All in the Family is one of the most controversial yet critically acclaimed television shows ever. But when I think about All in the Family only one thing comes to mind— Archie Bunker’s chair. That chair was Archie’s and Archie’s alone.
Why do I think about this chair? Since the kids came along, it seems they’ve taken over every nook and cranny in the house. Toys and dolls are everywhere. When we were first married, I had an office in the spare bedroom. Now my office is in the basement next to where the dog pees. (And the smell is fantastic.) I’ve been relegated to second class citizen in my own home. But a chair of my own would rectify that.
About three years ago, I begged my wife for a chair. Not just any chair, but a recliner with cup holders, a place for the remote and the newspaper, built-in speakers, massage capability and an ejector seat in case the kids tried to sit there. I had it perfectly envisioned in my head.
“Fine, let’s get you a chair. If we move a couple of things around, it’ll fit.”
I scanned the already tight quarters of our living room and wondered where it would fit (and if the tradeoff would be my office being converted to a shrine for everything Prada and Coach.)
“Let’s go before I change my mind.”
I was willing to make the tradeoff and was out the door.
Fortunately, there’s a furniture store right up the block. I found a nice recliner but it was a little out of our price range.
“Maybe we’ll have to look somewhere else,” my wife said.
I couldn’t let this opportunity slip away. My wife may not be this agreeable again for the next five years. The moons were aligned correctly. I had to get a chair now.
“How about this one, Daddy?”
My daughter spun around in a chair that looked like a football. It had laces and the price was right.
I tried it on for size. It wasn’t bad. I spun around in the chair and deemed it comfortable. But I couldn’t put my feet up.
Then the salesman clinched the deal.
“I’ll throw in this free Ottoman.”
Right then I should have known something was wrong. Why would he be so quick to throw in a free Ottoman?
Surprisingly, my wife was okay with the premise of a football chair in the living room. In reality, she was happy just to shut me up.
I seized upon the moment and paid for the chair.
Proudly, I carried my new acquisition home. Then a man stopped me.
“What is that?”
“It’s a football chair.”
“Oh, I saw that at the furniture store for the longest time. I didn’t know what it was.”
Sign #2 no one other than me wanted that chair.
“Pretty cool, huh?”
“Yeah,” he said half-heartedly probably thinking they finally found a moron to buy that chair.
Well, the moron had his chair and that’s all that mattered.
I brought it home and soon after realized my daughter was in the chair more than me. She spun around in the chair and really enjoyed it. And the Ottoman became another place on which to put toys. My quest for MY very own chair had failed.
But a couple of months ago, a neighbor was moving out and had to get rid of this great looking, black recliner. I brought it home, cleaned it, put my feet up and immediately loved the chair. Soon after, the kids began sitting in my new chair. Then they began eating while sitting in the chair. Then they started climbing on it and fighting over the chair. Where’s that eject button? However, at 11 o’clock every night, when everyone’s asleep, I put my feet up and I’m in heaven. Archie Bunker, eat your heart out.
Copyright © 2009, Brad Manzo