah, back in the day I had a pony tail.... that was before I started going bald.

I’ve talked about the fire I had a few years back. I lost a lot of personal possessions in that fire, and I miss many of them. The one thing that I find myself missing more than any of the rest of it, though, is the comfortable, well worn, recliner. I’m not sure if it is the fact that I no longer have a recliner, because honestly, my couch is pretty comfortable and I can stretch out on it pretty easily, but it’s not the same.



That recliner was the first piece of furniture I ever bought. It was definitely the first piece of furniture I bought that didn’t require an allen wrench to put it together. At this point in my adulthood, I still lack furniture that doesn’t get put together with an idiot key. At the time that I bought that chair, I didn’t have any other furniture in my living room. Actually, I didn’t have any furniture but a desk for my computer, a TV sitting on a plastic tote, and a mattress that was sitting directly on the floor.

That’s right, I was living a fairly hermetic lifestyle. My friends would bring over camp chairs on the rare occasional that they came to my apartment just to keep from sitting on the floor. That chair represented my first step towards actually building something out of myself.

It’s been a little over 3 years since the fire, and I have had plenty of opportunity to replace that chair with a new and shiny recliner, but I can’t bring myself to do it.

Some things are just part of who you are, stepping stones on the path of life.

I loved that chair, but now it’s part of a past that I’m leaving behind.

In many ways, that chair represented my first steps towards adulthood, but it also represented something else. It was the safe, comfortable place that I was able to hide away from the world. It was my comfort zone.

It’s strange what things can mean when you really start to think about them. Objects, that really shouldn’t have any value hold so much sway over us.

So, Good Bye, Comfy Recliner. You represent a time in my life when I was pretty lost and confused. You were a safe place in a pretty tragic storm. Good Bye, comfy friend. You are missed, and irreplaceable.

8 thoughts on “The Old Recliner

  1. I think we all have something like that, Matt. Whether it be that old ratty tshirt that we cannot give up or for me – my favorite Northface pants I got on sale that lasted for YEARS or a recliner – it’s the familiar. It’s comfort. It doesn’t change despite the torrent of changes going on around us. It’s hard to give that up. But sometimes, it is necessary. And sometimes it is just taken from us. Good post. To those comfy recliners!

    1. I’m glad that it was taken away from me. I don’t think I would have ever moved past the place in life where I hid away from everything if it wasn’t for that fire. When you don’t have a place to call home, and you don’t have the security of your things, you pretty much have no choice but to face the world.

  2. brandeewineb says:

    Interesting how you look at the recliner as something that you’ve grown beyond, now that you’re a “professional adult.” I look at them of symbols of adulthood, but also of giving up. I have refused to let my husband get one, because it just means “old” to me. Something very unsexy about a recliner, in my mind. Perhaps it has to do with the image of my father in law snoring away in one every night, rather than going to bed with his wife.

    I understand the idea of pieces that represent comfort, though. I have things like that. I need to do a purge in the house pretty soon. I hold on to things long past the time that they have any meaning or service.

    1. The comfy chair in general has always meant safety to me, and probably because I associate them with my grandparents. I remember being little, and all of the cousins would clamor to be the one that got to sit in the recliner.

      They were a place where people I admired rested after lives that had taken a lot out of them. They were comfortable and safe.

      There are parts of my life that I take for granted, and there are some ties to my roots that I pray will never be severed, but I’m not ready to rest just yet.

  3. Jason Benoit says:

    Isn’t it funny how we can project our thoughts, fears, anxieties onto an object and use them as stepping stones in life. I too have had possessions that symbolized parts of my life–either good or bad parts–and used them to cling to or erase those parts of me. You had yours erased for you, and that sucks, but it sounds as though you needed it too. For what it’s worth, there are other recliners in the sea.

    1. Thank you. There are a lot of things in my life that I’ve had to get rid of, some of them were against my will at the time, but in hindsight all of them needed to go.

  4. Stereo.* says:

    Very poignant and oh so true, Matt. I’m a bit of a hoarder and massively sentimental so I struggle to let go of anything that has even marginal meaning but there have been times (and need to be more times) where I have had to cut things loose and let them fade.

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