Saturday, January 28, 2017

My Love Affair With Office Chairs

Perhaps I’ve lived alone too long. Perhaps in my 70th year I’m becoming a bit dotty. Or, perhaps I’m merely fussy. I’m sitting in my newest acquisition, an office chair of exceeding comfort. It’s my seventh office chair in 15 years. For one who doesn’t really have an office and only uses the chair for a bit of computer time, and that not even daily, a seventh chair might seem excessive. I don’t have them here all at once, of course. That would be excessive, not to mention eccentric (and uncomfortable since my accommodations are quite small), but as my friend J pointed out, there has been quite a succession of chairs moving in and out of my quarters.

The first chair came from a friend’s office, which was being refurbished. Since the old chairs were destined for the trash, my friend rescued one for me. I brought it home, rolled it up to the computer and sat there quite comfortably for a couple of years before the height adjuster lever gave out and I found myself much nearer the floor than was comfortable. (No, of course I didn’t sit there continually for a couple of years. There were interruptions such as mealtime, bedtime, work, etc.) At any rate, the chair needed replacing so I kept my eye out at my favorite Transfer Station and sure enough, my patience paid off. A beautiful rolling chair covered in brown velveteen appeared. J and I hoisted into the back of the pickup and brought it home.

The chair was perfect. It was comfortable, stylish, elegant, even. It was also big. Far too big for the space allotted it. I tripped over it and pushed it out of the way for a couple of weeks, then J and I hauled it out to the barn to wait for our annual tag sale. In its place I put another Transfer Station find, a much smaller chair with an ugly red seat and wheels that rolled only under duress. It, too, lasted a few weeks before being unceremoniously hauled back to the TS.

Next I tried a smaller version of the velveteen chair. At least it looked smaller in the second hand shop, fitted in as it was amongst some larger lounge chairs. It was softer than the first and shorter so that even when the height adjuster lever was in its highest position, I still had to reach up to use the keyboard. Out that chair went to join its compatriot in the tag sale pile.

I replaced chair number four with another large office chair which, though much too big for the space, won my heart with its leather cushions, it’s workable height adjuster, its smoothly rolling wheels and its general now-THIS_is-an-office-chair look. In fact I liked it so much that when I’d tripped over it and shoved it out of the way for a month or so, rather than take it back to the TS I hauled it out to my screened-in gazebo and spent the summer months lazing about in it. Finally the back gave out and I was in danger of spilling over backwards every time I sat in it.

Chair number six came home with me from a yard sale last July. It was smaller than its predecessors, had a cushioned seat, hard wooden arms and rollers that needed attention, but the price was right and I needed a chair. I was quite fond of it despite its drawbacks because the height adjuster level worked. I was finally able to fit my knees under the desk and still reach the keyboard. Until a couple of weeks ago, when the height adjuster lever got stuck in a lower setting. (I was trying to make a minor adjustment to accommodate a cushion.)

As luck would have it, while I was visiting my daughter’s family the following week, my son-in-law brought home two office chairs from a building in which he was doing carpentry work. “We don’t need two!” my daughter exclaimed.

“I’ll take one!” I offered. My grateful daughter hefted it out to my car.

I’m sitting in it now. It’s lovely. My knees, even with a cushion on the seat, fit under the desk. The height adjuster lever moves up and down as though proud of its functionality. The wheels swivel smoothly, the colors match my d├ęcor. I’m thoroughly smitten.

Last night I could not sleep, so got up, made some tea, and sat watching the stars spin through the night sky. “Did you sit in your new office chair?” asked J.

“No, I didn’t,” I answered. “But I did gaze at it fondly for a bit.”

She looked at me as though she thought I was eccentric.